Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pastures. That was the conclusion reached following completion of the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project. Testing found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:
· 1/3 less cholesterol
· 1/4 less saturated fat
· 2/3 more vitamin A
· 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
· 3 times more vitamin E
· 7 times more beta carotene
These results come from 14 flocks around the country that range freely on pasture or are housed in moveable pens that are rotated frequent to access to fresh pasture and protect the birds from predators. Six eggs from each of the 14 pastured flocks tested by an accredited laboratory in Portland, Oregon.
Tests of eggs from four pastured farms in Texas, Kansas, Kentucky and Pennsylvania found that their eggs contained three to six times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs. This means two scrambled eggs from pastured hens may give you 63 to 126 percent of the recommended daily intake of 200 IU of vitamin D.