Labels can be confusing, especially when it comes to all of the varieties of eggs, so how do you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck at the grocery store? When it comes to buying healthy, organic food, knowing a little more about your options can help you save money and live better.

Part 4 of a 4-part series called Buying Healthy on a Budget

Labels can be confusing, especially when it comes to all of the varieties of eggs, so how do you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck at the grocery store? When it comes to buying healthy, organic food, knowing a little more about your options can help you save money and live better.

White or Brown?

Other than the obvious color difference, there is nothing different in white or brown eggs. The color comes from the breed of hen. Typically, light colored hens such as those with white feathers lay white eggs. Hens with dark feathers then lay brown eggs. As long as the chickens are healthy, color doesn’t matter.  For more information on color visit this post, Eggs: White or Brown?

Free Range Eggs

Free range also called cage free means exactly what the name implies, the hens are able to range freely on pasture, allowing for a diet that includes plants, worms and other nutrients that are true to their natural diet. Free-range hens are often housed in transportable pens that are rotated frequently to offer access to new pasture. This method also protects the birds from predators.   But, beware, “cage free” and “free range” are not regulated third-party verified claims.

Organic

Organic eggs come from chickens that are fed an organic diet, given access to the outside, and only given antibiotics when necessary to treat infection.  This is your healthiest option when it comes to eggs.  A recent study from Penn State University concluded that eggs from organically raised chickens have three times more Omega-3 fatty acids than their conventional counterparts, along with 40 percent more vitamin A and twice as much vitamin E.  Conventional eggs also carry residues of antibiotics inside their shells and because arsenic is added to factory-farmed chicken-feed to prevent infections and spur growth, it too ends up in conventional eggs.  Buying organic eggs ensures the absence of both but the presence of all of that good stuff.  

How to Save

If the cost of organic eggs at the grocery store is getting you down, you might want to consider raising chickens on your own.  Urban chicken coops are greatly rising in popularity, and for good reason!  You can get eggs and meat, and keep bugs to a minimum, all in your backyard and for a fraction of the cost.