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Old 01-10-2011, 06:38 PM   #20
Alex Gold
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Default Organic is not necessarily omega-3 optimal

Studies have repeatedly shown that conventional eggs have an omega-6: omega-3 ratio that is much higher than the 2:1 recommended by many Paleo sources. The ratio in conventional eggs is usually around 10:1 or higher. Omega-3 enriched eggs have been shown to have a better ratio, and an interesting recent study out of the University of Sydney found that omega-3 enriched eggs had a more optimal ratio than BOTH organic and conventional eggs. In fact, both the organic and conventional eggs each had a ratio of 10:1. The omega-3 enriched eggs had a ratio of 2.27:1.

That organic and conventional eggs have similar fatty acid ratios is not that surprising. Organic credentials don't really specify what the hens must be fed, but rather how they are treated and how the feed is treated (i.e. no herbicides, etc.). Since it is the hen feed that determines the fatty acid ratio of the egg (and the hen egg nutritional profile is actually quite remarkable in its sensitivity to hen dietary changes), then it is the makeup of the feed regardless of organic credentials that determines egg nutrients. Organically raised hens fed organic grain (i.e. an organic vegetarian diet) will be very organic indeed, but unlikely to have an omega-6: omega-3 ratio near 2:1.

The University of Sydney study is:
Samir Samman et al., “Fatty acid composition of certified organic, conventional and omega-3 eggs,” Food Chemistry 116, no. 4 (October 15, 2009): 911-914.

Please let me know if you would like further references.
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