Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eggs are Nutrition Powerhouse

Do you know that eggs are considered brain food in China, where a pregnant or nursing woman will eat up to ten eggs per day if she can afford them, to ensure that her baby is smart? My father in law kept telling me to give Elin one egg a day when she started solid food. At the time I didn't realize how important and nutritious eggs (especially the yolks) are until I did my research. 

Eggs contain every nutrient the body needs except vitamin C. Egg whites provide the highest quality protein of any food, and the yolks supply choline and the long-chain fatty acid DHA, both important for nerve function. They also contain small but important amounts of arachidonic acid, a very long-chain polyunsaturated fat that supports brain function. Egg yolk contains lecithin, which assists in the proper assimilation and metabolization of cholesterol and other fat constituents and trace minerals. 

Types of Eggs

Commercial eggs (worst kind)
- The chicken are most likely are caged in crowded facilities with artificial lights and no fresh air.
- They are grain-fed: corn, soy, and cottonseed meal (including GMO crops and pesticide-sprayed).
- Very little nutritional value (Egg yolks from chickens kept under glass or in cages were so low in vitamin D that rats fed on them developed rickets). 
- They may be injected with hormones for faster development and increase production of eggs.
- Probably have had antibiotics to prevent diseases from occurring. 
- The egg yolks are light yellow in color.

Organic Eggs (better option)
- The chicken are kept cage-free with (usually) limited outdoor access.
- These chickens have not had antibiotics.
- Their diets are organic feeds (no animal by-products or GMO crops) - which is still highly artificial.
- The egg yolks are darker yellow/light orange in color.

Free-Range Eggs (best option as it is widely available)
- The chicken are cage-free and have access to outdoor, but doesn't necessarily mean the hens are pastured. It simply means that the hens had the option to go outside. 
- Their diets are probably a mix of grain and grass.
- The egg yolks are darker yellow/light orange in color.

Pasture-Raised Eggs (top choice but more expensive)
- The chicken are cage-free and have access to outdoor and bright sunlight.
- They eat greens, dirt, and insects, just as how they are created to eat.
- They are far more nutritious than eggs from confined hens in factory farms (their yolks provide generous amounts of vitamin D and vitamin A).
- The egg yolks are darker orange in color.

Where to Buy Pasture-Raised Eggs in Singapore?

Unfortunately I haven't found any pastured eggs in Singapore. The second best option is free-range eggs that are organic. The eggs from The Eco Eggs Company (sold in Cold Storage and Market Place) are free-range but are given a mix of organic grains. Though it's not the best, I like that the color of the yolk is orange. 

I'm not sure about the eggs from Kampong chickens in wet markets, just to be sure, ask the sellers if they are pasture or free-range eggs.

The yolk of pastured egg is orange, while the conventional one from the supermaket is light yellow.

Egg Quality

Freshness: Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom of a bowl with water. Older eggs will float because large air cell forms in the base. The white of a fresh egg is thick and doesn't spread much (not watery) and the yolk will sit high.
Storage: Best to store eggs in refrigerators. Refrigeration keeps the eggs fresher longer.
Nutritional Value: Although there is little change in the nutritional value between fresher and older eggs, it's best to use fresh eggs within the 'Best Before' date as stated on the carton. Fresh eggs are ideal for poaching and frying because they may not hold their shape. Older eggs can be used for hard-boiling, scrambling, and baking.

You may notice that the thick white surrounding the organic and pastured eggs and the yolk stands up, an indication that the eggs are fresh (compare to the watery white and flatter yolk of the Kampong egg).

Egg Whites Diet

Many people, including my family, are afraid of the cholesterol level in egg yolks. Many diet books also advise to eat egg whites only, but it is actually beneficial to eat the yolks as well as we need the vitamin A in the yolks to assimilate the protein in the whites. 

My family now enjoys pasture-raised eggs daily. Elin eats an egg a day. I eat one egg a day as well as I am still nursing. It's a nutrition powerhouse!

Do you know where else to buy pasture-raised eggs or Kampong eggs in Singapore?


  1. Hi which Cold storage store sells those Ecoeggs? I've been looking for them to no avail.

    1. Most cold storage and market place sell them. It doesn't specify "ecoeggs" on the carton, it says "12 quality barn eggs, new zealand barn eggs." Only when you open up the carton, you'll see that it is from Ecoeggs company. It may also be labeled as Barney's eggs. It retails about $15-$16/dozen. Sometimes they are out of stock, but most of the time they are there.

  2. Hi and good morning Victoria, it is fascinating to hear that you are searching for pastured eggs, they are sure at a greater quality compared to the commercial eggs, organic eggs, and free range eggs. Similar to pastured eggs, do you have any idea where can one buy pastured chickens in Singapore? Your reply to my question means a lot to me. Thank you! Have a good day!