Organic Eggs

Eggs are very much in vogue. After two or more decades where people shunned them for fear of aorgeggcholesterol and fat content, they are now the darling of high protein diets that have been all the rage recently. Eggs are an essential and versatile ingredient… critical for many baked goods, great for breakfast in all their forms (boiled, poached, fried, scrambled), and a key ingredient to so many delicious and nutritious dishes. Ever since I moved back to Manila, I have noticed a funny watery quality to the eggs that are sold in the groceries here and their yolks are this “death warmed over” yellow. Their whites aren’t clear when uncooked, either. Not too appetizing for a being that was never born or fertilized for that matter. Not to mention the puny size of a local “medium” egg despite what must be a global grading system (or so you would think). It has taken time but I have located vendors that have all sizes on offer from “peewee” to extra-large and even double-yolked varieties but the watery nature of the egg white continued to disturb me.

An increasing number of folks claim to have “organically” grown eggs. Last weekend I bought a dozen organic eggs on the recommendation of Joey, my suki at the Salcedo market and was appalled by the PHP110 peso price that I was quoted for a dozen. That is more than twice the price of a regular egg and frankly, highway robbery. But the question is, was it worth the money? You decide for yourselves. Can you tell which egg is the organic one? If you could feel it you would notice a significant difference in the viscosity of the egg white. The lively orange color of the yolk and the “egginess” of the whole package as opposed to the other egg which was watery and frankly, sickly in comparison. The organic egg touts itself as being totally antibiotic free, and the feed of the mother hens are free of animal and fish byproducts (which cause that fishy taste in chicken sometimes), full of nice vegetables and grains, and the chickens are not treated with hormones. I would definitely use the fancy organic eggs in things where it would be most noticeable – a leche flan, fried eggs on a breakfast plate, the whites for a meringue or mousse that require real fluff. I would continue with the cheaper commercial stuff for many other uses. Can you pick out the organic egg?

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29 Responses

  1. One of the perks of opting to live in the province (Bulacan in my case) is being able to raise your own free range chicken and harvesting their eggs straight from their nest whenever you need them not to mention having to pay outrageous prices for them.

    I have also noticed the watery whites and anaemic eggyolks of the commercial eggs while the organic ones have perky, dark yellow or almost orange eggyolks that stand tall and 2 distinct parts of the eggwhites, the more viscuous part nearer the yolk and a less viscuous outer layer. Flavor is better too because it has no fishy or “malansa” taste.

  2. is the egg in the right side the organic egg??. . . Hope i’m right. . . the watery egg whites and yolks that are not plump tells you that the eggs are not fresh. . . I really don’t know why the yolks are pale. . . there are two parts of the egg white, the thin and the thick albumen, but both should not be as watery as what you can buy now from groceries and markets, the yolk should be plump and should sit in the center, and it shouldn’t break when you crack an egg. Freshness can also be distinguished in the air pocket attached to the shell (it should not be more than 5mm), the larger it is, the older the egg. . . some people believe that the white strand in the egg yolk is the umbilical cord, this is not true, these are strands of egg white called chalazae that protect the yolk, prominent chalazae indicates freshness. . . Wow i sound like an egg expert hahaha. . .

  3. The one on the right is the organic egg. I live outside of the Philippines (Canada to be more specific). I’m happy to report that the non-organic eggs here do not have the runny whites and the yolks don’t look as pale as that on the picture. From my experience here, I cannot tell the difference between the organic and non-organic eggs unless there’s a label or I am informed.

  4. The one on the right is organic. The left one looks like it has jaundice. But P110 a dozen is really expensive! Wow. Are there any other options? I also think organic eggs have more flavor, I don’t have to add a dash of salt to a boiled organic egg vs commercial ones which have no flavor at all.

  5. ay grabe! the eggs here in manila aren’t so great talaga. and if you happen to buy your eggs at the grocery, you’re right MM– medium is not medium, large is not large etc. and if you turn over the egg tray, you’ll see through the plastic container that eggs in one container aren’t even the same size!!

