The adorable infographic above will help you cook eggs perfectly time and time again.
Image Credit: Lark and Larks
The adorable infographic above will help you cook eggs perfectly time and time again.
Image Credit: Lark and Larks
Apparently a lot of people care as much about the treatment of these helpless animals as I do. The problem is, while shoppers are spending more on specialty eggs, new research reveals they don’t really know what they are buying.
The infographic – in addition to the information below – is eye-opening. I hope you’ll pass the information around and let your concerns be heard loud and clear… with your money. It does, indeed, speak louder than words.
A national survey shows egg carton labels are confusing consumers. They want the benefits of pasture-raised eggs but are mistakenly buying eggs labeled free-range and cage-free instead because they don’t understand the differences in how the eggs are produced.
”The only way consumers can be confident they are getting genuine pasture-raised eggs is to look for the Certified Humane® label,” said Adele Douglass, executive director of Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC). Vital Farms is the only national brand of pasture-raised eggs that qualifies as Certified Humane®. Established by HFAC in 1998, the Certified Humane® label means a product meets a series of standards for more responsible farm animal practices.
Consumers are willing to pay extra for specialty eggs, but the new study shows they’re not getting what they think they’re paying for. They want pasture-raised eggs because those eggs come from hens that are raised on open pastures. But consumers are buying free-range and cage-free labeled eggs laid by hens that are often not much better off than caged birds.
May 2014 Egg Label Survey
When shopping for eggs, 50 percent of respondents said they look for the free-range label. Cage-free (48 percent) and organic (47 percent) were the second and third most popular labels. Fewer than 1 in 4 (24 percent) sought out a pasture-raised label. However, when asked to describe the terms free-range and cage-free, most respondents described pasture-raised eggs, imagining hens roaming and feeding on open pastures.
Vital Farms works with 52 family-owned farms across the United States and distributes pasture-raised eggs to grocery stores nationwide. The online survey commissioned by Vital Farms found that nearly two-thirds of consumers (62 percent) have purchased specialty eggs, and almost half of respondents (45 percent) reported buying more specialty eggs over the past three years.
Currently, there are no government standards for egg labels, and the term organic is the only label regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Comparing Pasture-Raised to Free-Range and Cage-Free
Pasture-Raised Hens (as defined by HFAC)
Pasture-raised hens are each given 108 square feet of outdoor space to roam around, and they have unlimited daytime access to sunlight, fresh air, and any foods that are naturally available on their pastures. Supplemental feed for the hens is antibiotic- and hormone-free.
Free-Range and Cage-Free Hens
The industry standard for free-range hens is that they have some access to the outdoors each day. This access could be limited to a hole that merely allows the hens to poke out their heads and see the sky. While its true that cage-free hens are not in cages, they can be packed in a barn with no access to the outdoors.
This is a taste issue, a nutrition issue, and an animal welfare issue, said Matt OHayer, Vital Farms co-founder and CEO. Not only do pasture-raised hens have ample room to roam, but they are moved onto fresh patches of grass every few days so the pastures have a chance to recover and remain healthy and productive. This outdoor lifestyle what we like to call salad and exercise’ makes for eggs that are richer, tastier, and nutritionally superior to any other eggs.
Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs are sold nationwide at Whole Foods Markets and other specialty grocery stores. The eggs are also sold at H-E-B and Kroger stores in Texas, and beginning in June 2014, at Vons grocery stores in Southern California. Vons is owned and operated by Safeway.
The nationwide poll was conducted on QuickTake.com in May 2014 using an online scientific sample of nearly 670 Americans, ages 21-54.
About Vital Farms
Vital Farms offers Certified Humane® pasture-raised eggs that set the standard for taste and nutrition while also promoting the welfare of happy, healthy hens. Started in Austin, Texas, in 2007 with 50 hens, Vital Farms now partners with 52 independent, family-owned farms in six states across the United States. It is the only national supplier of pasture-raised eggs in the country. Vital Farms eggs are sold in grocery stores nationwide under the brand names Vital Farms, Pasture Verde, Backyard Eggs, Alfresco Eggs, and Texas Chicken Ranch.
