It's a fair question. Regular eggs certainly are pretty cheap.
However, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
There are several reasons to eat pastured eggs:
- Pastured, organic eggs are nutritionally superior to the cheap eggs you get in the stores. Want to know more? Check out the study Mother Earth News commissioned.
- Commercial eggs in Ontario are produced indoors. Even organic or free-run chickens never get to go outside. I got this information directly from Grey Ridge Eggs, the major producer in our area. Why is this a problem? Well, chickens that go outside get to produce more vitamin D, which they produce by being outside in the sun. They are also creatures that are built for foraging. They like to peck at the dirt with their beaks. Indoor chickens can't do this.
- Currently the only pastured eggs are available from farmers in the county. However, they are not allowed to sell their ungraded eggs beyond the farm gate. So obtaining farm eggs involves a lot of driving, which I prefer to avoid. Some people don't drive at all. This means they don't even have the option of buying pastured eggs. That sounds unfair to me.
- Food security is another concern. For one thing, all of our commercial eggs in the stores come from outside Essex County. What would we do if our supply channels were ever broken? What if a major outbreak of a disease shut down commercial egg production?
- Animal rights organizations have some serious concerns with factory farmed foods. If you're interested in learning more, there is a book (available at the library) titled Prisoned Chicken, Poisoned Eggs: A look at the modern poultry industry, with lots of food for thought. Or you might want to watch the movie, Food, Inc. See the trailer below, and then, if you'd like to watch more, you can borrow it from Windsor Public Library.