Virginia Eggs Represent Affordable, Nutritious Protein Source

Localize your Easter egg hunts, Sunday brunches and weekend picnics with Virginia eggs. The state has numerous farmers who sell eggs directly to consumers or at farmers’ markets or through community-supported agriculture operations, and others who raise them commercially.

More than 740 million eggs were sold in Virginia in 2009, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Across the United States, about 75 billion eggs are produced annually—about 10 percent of the world supply.

“We may not be the largest egg-producing state, but our farmers raise safe, fresh, quality eggs,” said Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

. “Eggs are versatile and nutritious and are very affordable.”

According to the American Egg Board, eggs are packed with more than 6 grams of the highest-quality protein found in any food and typically cost less than 15 cents apiece.

“I think when people buy eggs locally, they know they are fresh and they know who raised them,” said Debra Stoneman, co-owner of Byrd Farm in Goochland County. She and her husband, Phillip, sell farm-raised eggs through their CSA and at farmers’ markets every week. Their chickens lay about four dozen eggs daily.

An average egg has around 70 calories and is low in saturated fat, according to the egg board. Eggs are full of almost every essential vitamin and mineral needed by humans, including vitamin D.

A large egg has 4.5 grams of fat, which is only 7 percent of the daily value, and only one-third of the fat is saturated. Eggs have gotten a bad rap in the past because their yolks contain cholesterol. However, the amount of cholesterol in a single large egg has decreased by 14 percent according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition data.

The American Heart Association no longer specifies the number of egg yolks a person may safely eat in a week.

“Fresh eggs are nutritionally good for you, and their good aspects outweigh the amount of cholesterol,” Stoneman said.

via . Va Farm Bureau