Take A Guess Which Of These Egg Yolks Is Actually From A Healthy Chicken
One of the more interesting aspects of living in Brazil is the different approaches to food. We are connected to local farms from friends and family, spoiling us with organic homegrown everything. Regarding chicken eggs, the sizes vary, the colors of the shells vary but if the egg comes from the family farm, the yolk almost always a darker color. It is also thicker than the typical yellow yolk you find at the store.
In the United States all the eggs that can be bought at our local supermarket are yellow. Organic, vegetarian or cheap; they are all yellow and the yolk is not as thick. What is the reason for this? Could it be that myself and almost everyone I know has been eating eggs from unhealthy chickens? Have you ever even seen an orange egg? It took me 30 years to discover an egg from a healthy chicken. That’s crazy.
Having returned to the states, Craigslist is the go-to route to accommodate my urban life with homestead flare in search of the dankest foods.
From Garden Betty… Last year, I compared my pasture-foraging, insect-pecking, soil-scratching, whole grain-feeding chickens’ yolks to the yolks of both their “free-ranging” and factory-farmed counterparts. The differences are clearly visible: Yolks from my homegrown eggs were not only darker orange, but also fuller and thicker. Even the eggshells were denser and harder to crack. But what’s the big deal about orange yolks? Besides being a coveted color, orange yolks are an indication of a well balanced and highly nutritious diet. A few things factor into the making of an orange yolk: xanthophylls, omega-3 fatty acids, and meats. Xanthophylls are a class of carotenoids. Carotenoids are natural plant pigments found in many fruits and vegetables. It’s often thought that beta-carotene, one of the more well-known carotenoids, is responsible for giving yolks the orange pigment that people associate with carrots. But in actuality, beta-carotene benefits yolks nutritionally, rather than colorfully. The carotenoids that cause deeper yolk coloring are xanthophylls, which are more readily absorbed in the yolks. (Lutein is one such xanthophyll, and a lot of lutein means a lot more orange.) Xanthophylls are found in dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and collards, as well as in zucchini, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in flax seeds and sea kelp, which are both important components of my homemade whole grain chicken feed.
And did you know that chickens are not meant to be vegetarian, no matter what your premium carton of organic/grain-fed/cage-free eggs tells you? Chickens are omnivores by nature
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