The Good Egg

Jeanne Ambrose talks to Joe Salatin about the goodness of eggs.

March 8, 2011

Joel Salatin knows a good egg. He also knows how good eggs can be for us.

“I love the taste,” he says, “but more than that, I appreciate the breadth and depth of their nutrition.” Salatin is the owner of Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. His organic, sustainable farm—featured in Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Penguin Group, 2006)—includes a portable henhouse he calls the “eggmobile,” which travels to greener pastures, allowing chickens to participate in a movable free-range feast.


As Salatin explains it, an egg is an all-natural, nutrition-packed powerhouse in its own small, medium, large, or extra-large package. Organic eggs, which might cost $4 a dozen, make for an inexpensive food that can be effortlessly transformed into a low-calorie meal. Much like a multivitamin, one egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals. An egg also includes the bonus of sporting 6 grams of high-quality protein, B vitamins, zinc, and two nutrients—lutein and zeaxanthin—that have been shown to benefit eye health.

Although eggs once were considered to be a source of high blood cholesterol, current research indicates that the unsaturated fats and nutrients in eggs may actually reduce the risk of heart disease. The Duke Diet & Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina, includes eggs on its list of power foods with the advice that people with high cholesterol should limit egg consumption to four a week.