Are all eggs created equal? Real Life Comparison of Store Eggs vs. Pastured Eggs


image courtesy of chickenbreedslist.com

It seems as if there has been lots of talk about whether pastured eggs are really that much better than conventional “factory” eggs. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what do you think of this?

This picture was not photo-shopped. The eggs really are that much different. The egg on the left is a big box store brand and the egg on the right is from a local farmer who raises their chickens on pasture. Wow! Aren’t you shocked to see just how much different the eggs are? My farmer was on vacation so I had to get conventional eggs and had forgotten just how much difference it makes to get pastured eggs.

The yolk of the pastured egg is so much brighter and the taste is far superior. Still not convinced?

Why Pastured Eggs are Better

A recent study from Mother Earth News has revealed that eggs from pasture raised chickens are actually quite different than eggs from your standard factory farm chickens. The pasture raised eggs contain:

  • 4-6 times as much vitamin D as standard supermarket eggs.
  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 7 times more beta carotene
  • 3 times for vitamin E

And, in case you’ve not used pastured eggs before you will notice a HUGE difference in the egg shells. Imagine that the eggshell of store egg is like a sheet of printer paper. Well, then the eggshell of a pasture raised chicken would be more like the cardboard of a cereal box. They are that different!

It is our dream to get a large piece of land and have our own pastured chickens and probably build a chicken tractor (amongst many other things!). In the meantime, I’ve been reading up on raising chickens at home in Keeping Chickens with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock

 so that when the time comes I will be ready :)

Do you have your own chickens or buy locally pastured eggs? How much do you pay per dozen?

sources: Mother Earth News,


39 comments to Are all eggs created equal? Real Life Comparison of Store Eggs vs. Pastured Eggs

  • I quit eating store bought eggs years ago. I will never eat them again. I have been paying $1.50 to $2.00 a doz. Depending on the time of yr. I live in [Ann Arbor area]

  • Great comparison, Katie. Amazing to see them side-by-side. My CSA was selling pasture eggs a few years back from their chickens, for $7/dozen!! Needless to say, I’m sticking for now with the organics, free range variety in my local natural grocery store. I wonder how they compare side-by-side with a traditional egg?

    • Wow, Kim! $7 is a lot. I pay $4 and thought that was really high! I have never compared the pastured eggs to the organic eggs from the store. That would be interesting…

  • judi

    I raise my own chickens and sell some eggs….there absolutely is no comparison. The yolk is almost orange….and the taste is so much better than those sickly, pale things from the store! Chickens are so easy to raise….and so calming to look out and see them picking all the bugs out of the backyard! No pest control….except for them!

  • So agreed. I always look forward to this one goat farm that makes the most amazing eggs – whatever they feed those hens, the orange yolks. Hmm!

  • Anita B.

    Hi France! We buy amazing pastured eggs raised locally for $7.00/doz. I would not eat conventional eggs any more knowing what we know now.

  • I’ve had pastured eggs even darker than that! They are $4 here in North GA. The organic ones from the store are a little darker than conventional, but not nearly as good as the pastured. And here our organic ones are $2.50-4.00 anyway.

    • Wow! You must have a great source for eggs! It seems we just have to weigh everything and do the best we can with what we’ve got when it comes to food. Thanks for stopping in Mishelle and I hope you have a blessed day!

  • I love pastured eggs! Food is really expensive here in the Pacific NW, and while my local grocery store *does* carry pastured eggs, they cost $9 a dozen. Yikes! I try to get them at the food co-op in the next town when I can–they’re a bit cheaper there.

  • I have chickens and only eat fresh eggs now. I shared your post on FB! Yay!

    I hope you’ll come over and see my post about my chickens and my coops. http://mydestinysharinghope.com/a-hop-all-about-the-girls

    Thanks for this post!


  • Eggcellent post! That article from Mother Earth News really made a difference for us. We’d already been raising chickens but didn’t take the health benefits seriously. What an eye-opener! Would you consider sharing this post on my blog’s homestead link up? It be a great addition! http://littlefarminthebigcity.blogspot.com/2012/04/homestead-helps-wednesday-homestead-hop_17.html

  • I didn’t about the nutrient numbers with farm fresh eggs vs store eggs but having hens I know they just taste better. Yes, there is a major difference in appearance, taste and now I know nutrients. I love fresh farm eggs.

