The Incredible Edible Pastured Egg

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

As many of you know, I am a big proponent of pastured eggs. Pastured eggs are eggs (obviously) from hens that are allowed to eat their natural diet. They are allowed to graze in open pasture (hence the name) and eat insects, maggots, grass, etc and get lots of sunshine and exercise. These eggs blow the socks off of anything you can get commercially, even omega-3 eggs, which are a solid grocery store option.

To illustrate the difference between the very solid omega-3 eggs, in which the hens are fed a diet usually rich in flax, providing more healthy omega-3 fats and the even greater eggs from pastured hens, I have taken a few pictures. Fortunately for me the First Lady of CP, Anna Sleeper, brought me some pastured eggs from a farm near her parents home in Brewer, Maine. In the picture below the omega-3 eggs are on the left, and the pastured eggs are on the right.

As you can see, the pastured eggs have much richer looking yolks, they are near orange in color, are larger, and stand up higher than the omega-3 eggs.

Omega-3 vs. Pasture Omelet

Omega-3 vs. Pasture Omelet

I made a 3-egg omelet with each, to show the difference in color and see how much more substantial the pastured eggs omelet is. The omega-3 omelet is on the left, and the pastured egg omelet is on the right. As you can clearly see the pastured egg omelet is much brighter and fuller in color, and blew the socks of the omega-3 eggs in flavor. It was as if they aren’t even the same food.

Below is an illustration of the difference in nutrition in 100 grams of your average pastured egg, and 100 grams of your average conventionally raised egg. It is striking to see the significantly greater nutrient density on paper, it is also just as striking to see and taste the difference in your morning omelet, and truly appreciate real food!

Vitamin A:

  • Conventional: 487 IU
  • Pastured avg: 792 IU

Vitamin D:

  • Conventional: 34 IU
  • Pastured avg: 136 – 204 IU

Vitamin E:

  • Conventional: 0.97 mg
  • Pastured avg: 3.73 mg

Beta-carotene:

  • Conventional: 10 mcg
  • Pastured avg: 79 mcg

Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Conventional: 0.22 g
  • Pastured avg: 0.66 g

As you can clearly see, pastured eggs blow conventional eggs out of the water in all measures of awesomeness. They have 4-6 times the vitamin D content, and if you are like me and have 5 whole eggs every morning, that adds up quite nicely. One little caveat though, all those nutrients listed are either fats, or fat soluble nutrients, so you need to eat the yolks to actually take advantage of all the benefits an egg has to offer, so man up and eat the whole thing.

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Posted on March 11th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

6 Comments

  1. Eric Lagoy Says:

    Wow I didn’t realize the difference in vitamin D content was that significant. Very interesting stuff.

  2. Joey Taraborelli, CSCS Says:

    Hey Brian, thanks for all the great blogs. I was telling Tony you should get that share link on yours so people(myself included) can link to all our blogs and get your name out there more. (Don’t let Tony have all the fun, haha). Anyways, keep it up and thanks for all the info. 1 quick question about bison meat… I tend to eat a lot of it(mostly ground). How much healthier is it than regular meat in terms of being “free-ranged”? I know its not safe to assume it is all “grass-fed”, right? (although I’d love to assume that I know its not).

  3. Jim MacDonald Says:

    Hi Brian,

    Interesting blog, thanks for posting the information.

    Quick Q for you:
    I’m a 28 yr old Male, very active (strength & crossfit style training 4-5 days/week) and have been following a paleo/Zone style diet for the better part of two years (i.e. no starches, little sugar, etc).
    I recently went in for a checkup at the doctor and had my cholesterol taken among many other things. My LDL levels came back slightly above average and I was advised that I should keep a close eye on it. When I inquired further as to what caused LDL levels to be high (I knew ahead of time, but wanted to see what Doc would say..) I was told the usual high saturated sources (whole milk, cream, cheese, etc. etc.)

    Now aside from a little cream in my coffee (max one per day), I have no consistent sources of LDL in my diet. When I told him this, he asked what else I ate, and started blabbing on about what I ate, and similar to you, I usually have 5 whole eggs as part of my balanced protein, carb, fat breakfast… He immediately jumped all over it and said that this was most likely the source and that I should cut this amount down significantly…

    Just wondering what your thoughts on the matter are….. I know that even though my LDL levels were slightly higher, my HDL levels were also well above average, which in turn made my LDL/HDL ratio well above average as well.. No alarm bells were going off in my head in terms of being unhealthy or having to make drastic changes to my diet. Would love to hear your two cents on the egg topic!

  4. The Home of BSP Training & Nutrition » Blog Archive » Why Eggs Prevent Heart Disease Says:

    [...] The Incredible Edible Pastured Egg [...]

  5. Forks Over Knives « A Matter of Choices Says:

    [...] you to check out this article, written by Adam Bornstein as well as the following posts (here, here, and here) by Brian St. [...]

  6. bentwebdesign.com Says:

    Awesome article.

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