Happy chicks rock and happy chickens are even better.  There is so much nutrition information circulating out there in the free world and often it is difficult to decipher what the right move truly is.  As always, my mantra is, "Eat real food!"  With that being said, I am often asked what my opinion is on eggs.  My feeling: enjoy these lil versatile gifts from nature, preferably from happy chickens.  What are these jubilant, feathery beings I keep making reference to?  They are the poultry that are allowed to roam free, forage for insects, do their nesting "thing", and exist without being bombarded by antibiotics and growth hormone AKA livin' the chicken dream.   
    "According to the United Egg Producers, about 95 percent of all chickens are raised in an industrial setting. These chickens are confined in small cages, in closely monitored conditions -- many with more than 100,000 birds at a single location" (CNN.com).  This type of living situation leaves much to be desired for our winged friends.  These chickens aren't able to participate in "normal" chicken behaviors.  Also, they get no exercise and rarely see the light of day.  In addition to these inhumane conditions, they are put even more at risk for intestinal infections and other illnesses.  Hence, the mentality behind shooting them up with antibiotics.  Unfortunately, we humans are paying the price for this in more than one way.  The most disturbing to me being that we are ingesting these antibiotics second hand and it is creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  This is detrimental to the body because it is wiping out the beneficial bacteria in our guts, as well as making it more challenging to fight our own infections and illnesses with prescribed antibiotics.
    The other down-fall of conventional chicken farming is the use of growth hormones in order to "beef" them up.  This, too, is then being consumed by us homo sapiens through this food source.  Studies are beginning to uncover that this is one of the hypotheses behind our young girls entering puberty at an earlier age, as well as the number of people affected by hormonal issues.
    So...how do we stop the madness???  Chances are the chickens are not going to revolt any time soon (especially because they're all hopped up on all sorts of drugs) so our best mode of attack is good, old-fashioned, supply and demand.  Your best bet would be hitting up your local Farmers Market and buying some happy eggs from a real happy farmer.  If that is not an option, then look for them at your health food store or supermarket.  You will find a few different options: organic, free-range, cage-free, and pasture-raised.
    Organic eggs mean that the chickens were fed organic feed, had access to the outdoors, and were not raised in cages.  Free-range eggs come from chickens who had access to the outdoors and were able to engage in some natural chicken behaviors.   Cage-free chickens had unlimited access to food and water, were able to roam, dust bathe, and spread their wings.  Pasture-raised chickens spend their lives roaming around in fresh pasture with access to shelter and doing what chickens were born to do.  These egg options tend to be more beneficial due to the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  Also, these nutritional packages of goodness boast lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fat with higher levels of beta carotene, omega-3's, and vitamin E compared to conventional eggs.
    It seems like a no brainer, huh?  So get crackin' on those omelettes and enjoy!
                                                                                                                              Wishing you all the best of health and happiness,  
                                                                                                                                                                        Stacy xoxo


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