Robin Anish | Should you be picky about your eggs?

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While at the supermarket recently, I was intently looking over the selection of eggs when I realized there was a woman waiting for me to pick out my eggs so she could grab a dozen and get on with her shopping. I apologized for holding her up, explaining that I'm a bit picky about the eggs I buy. Out of curiosity, she asked why.

Why? That's a good question.

There's a lot to consider when buying eggs. Large or extra large, brown or white, organic, farm-raised, certified humane, cage free, free range, pasture-raised, grain fed, vegetarian fed, etc. — it's a real conundrum!

So, here's my answer: Anything that says "certified humane" will get a thumbs up from me. Given the choice, I would chose eggs from pasture-raised hens and here's why.

Conventionally produced eggs come from chickens raised in cages with no room to move and are never exposed to the outdoors.

Regardless of what it might sound like, cage-free and free-range eggs are produced by chickens still raised under some restrictive conditions.

Cage-free chickens are uncaged in barns and have some limited room to roam but no outside access at all.

Free-range do have outdoor access but, still, room to roam is minimal.

Mother Nature's way, pasture-raised chickens are released to open pastures so they can roam in the grass and dirt, forage for worms and insects and bask in sunlight.

Grain fed and vegetarian fed diet? Yes, chickens eat grain and they eat worms, insects and other living things. They are not vegetarians by nature.

Clearly, pasture-raised is the best way to raise chickens for egg production and that's my preference.

The better the conditions in which the chickens are raised, the more expensive the eggs, but beyond that, is the extra expense worth it? I think the pasture-raised eggs fresh from a local farm taste better; so, for me, it's a yes.

Visit one of the many farms in our area that offer fresh eggs for sale, then go home and make the most delicious omelet you've ever had!

White or brown eggs differ only in that they come from different varieties of chickens, but white eggs are best for coloring eggs for the upcoming Easter holiday.

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Be sure to color plenty of eggs so there will be leftovers to try these delicious deviled eggs.

AVOCADO DEVILED EGGS

Ingredients:

8 hard boiled eggs

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 avocado, halved, seeded and peeled

1 tablespoons lemon juice

dash hot sauce

salt and pepper

Directions:

Peel the hard boiled eggs. Cut each in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks to a small mixing bowl, and set the whites aside.

Blend yolks and remaining ingredients with hand mixer or food processor until creamy adding hot sauce or cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon or decoratively pipe filling into egg white halves. Garnish with a bit of diced tomato, crumbled bacon or a sprinkle of cayenne.


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