  6. Frankly, I wouldn’t know the difference between an organic egg and a non-organic one. For a moment, I asked myself, “How did an organic egg come about? From and organic chicken and an organic rooster? And how do we get organic chickens? No anti-biotics used? Organic feed?” Anyway, I was just tickled by the commercial use of the term “organic” for just about anything edible so that a hefty price tag may be attached to the product to attract the increasing following for healthy food. Frankly, I wouldn’t know how to differentiate between the two.

    But having a little (only a little) background in commercial baking, I thought eggs that are less fresh tend to have egg whites that are more watery.

    Also there is a tendency for consumers to select eggs with pink shells rather than those with white shells. Has anyone noticed this, or have you been practicing this? One theory is that eggs with pink shells are more nourishing but I don’t think this holds water.

    Have you also seen claims of eggs with lower than usual cholestrol? These are more expensive than usual but not double the price of the normal eggs, like the organic eggs. I can’t attest to the goodness of these low-cholestrol eggs but I have eaten some and they taste slightly different. There is obviously a market of such eggs as they are on sale on a commercial basis.

    To me an egg is an egg. Once cooked in whatever way, they taste delicious. They are a cheap and delicious source of protein!

  7. I understand commercialised breeding of chickens for their eggs has led to a process of hastening the laying of eggs before their time. It makes business sense but the eggs that are laid before their time have thinner shells and they don’t last as long on the shelf and expires more quickly. But taste-wise, there has been no complaints.

  8. MM, I’ve been scouting eggs for years in Makati for my young ‘uns – I decided to spare them the chemicals and whatever that are fed to “commercialized” hens. This so nothing unwanted and foreign accumulates in their young bodies. And they have more flavor.
    Sometimes I find some at the Baclaran Seafood market at P60/dozen, (in front, at the fruit stalls) they’re certified native, meaning from free-range chickens. Rustan’s sells them on Thursdays at P18 per piece (that’s more expensive than the ones you bought!), and a stall at Market Market sells them for P9 per piece (near the driveway, the stall also sells organic ek like vinegar, rice, malagkit, etc.). The Blue Kitchen has some but they’re Sasso eggs, also P18 per piece.
    But of course, if you’re eating organic eggs, it makes sense to eat organic chicken, too, which is sold at P500+ a kilo at Rustan’s. It’s so incredible I had to laugh. And then I found a manang who sells native cull on Sundays on the street in the Guadalupe market. P90/kilo, dressed. Cheaper than in the provinces.
    And oh, I found some of your golden kiwis at Market Market, too. Second to the last stall to your right from Trellis. P25 per piece, P15 for the green kiwis. I love that mall, Market Market.

  9. native eggs abound in the sunday market at the lung center parking grounds…. mm, can you post a how-to on perfect soft-boiled eggs?

  10. acidboy I have a post on eggs from March 8 (check archives)that gives you tips on making the perfect boiled egg… just shorten the cooking time for a soft boiled egg. Kai, thanks for the brilliant rundown on egg sources! I like Market!Market! too for convenience but I find them a bit pricey. Thanks for the tip on the yellow kiwis.

  11. based on the studies organic or free range chicken eggs are better than commercial eggs, so raised my own native and sasso chicken to provide eggs and meat for my family.

  12. Your information is very interesting. I love it! I’ll deffinently start eating organic eggs!

  13. My teacher is a organic freak! He says that margerine is one atom away from plastic! I think you should post that. Your body just storys it ’cause it doesn’t know what to do with it.

  14. glad to see many comments concerning organic eggs,, as time goes on we will continue to see more sales and need for Organic Eggs….i have done much research, and I would never go back to regular eggs……Lets hope people everywhere see the difference and start buying these organic products….then and only then will the price come down considerably, once the competition starts to be initiated…….

