Cracking open an egg from the hard working hens in my garden is such a privilege – I try to give them the best life possible, and in return they provide me with the best quality eggs I could hope for.
I watch with satisfaction and a building appetite as the rich yolks and translucent albumen sizzle gently. Instinctively, I know them to be nutritious, and the knowledge of their provenance nourishes my soul. Now science has backed up this gut instinct. Today, Compassion in World Farming publishes a new report that brings together evidence from over 200 studies to show that keeping animals in better welfare conditions also improves the nutritional quality of our food.
Our study shows that eggs from higher welfare farms provide up to 170% more omega-3, the good fats that are so necessary for healthy brains and hearts. Free range and organic eggs also provide up to 100% more vitamin E & 280% more beta-carotene, both of which are important antioxidants, which are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Our study looked at extensive data comparing intensively farmed to higher welfare farming. It finds that this pattern of higher nutrition from higher welfare food repeats for different meats as well as for milk. Chicken meat too stands out in this research – animals raised in cramped conditions, bred to grow furiously fast and denied healthy green food tend to produce meat which is fattier and lower in omega-3. Pig-meat, beef and milk from higher welfare farming are all nutritionally superior to factory farmed products in terms of fat content and/or higher omega-3 and antioxidants.
So when you take home RSPCA Freedom Foods or organic products, they not only benefit the animals, they also benefit your health too. Now that’s worth knowing.