Fresh eggs from farmers markets are more nutritious in summer, when hens have more access to bugs and greens. 
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Fresh eggs from farmers markets are more nutritious in summer, when hens have more access to bugs and greens.
Credit: Flickr Photo/A.Davey (CC BY NC ND 2.0)

Fresh Eggs Are Tastier And Healthier In Summer

The perfect egg has dark orange yolk and a thick white. And when you crack it open, it acts as its own sauce.

Not, in other words, your typical grocery store egg, with a pale yolk that tastes like nothing.

Cynthia Lair, professor at Bastyr University on Seattle’s Eastside, met with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds at the University District Farmers Market. She said that eggs, like fruits and vegetables, have an optimal season.

“People wouldn’t think of eggs in the middle of the summer, but in summer is when (hens) get the best opportunity to eat a diet that really gives them the best quality eggs,” Lair said. “Hens actually like to eat greens and they also like to eat bugs.”

Greens and bugs, which thrive in summer, are what make the yolk of the egg rich in omega 3 fatty acids, Lair said. Which means summer is the season when hens have the best diet – and lay the tastiest and most nutritious eggs.

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Lair said you can tell a grocery store egg from a farm fresh egg by cracking them open.

“An egg from, let's say an ill hen, has kind of a watery white, and the yolk is kind of flat and pale,” she said. Pointing to the farmers market eggs, she said, “But these eggs, the white is really viscous, and the yolk is bright golden orange from their diet.”

Taste also differentiates these eggs. A farmers market egg tastes sweet, she said.

“When you eat a regular supermarket egg, there is no taste at all,” she said. “That's why people pour hot sauce on it.”

Lair enthused about eggs from Skagit River Ranch. The ranch is upriver in Skagit County, about 1 ½ hours north of Seattle.

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“The rivers come in and flood the area,” she said. “When the water goes back, it's left all this mineral rich silt. The soil there is richer than you could ever imagine.

“So when they grow greens up there, grass for the cows to eat, or chickens to eat, or the pigs to eat, or whoever is eating it, they get more nutrients from that grass just because of the area where it was grown.”

Ingredients

Brown rice (can be from leftovers)

Eggs

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Dark greens

Kimchi

Directions

Saute greens and mix into brown rice. Lightly poach or just lightly over-easy your egg and slide that over your greens-and-rice bowl.

“Boom, when you break open the egg, it has that beautiful, thick, viscous yolk that makes a sauce for the whole thing.”

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Photo credit: "Pastel Eggs," by A.Davey on Flickr (CC BY NC ND 2.0)