  15. Soon I can help you folks to find the real organic chicken, I started a backyard business raising sasso chickens, I acquired imported chicks from Solraya Enterprises, I will post here once my chickens are ready for market

  16. CAGE FREE HENS vs CAGED HENS……..this subject has bothered me somewhat since I have experienced the Organic Egg Diet, religiously…….some farms put CAGE FREE on their cartons of eggs, and some do not and claim if asked, that we cage our hens to protect them from disease and bacteria…….my question which i have not had an answer for is this::::: is caged free that important?? or not?? obviously there are many other ways that make their eggs Organic, as we all know……
    Them that are cage free say their Hens are Happy Hens, thus making a difference…..Food for thought…… end , with my comment:: I believe cage free is better as long as the Farm can provide clean and confined facilities….Maybe those who cage their Hens are using their old facilities because of the cost to protect the cage free Hens, and the cost of maybe more labor to keep the facility safe and clean……if so, should the advertisement still say Organic?? I say yes, but with a little caution….Maybe i would inquire to witness their facility…….I would like some comments on this to come to peace with this subject…..thanks for this site…..

  17. I suppose not caged or free range just means they are allowed to roam, in the same way that jamon jabugo pigs can forage for acorns on acres and acres of land rather than being penned and fed… I don’t think it is a major issue. If the price of truly organic eggs from either a pen or free range were the same, I would be inclined to buy the free range ones I suppose… perhaps up to 10% more in price even, if just for the knowledge (rational or not) that the chickens were just doing their thing instead of being stuck in a chicken hotel in close quarters being forced to lay eggs at a maximum pace…

  18. for those interested, im selling sasso chicken meat or live chicken, my backyard farm is located in Silang, Cavite, please feel free to contact my wife cp#09159028074, my produce are all imported sasso chicken acquired from Solraya Enterprises…….low low prices compare to current commercial prices…….

  19. Free range eggs or Organic eggs as we call them are supposed to be cheaper than the commercial or eggs that came from caged-birds. It is because of the low input or low investment of the housing that lacks it. Plus the feed are not commercially prepared. Promoting organic produce will be having a hard time to climb up the market as compared with the commercially produce ones because of the artificial cost of production that it entails.

  20. I’m in CdO. Grew up in Manila. I grow free range chickens from Farmer’s Choice for meat (Happy Free Range Chicken). I tried growing a few of the chickens all the way till they lay eggs. I grow them “free range”/ uncaged. I still give feeds mixed with corn grains to supplement whatever they get from scratching the range area (insects, worms, grass). No soluble vitamins or antibiotics. I’m not yet selling the eggs i am able to produce. I was pleasantly surprised when i tasted the eggs. Iba talaga. like what all of them said, the consistency is “eggier” and the egg is tastier. The yolk is more intense in color. Just want to ask what would be a good price for the eggs. A price that will allow an average family to shift from the usual eggs they buy to this “free range eggs” that’s more expensive.(Assuming egg size is at “Medium”) Is 10 per egg okay?

  21. Raymund, in Manila, organic eggs are retailed from PHP9-12 per egg, depending on where you purchase them… and frankly, I think they are totally worth the extra money…

  22. The difference between organic free range and organic caged is that there are still far fewer potential pathogens in free range. Think about it, the more crowded living conditions are, the higher the chances for disease. This is why animals in crowded feedlot operations need antibiotics, not because chickens are naturally germy.

    There is more to organic than just a label/marketing ploy. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by my Michael Pollan is a great resource.

  23. how much is your live chicken? im looking for live chicken supplier, pls. reply thru my email add.

  24. Pls wer can i buy organic eggs? If you can, send me any details you have. 09282242657. Thanks.

  25. just a few days ago i have started to raise 10 sasso chicks. Lets see what happens if i cross breed them with more “native” chickens who are also known to have strong resistance to disease which these commercial chickens are prone to have. I live down south in mindanao.,,,in my farm. ill update you if i can have eggs that are really “organic”.
    Thanks for your column on eggs.

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