Animal Welfare: Above and Beyond Industry Standards
United Egg Producers (UEP) Certification
Opal Foods' commercial egg farms are UEP certified to meet or exceed industry standards for animal welfare, cage space, living conditions, and humane treatment.
American Humane Association Certification
All of our cage-free facilities are American Humane Certified to meet or exceed standards for cage-free living conditions.
The health of our laying hens is a top priority at Opal Foods. We are committed to investing in the advancement of science-based best practices in animal husbandry, so that we can improve the health and quality of life of laying hens.
Animal welfare is central to our business, but it is also a foundational value of our company. We believe that good stewardship of resources includes humane and caring treatment of the animals in our care, so we go above and beyond requirements and standards to ensure that the chickens are well cared for as an integral component of our egg production operations. Caring for hens is the backbone of Opal Foods’ company culture.
Nutrition and Facts
Eggs: High Protein Low Carb Food
Eggs are an important contributor to the nutritional quality of the American diet. Eggs are high in protein and vitamins, but low in calories and carbohydrates. Eggs are a naturally nutrient-dense food, meaning they have a high proportion of nutrients to calories: one large egg provides 13 essential nutrients! Eggs are an excellent source of choline and a good source of riboflavin. Many of egg’s incredible nutrients are found in the egg yolk, including, folate, lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin D. Plus, egg protein has just the right mix of essential amino acids needed by humans to build tissues.
DID YOU KNOW…
Eggs supply kids with the highest quality protein, which provides the building blocks they need to grow and the energy they need to stay focused throughout the day.
The protein in eggs helps adults build and preserve muscle strength and allows them to feel full longer and stay energized, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.
Eggs have varying amounts of four of the nutrients pregnant women need most: choline, protein, folate and iron. Choline, a recently recognized essential nutrient, contributes to fetal brain development and is important in nerve tissue development, which helps prevent birth defects.
Older adults are at risk for sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass. Eggs provide the highest quality protein, which can help them meet their protein needs in order to help maintain muscle function and slow the rate of muscle loss.
Eggs provide small amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin (zee-uh-ZAN-thin), two nutrients which are part of the carotenoid family (like beta-carotene in carrots) that contribute to eye health and help prevent common causes of age-related blindness. Research suggests that lutein from eggs may be more bioavailable, meaning more easily absorbed by the body, than lutein from richer sources.
There’s a lot more to each egg than a shell, yolk, and white
For example, did you know that…
Most eggs are laid between 7-11 AM
A hen requires 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg. Thirty minutes later, she starts all over again.
The difference between brown and white-shelled eggs is the breed of hen. Breeds with white earlobes (and feathers) lay white eggs; breeds with red earlobes (and brown feathers) lay brown eggs. Both white and brown eggs have the same nutritional qualities.
As a hen ages, her eggs increase in size. Small eggs come from young hens, while jumbo eggs are laid by older hens.
Occasionally, a hen will produce double-yolked eggs. It is rare, but not unusual, for a young hen to produce an egg with no yolk at all.
The little white ropey strands in an egg white are called “chalaza." Their function is to anchor the yolk in the center of the egg. They are neither imperfections nor beginning embryos, and are completely safe to eat. In fact, the more prominent the chalazae, the fresher the egg!
Nobody really knows when the first fowl was domesticated, although history places the date as early as 3200 B.C. Egyptian and Chinese records show that fowl were laying eggs for man in 1400 B.C. It is believed that Columbus' ships carried the first of the chickens related to those now in egg production to this country.
Yolk color depends on the diet of the hen. Natural yellow-orange substances such as marigold petals may be added to light-colored feeds to enhance colors. Artificial color additives are not permitted.