In 2012, Vital Farms was listed by Inc. magazine as the country’s fastest growing food company.
I’m an egg head. In fact I’m pretty sure I’m the biggest egg head in the world. Only, that is, if we take it to mean someone fanatically obsessed with eggs. I love the little buggers. A personal favorite breakfast is fried eggs, over easy. Sunny Side up is the only way to go! I used to fry my eggs in butter, simply because butter is another obsession (I just don’t want to be called a butter head) but lately, I’ve been using Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead. I love the flavor and don’t miss the extra calories that butter brings to the party. I just brush my skillet with a little evoo, heat it just right, and fry up one, two, seven, or twenty eggs.
Depends on how hungry I am.
Right at the end, I love to throw on some sliced grape or cherry tomatoes. My husband grows delicious little grape and tomatoes. This year he put out some yellow grape tomatoes and they’re outstanding. When I add the halved tomatoes to the pan with the egg(s), I drizzle a little extra evoo on them. Before plating, I hit everything with a little sea salt. If I’m in the mood for a walk to the herb bed, I’ll also snip some chives or parsley over the eggs.
Fresh. Delicious. Wholesome. What part of that isn’t eggs-ceptional?
By the way, do you know the difference between grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes? I remember when the only miniature tomatoes were cherry tomatoes. My girls always called them “baby tomatoes” and I still slip up and refer to them this way sometimes. Grape tomatoes are more elongated than cherry tomatoes (hence the name). They also taste a little sweeter. They have thicker skin than cherry tomatoes and are lower in water content. For obvious reasons, this makes them more ideal for salads as well as for fixing with eggs as I did above.
Both are a Heavenly taste of summer right off the vine.
4 eggs, boiled
2 TBS mayonnaise
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp honey mustard
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
Chop boiled eggs and combine with the chopped bell pepper and onion. Add mayo, sugar, and mustard and mix well. Serve on fresh bread or toast.
For a lot more egg love, check out Kitchen Daily’s 14 Egg Recipes for Breakfast.
Every cook must have a great omelet recipe. There’s just no getting around it. Before you approach the recipe, however, you need to make sure you have a perfect pan. My favorite pan for omelets is the Giada De Laurentiis for Target 12″ Stainless Steel Nonstick Sauté Pan. You can find Giada’s outstanding line of pans, dishes, and more at Target or Target.com. I’ve used countless pans over the years for omelets and omelet recipes – this pan is, simply put, the best.
Go to Target. Buy the pan. Be an Omelet rock star.
I recently bought a bag of Kraft 3 Cheese Crumbles for poking cheese into burgers before my husband grilled them (along with garlic, but that’s another post!). I had some cheese crumbles left over the next morning, which was surprising given the way I was noshing on them straight from the bag.
I decided to use them in a couple of omelets and the results were cheesy and spectacular. I strongly recommend using this 3 cheese blend in your next omelet recipe. Below is my favorite.
2 teaspoons butter (it’s better than margarine for egg recipes)
2 large eggs, beaten (cage-free eggs – and be sure they’re safe)
Heat butter in a great omelet pan or skillet on medium-high heat. You want the butter to melt but you don’t want it brown. As the butter melts, tilt the pan to coat the bottom.
Quickly pour the beaten eggs into the pan. As you slide the pan rapidly back and forth over the heat, stir the eggs with a fork to ensure that they spread across the bottom of the pan and begin to thicken.
Let stand over heat a few seconds to lightly brown the bottom of the omelet. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Remember, eggs continue to cook after they’re removed from the heat and an omelet will continue to cook after it’s folded.
Sprinkle some of the cheese crumbles (about 1/4 cup) onto one side of the omelet’s surface.
