Uncontroversial take: eggs are great. Even vegans will admit that one of the foods they miss the most is eggs: tasty, versatile, good for you, relatively inexpensive… Eggs are a wonder-food.
But there’s eggs and then there’s eggs. The debate about whether free-range eggs objectively taste better than barn-laid or cage eggs is far from settled, but it’s undeniable that quality free-range eggs not only physically look much nicer, but are ethically a far superior choice.
Joe Rogan – UFC commentator, podcast host, comedian and blokey bon vivant – agrees.
Rogan recently shared a photo of four perfect-looking eggs frying in a cast-iron skillet, opining about the virtues of free-range eggs. But some commenters were quick to point out that Rogan’s eggy advice might not be as revelatory as he seems to think.
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“All eggs are not created equal,” Rogan shared.
“I don’t have chickens anymore because they were all slaughtered by those crafty coyotes, but when I buy organic free-range chicken eggs, I know those dark orange ones are what I’m looking for.”
In other words: buying free-range doesn’t guarantee you top quality yolks – something that may come as a shock to those that regularly shell out for top-end eggs.
Of course, you’re more likely to score those dark orange bad boys by buying organic free-range eggs. But Rogan’s advice just goes to show, even then, you should be looking to see which brands come through with the ripe and ready colour, and taking note of which are duller and closer in appearance to their cage egg compatriots.
Either way, we have to admit, just looking at those sunny side up eggs sizzling in Rogan’s pan has got our mouths watering (not just us, either: two-time undisputed UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones commented “now you’re just making me hungry”).
Others pointed out that Rogan’s eggs aren’t as spectacular as he would lead us to believe.
“All eggs in NZ look like that… sort it out USA,” famous Kiwi tattoo artist Steve Butcher pointedly commented. It’s not just New Zealand, either: comedian and regular guest on Rogan’s podcast Ari Shaffir related that “all [eggs] in Scotland are dark orange like that”.
“In my experience, eggs from the Amish at farmer’s markets here and routine markets in South America always were orange like this. Factory farms produce not merely animal horror, but less nutrient-dense foods,” MMA journalist Luke Thomas added.
There’s evidence to suggest that because free-range hens are allowed to roam, and can eat greens and insects, they produce eggs with a higher nutritional content compared to battery hens. Their diet also affects the colour of their egg yolks; the orange pigmentation coming from the variety of food they eat.
It shows how Americans are potentially missing out when it comes to egg quality. Only 15% of all eggs in the US come from free-range layers, compared to 47% in Australia and 51% in the UK. Free-range eggs are cheaper and easier to find in Australia (and other countries) than they are in America – even big brands like Arnott’s biscuits, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and even McDonalds in Australia have ditched cage eggs.
So while Rogan’s right to support eating free-range eggs, they’re not such of a special choice compared to what he must think they are, particularly for his followers outside of the US.
Food for thought.