When raised the way nature intended, both chickens and their eggs are healthy sources of high-quality nutrients that many are deficient in — especially high-quality protein and healthy fat.
Eggs contain complete proteins, meaning they provide the eight essential amino acids, essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your skin, internal organs, muscles, and more.
They also contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for good eyesight, and choline, which is needed for the normal development of memory, as well as betaine, tryptophan and tyrosine, all of which are important for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol is also important for health, and contrary to popular belief, the cholesterol in eggs will not adversely affect your cholesterol levels.1
However, to reap all the benefits chicken and eggs have to offer, it’s important to realize that not all chickens and eggs are the same. It all depends on how they were raised. I strongly advise sticking with free-range organic varieties.
Not only is the nutritional profile of eggs and chickens raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) inferior to their pastured, free-ranging counterparts, they’re also far more likely to be contaminated with salmonella.
Organic Egg Scorecard Cuts Through Confusion and Misleading Labels
While there’s no way to guarantee 100 percent safety all the time, the benefits of free-range poultry are becoming more well-recognized, and reduced disease risk is definitely part of that benefits package.
As reported by The Guardian,2 sale of cage-free and organic eggs is on the rise, and five U.S. states now ban caged hens. Unfortunately, loopholes abound, allowing CAFO-raised chickens and eggs to masquerade as “free-range” and “organic.”
Both consumers and corporate customers, such as McDonald’s, Nestle, and General Mills, are now demanding egg producers convert to cage-free methods. It’s worth noting that “cage-free” still does not mean the chickens were raised under ideal conditions.
They’re not raised in cages, but they may still not have access to the outdoors. So there are still significant differences even between “cage-free” and “free range” (or “pastured”) eggs. With so many loopholes and lack of transparency, it can be very confusing to sort through it all.
The Cornucopia Institute addressed these issues in a recent egg report. According to Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, there’s a factory farm takeover of the egg industry underway, with large CAFOs now controlling 80 percent of the organic egg market.
Yet less than 9 percent of hens raised in the U.S. are raised without cages.3 The organic label simply means the hens have been raised on organic feed. It is not an indication that they’ve been humanely or sustainably raised.
“For this report, we have visited or surveilled, via aerial photography/satellite imagery, a large percentage of certified egg production in the United States, and surveyed all name-brand and private-label industry marketers,” the Cornucopia Institute writes.
And, according to Mark A. Kastel, The Cornucopia Institute’s co-director and senior farm policy analyst: “It’s obvious that a high percentage of the organic eggs on the market are illegal and should, at best, be labeled ‘produced with organic feed,’ rather than bearing the USDA-certified organic logo.”
“‘Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture,‘4 will empower consumers and wholesale buyers who want to invest their food dollars to protect hard-working family farmers that are in danger of being forced off the land by a landslide of eggs from factory farms …
[As] consumers have become concerned about the humane treatment of animals, and are also seeking out eggs that are superior in flavor and nutrition, a number of national marketers have found success in distributing ‘pasture’-produced eggs.
‘There is a fair bit of overreach and the exploitation of this term is well covered in our report,’ Kastel explained. ‘The organic egg scorecard enables concerned consumers to select authentic brands delivering the very best quality eggs regardless of the hyperbole on the label’ …”
Should you find the organic egg brand you’ve been buying is a sham and feel betrayed, take action by putting the pressure on USDA Secretary Vilsack to replace the current management at The National Organic Program. You can do so by signing the Cornucopia Institute’s proxy letter.
CAFOs Are Hotbeds for Salmonella
As noted by Reveal News in their “Farm to Fork: Uncovering hazards in our food systems” series,5 Americans eat about 85 pounds of chicken per person each year, and about 25 percent of raw chicken sold in American supermarkets are contaminated with salmonella.
About 1 million Americans are sickened and some 380 die from salmonella infection each year, and contaminated chicken and eggs are among the most common sources of this foodborne illness.
Today, we also have antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella to contend with, which makes potential contamination even more worrisome. It’s important to realize that even chicken that passes all federal food safety requirements may still be hazardous to your health.
As reported by Reveal News:6
“There’s no mandate to control [salmonella] on the farms or hatcheries that raise chickens for slaughter. Limited testing is required only at the final step: the slaughterhouse.
By that time, chickens already can be carrying the bacteria in their guts, its natural habitat. Or it can be on their feathers, feet or skin from their feces. It can spread from carcass to carcass during processing. While processors try to clean the bacteria off the skin and meat with chemicals, some often escapes removal …
Chickens can get salmonella from the breeding flocks that produce them. The chicks can pick it up at hatcheries, grow houses or pastures on farms where they fatten up. Any measures that producers take to control salmonella in those places are entirely voluntary.”
Beware: U.S. Rules Allow the Sale of Salmonella-Contaminated Chicken
Surprising as it may seem, it’s perfectly legal to sell salmonella-contaminated chicken meat. The federal salmonella standard allows 7.5 percent of whole chickens tested in the processing plant to be contaminated.
What’s more, the standards make no distinction between the more harmless strains of salmonella, and those that are the most dangerous, including drug-resistant strains. Essentially, the food safety rules include the general assumption that you will handle and cook it properly to kill off any and all harmful bacteria.
However, cross-contamination can easily occur while the raw chicken is prepared, spreading to other foods via contaminated cutting boards, countertops, or utensils, so caution is always recommended when handling raw chicken. You can find official guidance on the proper handling and cooking of raw chicken on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Website.7
Keeping a designated cutting board for meats and one for other produce is a basic step that will help cut down on the risk of cross contamination. Also avoid washing your chicken, as this actually increases your risk of food poisoning by spreading bacteria around your kitchen sink and neighboring surfaces.
Are You Ready to Try Your Hand at Raising Your Own Chickens?
In the video above, Joel Salatin gives a virtual tour of his Polyface farm in Virginia. As you can see, raising chickens in your backyard may be easier than you thought. If you are interested in the possibility of raising a few chickens yourself, a good place to begin is by asking yourself a few questions.
- Can I dedicate some time each day? You can expect to devote about 10 minutes a day, an hour per month, and a few hours twice a year to the care and maintenance of your brood.
- Do I have enough space? They will need a minimum of 10 square feet per bird to roam, preferably more. The more foraging they can do, the healthier and happier they’ll be and the better their eggs will be.
- What are the chicken regulations in my town? You will want to research this before jumping in because some places have zoning restrictions and even noise regulations (which especially apply if you have a rooster).
- Are my neighbors on board with the idea? It’s a good idea to see if they have any concerns early on. When they learn they might be the recipients of occasional farm-fresh eggs, they might be more agreeable.
- Can I afford a flock? There are plenty of benefits to growing your own eggs, but saving money isn’t one of them. There are significant upfront costs to getting a coop set up, plus ongoing expenses for supplies.
Healthier and Safer Chicken and Egg Sources
Besides raising your own chickens and eggs, your next best option is to source them locally, either from an organic farm or farmers market. Fortunately, finding organic pastured eggs locally is far easier than finding raw milk, as virtually every rural area has individuals with chickens.
Farmers markets are a great way to meet the people who produce your food. With face-to-face contact, you can get your questions answered and know exactly what you’re buying. Better yet, visit the farm and ask for a tour. To locate a free-range pasture farm, try asking your local health food store, or check out the following organizations:
|Weston Price Foundation13 has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.|
|Local Harvest — This Web site will help you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.|
|Farmers’ Markets — A national listing of farmers’ markets.|
|Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals — The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.|
|Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) — CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.|
|FoodRoutes — The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.|
|The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products, and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.|
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
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Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
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Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.