Tilt the pan and run a fork or narrow spatula under edge of omelet and move the pan in a jerking motion to loosen the eggs from the bottom of the pan. Fold the omelet over the melting cheese… what a beautiful sight… and remove to a warm plate.
Needless to say, you can also experiment with a variety of other omelet fillings:
There are endless options and combinations – but every now and then a gloriously plain and simple cheese omelet is where it’s at. Especially if you get jazzy with the cheese. Give Kraft’s 3 Cheese Blend Crumbles a shot – you’ll love them.
I subscribe to quite a few Health and Fitness newsletters. One of my favorite is Doctor’s House Call by Al Sears, M.D. – In fact, if I had to whittle down my e-mail newsletters and only keep one, his would probably be the one.
This morning’s edition was about breakfast food and the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. His suggestions seemed a little unusual at first, but the more I think about them… the more I climb right up on board!
At the time of writing this particular newsletter, Dr. Sears was eating breakfast: Salmon. I can’t say that I have ever eaten fish for breakfast!
From this issue of Doctor’s House Call:
When the low-fat craze started decades ago, many turned their backs on the breakfast foods enjoyed fifty or sixty years ago. In their place, bread and cereal products took center stage.
Today, millions of people will reach for doughnuts, muffins, bagels, croissants and hundreds of different cereals during their morning routine. The big food makers even claim their cereals are “heart healthy.” That’s good for a laugh.
High-carb breakfasts do the opposite of what a good breakfast is supposed to do.
Instead of feeling alert and energetic, today’s breakfasts make you fat, slow and tired.
Bagels and doughnuts are fun in the morning, but after the initial buzz, your blood sugar will sharply drop. This will leave you feeling tired and sluggish. You’ll also have trouble concentrating. And if you’re busy at the office, that’s bad news.
Don’t forget that spikes in blood sugar trigger a flood of insulin. Do that all the time and you’re on the fast track to obesity and chronic disease.
For breakfast, protein is king. It’s my favorite meal of the day. I try and change it up to keep it interesting, but meat or fish is always the centerpiece of my morning meal.
As strange as it may sound to you, fish is a great breakfast food. The Japanese eat fish and vegetables first thing every morning. They have for over fifteen-hundred years.
To go with the meat or fish, I scramble some eggs and add a leafy vegetable – usually spinach. That way, I get a well-rounded meal; complete with lots of protein, essential nutrients and antioxidants.
All of a sudden, baked fish and scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes sound delicious. I’m sure I’d toss in a little of my beloved Sargento cheese and chives. Shrimp would also be fantastic in an omelet or scrambled eggs.
Now the good doctor has me craving fish and eggs. I hope my husband’s ready for some fishy breakfasts!
1 pound breakfast sausage
1 cup chopped button mushrooms, stems removed and cleaned
1 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup seeded and diced roma tomatoes
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
Extra chopped roma tomatoes for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large heavy nonstick skillet, over medium heat, cook sausage, breaking sausage into small pieces. Cook until no
longer pink. Remove from skillet and drain sausage on clean paper towels.
3. Drain all but 1/2 to1 teaspoon pan drippings from skillet. Sauté mushrooms and onions in skillet just until vegetables are soft. Allow to cool slightly.
4. Spray an 11×7-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer sausage, mushrooms, onions, tomato and basil into dish.
5. In a mixing bowl, whip together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture but do not stir together.
6. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven for 22-25 minutes or until eggs are set. Cool for 5 minutes.
7. Sprinkle additional chopped tomatoes on top.
Yield: 8 Servings
For more information and to download free brochures and more recipes, visit www.hot-dog.org.
In case you were wondering, someone has indeed come up with a list of the 13 Most Powerful Super Foods.
I’m over the moon because not only did my good friend the Avocado make it, the following regulars in our kitchen made the cut as well: mushrooms, garlic, eggs, almonds, blueberries, and fish. Click through to see the WHAT’s and WHY’s of what we should be eating more of.
The T-Fal Cookware Set (Amazon link), above, is available in several gorgeous colors.
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