You better believe that my parents didn’t raise a brand-name baby. Okay, when it comes to certain things I might splurge on an impressive brand name because I am a victim of good marketing and making these purchases makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, but when it comes to food, I am #Store #Brand #All #Day. If I can save a couple cents here and there on a can of beans that’s inevitably going to taste the same to me or a stick of butter that I’m planning on beating into a delicious batch of cookies, why wouldn’t I make this obvious price choice?
That said, there is one grocery item at the supermarket that I recently starting spending a couple extra dollars on (not reaching for the cheapest option is still something I’m getting used to), but I feel confident that the product is seriously worth every penny. This grocery staple, of course, is a carton of quality, pasture-raised eggs. My favorite are these Vital Farms eggs, which are available at Target and Whole Foods, but if you want to try a different organic, pasture-raised option of your own choosing, that works too... If you’re not sure where to begin (understandable), try checking brands you’re familiar with against The Cornucopia Institute’s organic egg scorecard. While it’s true that not all “organic” eggs are equal, these rankings can help you pick an egg farm you feel good about.
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Now, let me preface this new chapter of my life by saying that I probably consume more eggs than anyone you know, so it’s amazing that it has taken me all these years to finally see the light and understand what a egg is supposed to taste like. I used to grab the styrofoam containers that were no more than $3 for a dozen and a half, while scoffing at the over-the-top, brown eggs right beside them. Who even has the time or energy for such a luxury? Those days are long gone.
Now, the thought of returning to my old egg-purchasing habits is unfathomable. These pasture-raised eggs, while they will cost you close to $7, taste like a completely new product compared to what I was used to. The flavor of the yolk is exponentially richer and deeper (is “yolkier” a word? It should be), and the whites are so clear and hold their shape remarkably well. When you crack one of these eggs into a pan, the white doesn’t run all over the place as they might with a generic egg. Instead, the white forms an even, coherent circle that is practically begging to be fried in a heavy glug of olive oil. My favorite quality of these ~upscale eggs~ is the vibrant color of the yolk. Where the eggs that I was previously buying were a tame shade of off-yellow, the yolks in these pasture-raised eggs are highly saturated, almost flirting with a warm hint of orange. This upgrade is particularly advantageous if you take immense joy in Instagramming a runny egg yolk, which just so happens to my utmost passion.
Aside from these obviously selfish reasons to treat yourself to a higher quality egg, you can also rest assured that you’re doing right by the environment and the hens that are laying these eggs by purchasing this higher quality option. Free of pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers, the Certified-Humane pastures are a safe and healthy place for the hens to roam freely. Vital Farms offers various egg varieties that boast different certifications based on the feed that is given to the hens, but I can assure you that they’re all going to be far superior to the classic white eggs that cost half the price. I am not a farmer, and I have no idea what it means to care for a pasture, but that all sounds pretty dandy to me.
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If you’re like me and would prefer to hold on to as many of your hard-earned dollars as possible, don’t fret—I hear you; and again, I can strongly relate. That said, if you value in the slightest the sourcing, flavor, and nutrition of the eggs that you’re cooking with everyday, I strongly urge you to bite that very miniscule bullet, and dole out a couple extra bucks for your next dozen. Seriously, these bad boys are no yolk.