It’s quite the task to pick the right type of eggs at the supermarket especially when they are all labelled differently. Ambiguous labels like ‘farm fresh’ or ‘organic’ doesn’t really help when it comes to buying the right eggs. Consumers nowadays consider a lot more factors than catchy phrases!
Choosing the right eggs may depend but not limited to these factors:
- Price: ‘Should I buy regular conventional eggs?’
- Nutrition: ‘Are these eggs fortified with Omega-3 fatty acids?’
- Values: ‘Were the chickens pasture-raised or cage-free?’
When it comes to buying eggs, distinguish which factors are most important to you, be it the price or the way chickens were treated in the process. Then, look for the brands that have proven to meet those standards.
Now to make it simpler, allow us to egg-ducate you! Here are the types of eggs that you may find at your local stores:
Eggs range in sizes from tiny to large and are graded based on their quality and appearance. Grade AA is by far the best as they have stronger shells, thick firm egg whites, and rounder yolks. A tiny step down the grade system and you will get Grade A eggs which instead have reasonably firm whites– these types of eggs can be commonly found in grocery stores.
Apart from these two, there are also Grade B eggs or which we Malaysians may call so-so lah! These eggs have thinner whites and wider yolks. Though their shells may not be cracked, they may appear to be bumpy or stained.
Any of these eggs are ideal for cooking or baking, however if you’re following a certain recipe, opt for larger eggs if it is not specified.
A popular misconception is that white-shelled eggs are believed to look less ‘farm fresh-ish’. However the truth is: the colour of an egg shell does not determine its taste or nutritional value; it’s solely a matter of its genetics!
Nonetheless, the colour of the yolk says more as it depends on what the chickens were fed.
These eggs are usually laid by chickens in a full hen house. The chickens may or may not be properly treated although the nutrients of the eggs are not compromised. It is still high in proteins and other essential nutrients. Conventional eggs are commonly sold… everywhere! They come cheap in price too which is altogether a fairly great deal.
Eggs that are branded with ‘Omega-3’ labels are produced by chickens that are fed with a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed. Other foods that contain a high amount of Omega-3 fats are salmon, tuna, walnuts or soybeans. Therefore, Omega-3 fortified eggs are a good option as a nutritional supplement or an alternative for those who don’t consume that much fish. Be sure to read the nutrition facts label to be aware of your nutritional intake.
Pasteurised eggs are heated and sterilised to a 140-degree water bath which kills bacteria that causes food-borne illness. While bacteria on eggs generally die once it’s cooked or boiled, pasteurised eggs are suitable for those who consume raw eggs and perfect for making uncooked food preparations like mayonnaise.
These eggs are also ideal for younger children, elderly people, pregnant women or others with weaker immune systems. This suggestively reduces the risk of food-borne illness or infections from Salmonella.
6. Free-range or Cage-free
The health of the chickens contributes to the nutrition in its egg. These two types are relating to concerns on how the chickens were treated by the farmers in the process.
Free-range eggs mean that they come from chickens that spend time roaming outside the farm. These chickens are allowed to feed freely on wild plants and insects. Access to outdoors, however, could mean anything from an air open field or under a shed.
Cage-free eggs, on the other hand, are produced from chickens that are not caged but may still be housed together with little space to roam. Unlike chickens that produce free-range eggs, these cage-free chickens do not usually have access to roam outdoors. Also, remember that cage-free or free-range does not necessarily mean cruelty-free.
Other basic guidelines to buying eggs are:
- Avoid buying broken eggs as they are at higher risk for contamination.
- Check for the expiration date.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling eggs
Now that you are an egg expert, whip up some eggcellent scrambled eggs or sunny-side ups using the right eggs. Get them on our HappyFresh app now!
Also Read: How To Splurge Your Duit Raya the RIGHT Way!