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Most Grocery Store Eggs Far More Likely to Be Infected

February 19, 2008 | 196,844 views
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eggs, raw eggs, omega-3 eggs, salmonella, bacteria, healthy eggsA recent survey by the British government has revealed that organic laying hen farms have a significantly lower level of Salmonella, a bacterium that is the most common cause of food poisoning worldwide.

More than 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just 4.4 percent in organic flocks and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks.

The highest prevalence of salmonella occurred in the largest holding size category (30,000 birds or more). They contained over four times the average level of salmonella found in flocks closer to the maximum size allowed under British Soil Association organic standards.

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

Donate Today!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It may sound incredible, but many conventional egg operations contain as many as half a million chickens. Each cage will hold four or five birds, each with room to roam an area no larger than a letter-sized sheet of paper.

Subsequently, these cage-raised chickens have to be given routine doses of antibiotics and other drugs, all of which have serious health implications for you the consumer.

The Multiple Benefits of Organic, Free-Range Eggs

Eggs are one of the healthiest foods in the world, and at their very best if you eat them raw. But the quality of your eggs is also important. 

Not only are true organic, free-range eggs FAR less likely to contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, but their nutrient content is also much higher than commercially raised eggs.

In November 2007, Mother Earth News published the results from their second egg-testing project, showing that compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contained:

  • 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

These dramatically differing nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free-range pastured hens, vs. commercially farmed hens.

What Kind of Eggs Should You Buy, and Where Can You Find Them?

First of all, I strongly encourage you to ignore the hype of “designer” eggs and AVOID ALL omega-3 eggs, as they are actually LESS healthy for you.

Typically, the animals are fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Additionally, omega-3 eggs are far more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs so they don’t stay fresh nearly as long.

If you have to purchase your eggs from a commercial grocery store, I would advise getting free-range organic. Ideally, if at all possible, it would be far preferable to purchase your eggs directly from your local farmer, because this way you can be certain of the quality. This may not be as hard as you think. In my experience, this is one of the easiest foods to find from local farmers.

To find free-range pasture farms you can try you local health food store or try: 

How to Check Your Eggs for Freshness and Quality 

Regardless of where you get your eggs from, there are several guidelines to ensure that you’re buying and consuming fresh, high-quality eggs:

    1. Always check the freshness of the egg right before you consume the yolk. If you are at all uncertain about the freshness of an egg, don't eat it. This is one of the best safeguards against salmonella infection.
    2. If there is a crack in the shell, don't eat it. You can easily check for this by immersing the egg in a pan of cool, salted water. If the egg emits a tiny stream of bubbles, don't consume it as the shell is porous/contains a hole.
    3. If you are getting your eggs fresh from a farmer it is best to not refrigerate them. This is the way most of the world stores their eggs; they do not refrigerate them. It’s important to remember that to be able to properly judge the freshness of an egg, its contents need to be at room temperature. Eggs that are stored in the fridge and opened immediately after taking them out will seem fresher than they actually are. At the very least, eggs should be kept outside the fridge for at least an hour prior to checking them for freshness or opening them.
    4. To check for freshness, first roll the egg across a flat surface. Only consume it if it rolls wobbly.
    5. Next, open the egg. If the egg white is watery instead of gel-like, don't consume the egg. If the egg yolk is not convex and firm, don't consume the egg. If the egg yolk easily bursts, don't consume the egg.
    6. After opening the egg you can put it up to your nose and smell it. If it smells foul you will certainly not want to consume it.

How to Eat Your Eggs for Maximum Health Benefits 

Eggs are often one of your most allergenic foods, but I believe this is because they are cooked. Heating the egg protein actually changes its chemical shape, and the distortion can easily lead to allergies. 

If you consume your eggs in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy virtually disappears. It is my belief that eating eggs raw helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful prevention elements of the most common cause of blindness: age-related macular degeneration. 

Fresh raw egg yolk actually tastes like vanilla. It can be eaten “Rocky style,” combined with avocado, or in a shake with whey protein powder, raw kefir, or a small amount of berries. However, egg protein is easily damaged on a molecular level, even by mixing/blending. If you choose not to eat your eggs raw, cooking them soft-boiled would be your next best option. 

Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to eat eggs as it actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk. If you have high cholesterol this may actually be a problem for you as the oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body.

If you’re in the habit of eating only the egg white, be aware that controlled diets of only raw egg whites can lead to severe biotin deficiency.


Because when you consume raw egg white alone, without the yolk, a component in them called avidin binds to the B-vitamin biotin, potentially creating a deficiency in your body.

To make sure you’re getting maximum benefit from the whole egg, follow these recommendations:

  • My primary recommendation, and the one I follow, is to separate the yolks from the whites so you can cook the whites and consume the yolks uncooked, or raw. The white can be cooked and eaten on its own. Although cooking the white reduces the nutrient quality and perhaps increases allergic sensitivities to some, the avidin in the egg white breaks down when cooked to 100 degrees Centigrade, therefore releasing the biotin back for your absorption and virtually eliminating any risk of biotin deficiency.
  • Don't eat raw egg whites every day. Allow your biotin reserves to rebuild and eat only raw yolks as an alternative breakfast.
  • Eat yolks one day then whites the next. Remember that the biotin loss occurs in your digestive tract when the two molecules bond together before it is even absorbed. Eating the yolk and the white separately will greatly reduce the problem.

[+] Sources and References

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