What you see is not always what you get and this rings true for egg labelling.
Health benefits of eggs
Eggs are possibly one of the most nutritious foods. High in protein, iron, vitamin B12, vitamins and minerals, eggs are also a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. It also helps improve you cholesterol profile, as well as reduce your risk of getting any types of heart disease. Because it also contains Vitamin B2 or riboflavin, it is a good source of energy that can power you the whole day.
Eggs, aside from containing Vitamin B2 and B12, it is also rich in Vitamin B5, which are all necessary for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. It also helps ensure proper function of the nervous system. Eggs are also a great brain food. A recent study also showed that eating eggs regularly can help lesses stress and anxiety, especially for people with amino acid deficiency.
Egg are also a good source of Vitamin D, which is very important for the health and strength of bones and teeth.
And for people trying to lose weight, egg is a great part of your diet. Because it contains good quality protein, eating eggs will make you feel fuller and allows you to eat less. And because of this satiating power, eggs have also been linked to fat loss.
However, not all eggs are created equally. The labels on the carton don't necessarily give us a clue. Labels like "free range" or "cage free" allow you, the consumer, to believe the eggs come from a farm where chickens live happy and healthy lives, doing just what chickens do. Unfortunately this is not always the case and if you want a healthy egg that comes from a chicken living a happy and healthy life, it's time to begin scrutinizing the labels on egg cartons.
Egg labelling standards in Australia
Consumers are showing an increasing ethical concern and awareness for the lives of the animals that are bred and raised for food. These concerns are playing an important role in purchasing decisions. When it comes to free range, unfortunately, there is no legal definition in Australia, other than in Queensland, that clearly defines what free range actually means. "While 1,500 birds per hectare is the recommended maximum, this is not enforceable and large scale producers are keeping their hens at much higher densities to cash in on the growing market for free range products," this according to Make it Possible, which is an initiative of Animals Australia, Australia's most dynamic animal protection organisation.
Queensland is the only state that has legislated a maximum of 1,500 hens per hectare. There is therefore a big difference in standards between each egg farm. The logos below indicate that the eggs have come from hens raised on a legitimate free range farm.
When it comes to Certified Organic the indication here is that the eggs come from hens that are raised on farms that comply with and exceed the standards that have been set. However, to truly rely on the labelling without the certification logo, does not guarantee that the egg farm is legally certified organic.