Studies indicate that yes, eggs from pasture-raised hens are more nutritious. This makes sense, as more and more information reveals that animal and human health benefits enormously from a good diet. What’s that old adage?
“We are what we eat!”
In fact, a study conducted at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences comparing the eggs of the pastured hens to those of hens fed a commercial diet showed some striking differences. “Compared to eggs of the commercial hens, eggs from pastured hens eggs had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, more than double the total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A concentration was 38 percent higher in the pastured hens’ eggs than in the commercial hens’ eggs, but total vitamin A per egg did not differ.”
Another study conducted by Mother Earth News in 2007 found that eggs produced by truly free-ranging hens had1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, two times more omega-3 fatty acids, three times more vitamin E, seven times more beta carotene, and from three to six times more vitamin D than eggs from hens raised in confinement. Pastured hens are exposed to direct sunlight, which their bodies convert to vitamin D and then pass on to their eggs. Eggs raised on large-scale commercial farms rarely, if ever, see natural sunlight.
And just for fun, check out this delicious Spinach Ricotta Quiche recipe. Try it with your Pasture Raised Eggs and fresh, even if imperfect veggies.