The main intent of this notion is that each color in a food represents a different vitamin or mineral and that by eating a variety of colors you are also consuming a variety of necessary nutrients.
This seems awfully simplistic but as a ceramic artist I am accustomed to the visual cues that certain mineral oxides display in a given clay body or glaze recipe. While these days we order mined or purified forms of minerals (red iron oxide, cobalt, potassium carbonate etc.) from specialty shops, in the initial stages of glazing ceramic objects early peoples had to rely on the naturally occurring mineral deposits found in trace amounts in the materials around them.
In fact, the first glazes weren't even applied to the ceramic objects at all, but rather each object was given a vitreous, glossy surface simply by the ash from the wood used to stoke the fire achieving such high temperatures that it began to melt and left behind trace minerals such as calcium and potassium, which when left to cool, hardened to a glassy finish.
Because of my background in ceramics as well as my identity as a Catholic I have a intimate understanding of the hidden inner essence of things which are often only hinted at by outward appearances.
That being said, the thing which finally convinced me to foot the bill for cage-free eggs wasn't animal rights, wasn't ecology, but rather it was the fact that factory produced eggs have less food in them.
Sure, a dozen cage-free eggs is still 12 eggs as much as a dozen industrial eggs. But within each egg which came from a chicken who was allowed to actually walk around and maybe even scratch around to eat a bug or two there is a substantially larger amount of nutrients.This became most evident to me when I compared a run of the mill, industrial egg to one of the cage-free eggs we purchased. The color difference was striking, the yolk of the industrial egg literally paled in comparison. It was yellow, barely yellow, where as the cage-free egg was what one might call orange.
According to Real Food University , which sites studies from two articles published in Mother Earth News, an egg produced by a pasture raised chicken versus an egg produced in an industrial egg factory contains:
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
- 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D
Sure enough, the rolling lush green hills littered with frolicking chickens which I had imagined was an utter fantasy compared to the actual practice of cage-free egg production. Now, don't' get me wrong, when given the option between a cage of chickens huddled unhealthily close together who are never allowed to walk around or even touch solid ground and the crowd of chickens I saw milling around the floor of the vast barn complex, I'd gladly choose the latter, however its still not quite the ideal I had in mind.
In comes Val, our new Transylvanian Naked Neck, and her lovely large brown eggs. Because we were saving some to give to the priests who serve our parish we actually had yet to eat any of Val's eggs until this morning. Charlotte eagerly helped crack them and was excited to make breakfast with me, however we only had two of Val's eggs to the third egg I added to the skillet was one of the cage-free eggs we had bought. The difference was stunning, in fact I had flashbacks to the day we compared industrial eggs to cage-free eggs. The difference was so stark that while our typical breakfast conversation is Charlotte asking for more "yellow egg" (yolk) today she was asking for another bite of "orange egg."
|I'll give you 1 guess as to which 2 are Val's|
I can only imagine what it would be like to compare Val's egg to an industrial egg, it would be like seeing a yolk's ghost.
Moral of the story? Don't just eat your colors. Eat vivid, deep, rich colors, because there's more food in there than their pale counterparts.