  • I had to look up “chicken tracker.” Had to look that up. Very cool!


  • I love the picture comparison!

  • Bebe

    Our chickens free range as soon as there is snow-free ground to do so in the spring and stay that way until it gets cold enough to start freezing their combs in the fall. Then they are cooped up for the winter… boy do they get cabin fever by the end of winter! The egg yolks do lighten during the winter but as soon as there is anything green to eat popping up out of the soil the eggs start turning brighter. In the summer they can get to be such a bright shade of orange it’s shocking!

  • Bebe

    I should note that we feed our girls a feed made from local salmon and barley, no soy! I am sure that with commercial feed their eggs would look similar to those from confinement operations, pale and lacking. Just goes to show how important high quality nutrition and sunlight is!

  • We’ve had chickens for about a year now and there is no comparison. During the Winter (when the birds slow down laying) we might have to buy a dozen eggs and we do so at the local co-op. They are $7 a dozen (Tacoma, WA). There is a difference between eggs labeled free range and eggs labeled pastured. According to the USDA free range says birds must have access to the outside (usually a single small door) and pastured indicates birds that truly roam around the outside. There is only a very slight difference between a “free range” egg and a conventionally grown egg.

    The little tidbit that gets people into owning their own hens is that a freshly laid egg can remain unrefrigerated for up to 9 days. The average age of an egg you purchase in the grocery store is 30 days old. And who knows how far it traveled to get to the store.

    Thanks for listing the nutrition info. I teach a Chickens 101 class for the garden center I work for. We sell chickens and chicken supplies and I had someone ask me what the nutritional difference was between the two eggs and I couldn’t recall it off the top of my head.

    • My pleasure, Lisa :) Can’t wait til we can get some chickens!

    • Lory

      Can you say where you teach this chicken 101 class? I’m curious about raising chickens and pigs…Side note: do you know any restaurants near you that cook with pasture eggs?

      • Lory,
        I teach the class at EnviroHouse in Fircrest, WA. Generally classes are once a month February through June. They’ll be listed on the EnviroHouse classes page and once we have the schedule we’ll put them on our shop’s website (GardenSphere). Right now the 2013 classes aren’t listed. However, if you stop in the store any of us will be happy to walk you through what you need to know about keeping a backyard flock.

        I don’t know of any restaurants that use pastured eggs. It is possible that Babblin’ Bab’s Bistro does. I know they purchase locally raised duck eggs, but I’m not sure about chicken eggs.

  • Great post. I pay $3.50 a dozen. I am so jealous of my parent who get them for under $2!! This would be awesome post for a new blog party I am starting this Monday at Simply Made Home called “Make Your Move Monday.” I would love to see posts like this from you that give such great information and would encourage others to live both naturally and simply.

  • Lina

    I pay $2.50 a dozen. I’m living in DFW, TX

  • I have a girlfriend who won’t eat eggs at a restaurant because the pale sickly ones taste so bad. I’m with her. Luckily we have restaurants here to provide us with free range organic farm eggs. Thanks for coming by and sharing it at Whole Food Wednesdays.

  • We’ve been raising our own laying hens for so long, I’d completely forgotten just how much difference there is between the two. This past winter though, our chickens stopped laying briefly after moving them to a new home so we bought a dozen from the store. Wow! what a difference!. The only way I can describe the store-bought eggs is, GROSS!

    • Can’t wait until we can get some chickens. We went out to eat the other day and I got eggs there and was surprised at how awful they tasted! Fresh, pastured eggs are definitely SO much better :)

  • Brittney

    you don’t need alot of space to have your own pastured chickens! mine wander my backyard which is probably 30×50. i doubt any grubs remain! the only trick is that you need to lock up your garden veggies from them. they do leave my perennials alone.

  • [...] === News – 4 new results for [keeping chickens] === Lorraine Johnson breaks the law to keep chickens…kept chickens in her Toronto west-end backyard. As Toronto considers ending its current ban … [...]

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