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The miracle of American supermarket eggs


Fat Guy
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We have four aging hens that aren't young enough to lay enough eggs for two people. We usually get one or two eggs a day. We give them scratch (mixed grain), table scraps but no meat, and let them run around outside unless it's too stormy.

Yesterday I stirred up two of these eggs for a recipe. The yolks are bright orange and very much thicker than the ones we get from the grocery store. When scrambled they do smell "eggier" although I can't taste a great deal of taste difference.

The quality of the eggs is better since we stopped feeding them laying pellets. While eating the laying pellets the whites were thin and watery and almost jelly when boiled. Stopped feeding them the pellets and the whites are like they should be.

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Your logic is unassailable. I should always travel with eggs.

please do this.

i have long held you in high esteem, fat guy. knowing that you traveled across the atlantic with raw eggs has lifted it to exalted heights. thinking that you might adopt an "eggs always" travel policy delights me beyond all reason. do it.

I'd like to chime in and add that I have had the same thought, just couldn't express it as well as Cherie.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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We have four aging hens that aren't young enough to lay enough eggs for two people. We usually get one or two eggs a day. We give them scratch (mixed grain), table scraps but no meat, and let them run around outside unless it's too stormy.

Yesterday I stirred up two of these eggs for a recipe. The yolks are bright orange and very much thicker than the ones we get from the grocery store. When scrambled they do smell "eggier" although I can't taste a great deal of taste difference.

The quality of the eggs is better since we stopped feeding them laying pellets. While eating the laying pellets the whites were thin and watery and almost jelly when boiled. Stopped feeding them the pellets and the whites are like they should be.

Sounds like this pretty much squares with my experience, then? It's the letting the hens run around outside that makes the eggs delicious?

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My egg man buys a premium food from Modesto Milling as he shows his poultry and their foods have been developed to help counteract stress.

He also feeds some sprouted grain food in the winter and the hottest part of the summer when there is less plant growth because the protein in the grains increases with sprouting and he feels this gives good color and flavor to the eggs.

He says the sprouting technique is very low tech - in a shed, screen doors nailed to saw horses, spread with a mixture of whole grains, wheat, oats, triticale, millet &etc., then sprayed with warm water a couple of times a day.

The grains sprout within 24 to 36 hours and are fed immediately.

The screen doors that hold the grain are covered with loose screen cloth, clamped on, to keep rodents and wild birds away (helped by his barn cats that are very good hunters.)

He tells me that he bakes his own bread with sprouted grains and what is good enough for him is good enough for his birds!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I am not an egg lover, I keep supermarket eggs on hand, mostly for baking. I'd never think of an egg sandwich as dinner,,,,,though with that description I might change my mind.

I do think that bargain wise supermarket eggs are great.

BUT.....when we traveled in Turkey a few years ago we were given egg dishes several times and I have to say that if I could eat those eggs I would eat them a lot more. More EGGY for sure.

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Chicken feed often contains supplements that are high in carotenoids - marigold flowers, or algae (such as Haematococcus Pluvialis, high in astaxanthin) - which add color, and possibly flavor, to eggs and meat. They also make the food healthier - "dietary astaxanthin decreases a DNA damage biomarker and acute phase protein, and enhances immune response in young healthy females." http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/7/1/18

If you consume a mirepoix which has carrots, the additional carotenoids in strongly colored eggs, chicken, or salmon fed supplements probably isn't significant, but it won't hurt, and the animals will be healthier, and that may be important. Chickens fed algae have been shown to have reduced caecal colonization of Clostridium perfringens - a pathogen responsible for ~ 80,000 cases of food born illness each year according to the FDA.

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  • 2 months later...

Your logic is unassailable. I should always travel with eggs.

please do this.

I'd like to chime in...

I'm bringing half a dozen eggs home from North Carolina tomorrow. I'll try to find some New York supermarket eggs with the same Julian date and do some kind of comparison.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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interesting.

I find some of the eggs in the supermarket quite good, one brand (eggland's best or something?) I find quite tasty, but the come in some styrofoam or plastic box which I don't agree with.

Now I buy them at the farmers market, one place seems to run this more as a "oh, we have some eggs here, let's sell them too" kind of thing, as it's a huge vegetable stand. They do show a picture of the chicken of course. Expensive at $6 for 12, but not really worth worrying about at $0.50 each either. And me and my wife find them to be a lot better tasting than any other eggs we've bought over the years. (for her it was a sort of blind tasting, she didn't know where they came from). Maybe it's because those chicken really just run around and pick and eat what ever, and aren't fed or kept for egg production. More like some backyard chickens. I don't know, but they have a much "eggier" taste to them. Since we really don't eat that many eggs, I don't care about the price, but the taste has me coming back.

It would be interesting to do a blind test, but I'm not gonna fill the fridge with 6 egg cartons :-)

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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It would be interesting to do a blind test, but I'm not gonna fill the fridge with 6 egg cartons :-)

I may do this when I get back to RI this summer. I am obsessed with eggs: the perfect food. In RI there is a coop called Little Rhody eggs that is commercial/supermarket but local, plus many, many offerings from egg farms, which I will compare. And report back, of course. I think it would be hard to be completely blind, though; while most are brown, some are green and blue. I guess I could limit the test to brown...

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Add me to the list of people who think U.S. supermarket eggs are mediocre... my baromter is Mexican eggs which have a vivid yellow yolk, rich texture, and superior flavor. Its almost sad to compare the quality of Nopales con Huevo (Cactus scrambled with Eggs) that is standard in Mexico vs. what you can typically get in the U.S. its almost like U.S. supermarket eggs are really Egg Beaters somehow injected into a shell.

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Can't say as I would call supermarket eggs a miracle. Cheap, yes, miracle, no. There's nothing miraculous about industrial food.

These days I mostly get my eggs from a farm in Bedford, I think they taste better than supermarket eggs, but the difference is not huge. But the price difference isn't either. Most of my eggs end up in baked goods anyway. But I do rather prefer to support local producers as much as I can afford to.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I've had supermarket french eggs from Monoprix and I find myself using a heck of a lot of butter and salt to get some type of flavor from the eggs. I remember american supermarket eggs being more substantial. I going to do a blind tasting this week to see if there's a difference between Monoprix eggs and the more up-scale variety.

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