What makes Vital Farms Eggs special?
95% of the world’s laying hens live in cages. Most of them spend their entire lives like this, often sharing their small space allotment with up to 8 other birds. They are not allowed to see sunlight or even to stretch their wings. Their cramped and dismal existence is not exactly the picture of health, and it carries over into the quality the eggs that they lay.
Vital Farms’ pasture-raised hens are the antithesis of the caged hen. Flocks live outside on organic green pasture with the choice to come and go from their coop as they wish. The pasturing process is designed to promote the lifestyle that chickens should lead naturally: roaming, foraging and living outdoors are natural, instinctive behaviors for chickens. In short, our chickens get to act like chickens!
Our girls are the happiest hens in the world. Everything that they eat is 100% certified organic, their ability to roam and forage provides regular exercise, and the process of pasture rotation creates the most sustainable approach to livestock farming. We believe that the health of our pasture is directly reflected in our happy hens and in the quality of their delicious, highly nutritious eggs.
The difference is overwhelming in the look, taste, and even in the way an egg cooks. Our yolks are typically darker and richer in color, though this can vary with the diet and lifestyle of each individual bird. (They do have free choice, after all). The grasses they eat are high in beta-carotene and other vitamins, which is apparent in the rich flavor of the egg. The egg white is much thicker, and our raw eggs are much more composed when broken into a pan.
The grasses consumed by pastured birds contain many vitamins that simply aren’t supplied by corn-based feed. As a result, the eggs these hens produce are also superior in nutritional content. These nutrients are enhanced by the outdoor lifestyle our ladies enjoy, which is cleaner, less stressful, less competitive, and full of Vitamin D, courtesy of the sun.
A study conducted by Mother Earth News in 2007 compiled the nutrition contents of pasture-raised eggs from farms across the country. In comparison to a conventional egg, pasture raised eggs contain:
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more Vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more Vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
An update to this study in 2008 demonstrated that Vitamin D translates from the sun to the hens to the eggs. Pastured eggs were shown to have 4 to 6 times more Vitamin D than conventional eggs. Other tests have also shown that pasturing yields higher levels of folic acid. In fact, tests on our eggs even showed the presence of Vitamin C, which is a first for eggs! We can’t explain this, but it likely has something to do with the birds’ varied diet from a multitude of native grasses.
The benefits of eating meat, poultry and the products that come from grass-fed animals cannot be overstated. Cows, pigs and chickens were all meant to graze. If we are what we eat, we are what these animals eat.