Before talking about the healthiest way to cook eggs, let’s define some terms you see on egg cartons.
“Free-range” is now defined so broadly that the commercial egg industry can run industrial farm egg laying facilities and still call them ‘free-range’ eggs, despite the fact that the birds’ foraging conditions are far from what you’d call natural. (Mercola article March 19, 2012)
A true free-range egg is from a hen that roams freely outdoors foraging for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. Confined animal feeding operations (known as CAFO) can call their business free range if there is a door in the shed that houses the chickens that can be opened to the outside even if no hen is ever able to get to the door to go out. When shopping for eggs, look for the word pastured on the carton. That means something. Cornucopia.org has an organic egg scorecard, rating egg manufacturers based upon 22 criteria important for organic consumers. Your local farmers market is another great source for pastured eggs.
Once you’ve found that perfectly raised egg, you need to know how to cook it to derive your maximum health benefit. David Getoff (http://www.naturopath4you.com/) tells his clients to eat eggs raw to derive the most nutrition from them and to avoid any of the food sensitivity issues that some might have with eating eggs. It is critical that the eggs you buy are of the highest quality. A good test is to look at the color of the yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks. A dull, pale yellow yolk is certainly coming from a caged hen that never forages for their natural dietary requirements.
Salmonella risk only comes from chickens raised in the unsanitary conditions found in CAFOs. The risk of this from eggs produced on a small organic farms is almost nil. One study by the British government found that 23% of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella while just over 4% did in organic flocks and 6.5% in free-range flocks.
Food allergies to eggs may be that the eggs are cooked too much. Heating the egg protein changes its chemical shape and this could easily lead to food sensitivity. If the idea of a raw egg is something you just can’t stomach, a soft-boiled egg would be your next best choice. Scrambling eggs actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the yolk.
Many people still believe that eggs (an almost perfect food for humans due to its composition) should be avoided because of the cholesterol issue. This is faulty science that has long ago been debunked, but the myth lingers on! Your body requires cholesterol and studies show that those with very low cholesterol do not live as long as those with higher numbers. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol…it helps produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids and helps digest fat. Cholesterol helps in the formation of memories and is essential for healthy neurological function. Research published in the International Journal of Cardiology showed that, in healthy adults, eating eggs daily did not produce a negative effect on endothelial function, an aggregate measure of cardiac rick, nor an increase in cholesterol levels. (Mercola article March 19, 2012)
So find that perfect bwak-bwak organic farm and drink an egg for your health!