So, I've red all the major egg posts on Paleohacks and am still a bit confused and unsure about what to do.
I've heard the line "eggs, even conventional, are better than no eggs at all."
Basically, my question is pretty simple. Do you agree with that statement? If so, it really would save me quite a bit of money. This weekend, for example, there's a sale for 18-carton eggs for .99. They're conventional and from a supermarket.
I just looked up how much it would cost to ship 8 dozen tropical tradition eggs to me and it's $68.76. I go through roughly 5-7 eggs per day when I eat them so at that rate it'd be roughly $150 a month just on eggs!
Could you please provide some insight regarding the type of eggs you all eat, reasons, additional scientific research/evidence, n=1 experience from switching from conventional eggs to others, etc.
I live in BFE so it's been quite a chore for me to source a good pastured egg supply.
Don't feel guilty about those supermarket eggs. Do what you can now, and keep an eye out for a better source. Try farmer's markets and independent health food stores for real farm eggs. Ask around at work, church, hair dresser, etc. I recently learned that one of my coworkers has a hobby farm with lots of free range chickens. She charges $2 a dozen, and they are amazing.
One of the problems is that you don't really know what you are getting. Even if you "know" the farmer. The farmers market pastured eggs I sometimes buy are $4/dozen and they eat bugs when they can but they are also fed grain. I also get regular store bought eggs - usually $2-3 for 12-18. When I see the "vegetarian fed", "pastured", "cage-free" it is all pretty meaningless and I get so mad!
Robb Wolf recommends the omega-3 eggs, which I think are from flax fed chickens and those might be good. But regular eggs aren't bad and if they keep you on budget, well, you do what you gotta do.
I would get them if they fit your budget. I cycle between organic/no added hormone supermarket eggs and meat and pastured/top quality eggs and meat to save some money. The bottom line is most of the problem with food has to do with how its prepared - sugar, additives, bad oils, grains in everything, etc. A conventional egg cooked in a healthy way is WAY better than a bowl of Froot Loops. I think after you get the basics of primal whole food eating down, even with purely conventional foods, you're already eating a 90% optimal diet. The benefit from as much organic and pastured produce and meat you can get is the icing on the cake. I just would make sure to cook those eggs and if you need to consume raw egg, spend the extra money for better quality.
If you live anywhere near rural areas, just drive around off the beaten path, and sooner or later you'll spot a homemade sign saying "brown eggs, $1/dozen" or the like. Not only are they easy to come by out here in BFE, but they're dirt cheap -- lots of people just like raising chickens, so they have extra eggs to get rid of, especially in the summer, and they don't try to get much for them. (I think most just ask what they remember their grandma asking. Maybe they even use the same sign.) Most don't have web sites, either, because it's not a business to them.
The chickens will most likely be fed a standard bagged poultry ration containing GMO grains, soy, and the usual nonsense, but they'll also most likely get outside (except when there's snow on) and eat a lot of grass, bugs, and worms. Our girls' feed consumption dropped about 3/4 when the snow melted and they started getting outside every day, so they're getting 3/4 of their sustenance from the great outdoors now. So their diet might not be perfect, but it's far better than the factory diet of the cheap eggs in the store, and I'd say even better than the grain-heavy diet that produces the expensive organic eggs in the store. (Apparently the marketers figure many people looking for the "organic" label will also like to see "vegetarian" mentioned as well.)
Depending on where you live and local ordinances, you may be able to find someone who keeps chickens. I'm lucky enough to live in a semi-rural area, and I found a family who keeps chickens and delivers me a dozen eggs every two weeks. On this new diet, I think we're going to have to up our consumption to a dozen a week - but they're brown, free range HAPPY chickens. I'm certain they're mainly grain fed, but they probably get a good mix of grass and bugs in the spring, summer and autumn before having to be cooped indoors during the snowy months.
Google it, you may get lucky!
I refuse to eat conventional eggs if at all possible because they take too much time between being laid to the supermarket, not to mention what conditions those poor chickens have gone through. I second the eatwild.com suggestion, as well as www.localharvest.org to find good pastured egg suppliers.
If there are any studies, I would love to see them. Here is one of those times I wish I were in the sciences so I could do this. Most egg studies seem to use powdered eggs, with their horrible oxidized cholesterol.
I love eggs and can get super quality eggs- like knowing the hens when I come to the farm, but this winter the hens were given a break and the eggs wqere low in supply so I backed off and did not go with conventional supermarket eggs. They are not even the same food. Protein is not a high protein source, it is a fat source loaded with good things. I looked to other foods to replace them with. besides I think the body needs to break from rountine and cope with natural change in the foods it gets. Random is the key. If I see a change in my rountine coming up- I fly with it.