Healthy Harvest: Eggs by Healthline with Dare 2 Dream Farms

“I would say an egg a day keeps the doctor away. It’s great protein. It’s a good way to start your breakfast and stay strong, keep your brain functioning at its top performance, and keep all your joints healthy and moving with all those omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy Harvest logo over Dare 2 Dream Farms Garden

“Hi, I’m Megan Raff, co-owner of Dare 2 Dream Farms. We are located in sunny Lompoc, California, and we’re here for the backyard chicken revolution: trying to get people to grow their own chickens and eat more eggs. Eggs are healthy for people because they provide a great source of protein and tons of vitamins. The most important thing is to know where to source your eggs from. Truly free-range chickens raised in a setting like this have a much higher nutritional quality than eggs that you’re going to buy in a grocery store. You have less saturated fat, less cholesterol in free-range eggs, and you have higher vitamin A, vitamin E, polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. So, it’s an overall better egg for you to eat. And if you think about human health, the more healthy we are, the more healthy our children are.

“I think an egg is a super food and I would eat five eggs a day if I could. Because if you think about it, it’s the beginnings of life. It is the first 21 days of development for a baby chick. It has to have everything for that to turn from an embryo to a baby chick. There is everything that that chick needs for 21 days of life. Of course, it’s got to be super.

“My husband and I got into farming by accident. His grandfather has lived here since 1969, and we moved out here to take care of him, and we started selling eggs. People love backyard chicken eggs here at New Frontiers in Solvang. So we packaged tiny little dozens, and they would fly off the shelves. And what I think was really special about our eggs is that our chickens just had room to roam. They had exercise and freedom. They could scratch the earth, and they could search for bugs, and grains, and nutrition that was naturally occurring around them. They were able to dust bathe and engage in all of their normal chicken activities. So their stress levels were lower. I think all of that truly just creates a better egg.

“We had a variety of chickens, so there was all different colors of eggs, which is really fun to open up in a carton for consumers. So egg color is actually genetic. Each different breed of chicken is going to lay its own color of eggs. We like to raise dozens of different breeds, so that we have all of those varieties of egg colors. We have Easter Eggers that lay blue eggs. We have Olive Eggers that lay green eggs, White Leghorns that lay white eggs, and then a manner of traditional American breeds that lay brown eggs for us. Then we started selling the chickens to others who wanted to keep chickens for eggs fresh in their backyard.

“We started a CSA (community supported agriculture) serving our local area with fresh produce from our garden. And honestly, after having all this experience on a farm I don’t want to create something that’s just gonna be trash for the earth. I want to feed people. I want to build community. I want to take care of the land. And this is really the only business that I can throw my entire being behind. So the longer I do it, the more ingrained it is in me. Farming to me is the quintessential American entrepreneurial spirit. It is all about doing what you can with your hands, creating something of your own, and taking care of your community with it so that your community wants to take care of you.

“When we wash eggs we have to control a few different things, including the temperature of the water and also the type of solution that we’re using to wash them. We don’t want to wash eggs in really hot water or very cold water. We wanna wash them in a water that will not create a vacuum that pushes bacteria into the egg. We also try to use a mild detergent to wash them so that we can keep them fresh without using harsh chemicals.

“Fresh eggs from a backyard, whether it’s yours, or a neighbors, or from a local farm, will be the freshest and most nutritious eggs that you can find. And it’s really hard to discover by looking whether that egg is fresh, but over time you can do a test. If you take an egg that you’re not sure is fresh and place it in a cup of water, if the egg sinks all the way to the bottom and lays on its side, then it’s still fresh. If the broad end of that egg where the air sack is starts to rise, then it’s a little older. Typically once it’s floating off of the bottom of the glass I won’t eat it because I’m not sure how fresh it is.

“When you’re purchasing eggs, it’s really important to know where they’ve come from. Your local eggs have a much smaller footprint and have probably been in transit and in storage for far less time. So it’s important to find your local farmers, go to your farmer’s market, and buy eggs that are as fresh as possible.”

Medically reviewed by the Healthline Medical Network — Produced by The Healthline Video Team on July 14, 2022

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