You can buy designer jeans, designer colognes, designer glasses. Why not designer food?
Rose Acre Farms in Seymour recently began selling its first so-called designer egg. It doesn't look any different from a regular egg. It's white and egg-shaped and has no special designer label. What's designer about this egg is on the inside.
By feeding hens a special diet, the company has created an egg with altered nutritional content. This particular designer egg, marketed under the brand name Golden-Premium, is high in vitamin E and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Each egg contains 7.5 IU of vitamin E, which is 25 percent of the recommended daily value of this important antioxidant and seven times the amount normally found in eggs. Also in the shell is 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, so-called "good fats" more commonly found in coldwater ocean fish.
While the U.S. government has not calculated a recommended daily value for omega-3s, the Canadian government advises that adults should consume at least 1,100 mg a day. Research has suggested that omega-3s are required for normal development of the brain, nerve tissues and eyes.
Some 12 million hens work for Rose Acre Farms, 80,000 of which are laying these golden eggs. What is the company feeding the chickens? No, they aren't eating fish, but their diet of grain has been fortified with vitamin E and omega-3s. The company is quick to point out that the chickens are not consuming any growth hormones.
Why eat an egg to get your vitamin E and omega-3s, when it's easy to run to the drugstore and find supplements containing even more E and such popular omega-3 fatty acids as DHA and EPA? The company responds that dietitians as a rule recommend getting nutrients in a food source rather than a pill if at all possible.
It's a bit ironic that the egg also contains cholesterol, one of the dietary no-nos that the "good fats" help to combat. Still; there are plenty of people who have no intention of giving up their eggs, cholesterol or not, and it's these folks the company hopes will be willing to shell out an extra 35 percent at the checkout counter to take home Golden-Premium eggs. It seems to be an idea that's catching on - the Golden-Premiums already are competing with fortified eggs from other producers.
Competition isn't that scary a thing to the people at Rose Acre Farms. Their company has grown to become a national name in eggs, even as egg consumption itself has cracked.
The Rose Acre brand was introduced in the 1940s, about the same time U.S. egg consumption was at its peak of about 400 per capita (that includes all eggs produced, not just those served scrambled or sunny-side-up). As the company expanded from humble beginnings on the Rust family farm in Seymour, national egg consumption dropped to a low of 233 back in 1991. The forecasts for this year are back up to 243.
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|Title Annotation:||eggs manufactured by Rose Acre Farms|
|Publication:||Indiana Business Magazine|
|Date:||Mar 1, 1998|
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