When you’re shopping for groceries, you’ve got no time for browned apples and weirdly squishy peppers. But when it comes to figuring out how fresh eggs are, the most you can do in-store is open up a few cartons and double check that half the lot isn’t cracked.
Considering that an egg’s freshness can dictate its quality, taste, and longevity, though (love you, gorgeously golden yolks), there’s got to be a better way. Right?
Actually, there is. Enter Eggland’s Best, which uses specific feeding and processing practices and performs over 30,000 tests annually to ensure freshness. True life: The result of all that extra attention to detail means EB’s eggs have boosted nutritional value compared to ordinary eggs, a fact backed up by the USDA label on the carton.
“The improved oxidative stability in the eggs protects taste, nutrients, and yolk color,” says Bart Slaugh, PhD, director of quality assurance for Eggland’s Best. “Additionally, nutrient levels are maintained more consistently during storage. All of these indicators lead to plumper yolks, less watery whites, richer yolk colors, and better tasting eggs.” How to improve your next Instagram food photo: Add an egg on it.
You try to nourish your body with real, whole ingredients—and EB hens have the same prerogative (okay, their farmers do, but how cute is it to imagine a hen whipping up a veggie-filled dinner?).
“By supplying our hens a wholesome all-vegetarian diet with no animal byproducts or recycled foods, our hens can produce high quality eggs with a clean, fresh taste,” says Dr. Slaugh. “By fortifying our feed with an ideal profile of shell building nutrients, the hen will place a strong shell and shell membranes around her egg.” Translation: The natural breakdown process of the eggs’ contents (due to evaporation) is slowed down, helping to maintain mega freshness.
Consider this the next best thing to keeping hens in your own backyard (or, ahem, on your fire escape). “With most of our eggs being packaged within 24 hours of lay, and the remainder within 7 days, our eggs make it to the market sooner than ordinary eggs,” Dr. Slaugh says.
And the practice is legit. Eggland’s Best adheres to strict operating standards even from the farm level, surpassing FDA regulations. “The Eggland’s Best operating standards are geared toward food safety and hen health, to produce the safest, freshest, most nutritious egg possible,” says Dr. Slaugh.
Here’s the scoop on how flavor is impacted by freshness: “The addition of natural antioxidants in the feed, including selenium, lutein, and vitamin E, help to stabilize and protect the fats in the feed, and in return, the egg yolks, so our eggs will maintain their taste throughout their shelf life,” Dr. Slaugh explains.
Through this process, you’re also gaining nutritional value unmatched by ordinary eggs you see at the market. EB eggs contain only 60 calories, 10 times more vitamin E, six times more vitamin D, two times more B12, and over two times more omega-3 fatty acids than normal eggs (among the jackpot of nutritional slam dunks), according to Dr. Slaugh. Omelettes for every meal—who’s with us?
Sponsored by Eggland’s Best
Top photo: Getty Images/GMVozd