Thursday, August 6, 2009

Or, for those who like play-on-words: "Eggs"periment, perhaps.

To this point, we have been buying regular, "barn" eggs that cost ₤1.86 for 18. This is by far the best deal and frankly, we haven't had the money to choose otherwise. Now, with my husband finally getting paid for his work, we have the ability to make a choice. But what to choose??

Organic, Free-Range, Local, Barn, Sustainable, Woodland... all with various shocking price tags. Can the labels be trusted? What do they REALLY mean in practice? What is the healthy choice for my family? If you've read my summary of The Omnivore's Dilemma, then you know this question isn't easily answered.

When we were at the grocery store a couple of days ago, we decided to try a couple different kinds of eggs. We bought a local, free-range version and a store brand, organic free-range. I still had some of the "barn" eggs at home, so the next morning I decided to boil up one of each. I used a sharpie to mark the eggs and boiled them together for 10 minutes. We were rather surprised at the difference when we cut them open, so I had to take a picture. Can you guess which is which (the picture doesn't do justice to reality)?

Obviously the first, pale version is the "barn" eggs while the second and third are free-range and organic respectively. As far as taste goes, the latter two definitely tasted more "eggy" - if that makes sense. We couldn't really tell a difference between them both, though I found them to be a bit more firm in texture compared to the "barn" version. Clearly, by the color I know which was more beneficial nutritiously. We were just amazed at how pale the "barn" eggs were in contrast to the other two.

They say "ignorance is bliss" and I can definitely not eat "barn" eggs blissfully anymore. I don't know which path we'll choose. There are still quite a few options out there that we haven't tried or compared price-wise. I wish we could have our own chickens. Maybe someday...

Egg photo from

Comments (2)

On October 4, 2009 at 9:22 PM , mattnbec said...

Rick Stein (British celebrity chef who has restaurants in Cornwall) did a similar experiment on his "Food Heroes" TV show, with ordinary cage eggs, shop free-range and some other kind of free-range eggs. He cooked them up and served them to a bunch of people who tasted them just as A, B and C and had to rate them. The free-range were the clear winners.

On November 27, 2009 at 5:54 AM , Sherrin said...

We always buy free range, and we're blessed to be able to buy of friends at times. Originally we did it due to concerns about the treatment of the birds, but now we're also very grateful for the health benefits. Thanks for sharing your fun experiment!