Egg Protein Powder - Unscrambling the Truth
Chapter 4 - Best Choices for Egg Protein Powder
So, now that you may be wondering about egg protein powder in a new way, let me share with you some of what I have found in regards to the various egg protein powders out there.
I wanted several things for my comparisson and one of those requirements was that the protein powder must be easy to find. I did not limit it to what could be found in a grocery store because depending on where you shop, any type of protein powder might be hard to find. Instead I wanted each of these to be found at the same 'place' and I was able to locate all of these on Amazon where you can also look at customer reviews to find the opinions of other consumers.
I also wanted to review products that were close to the same cost. It is all well and good to recommend a product for its positive attributes, only to be confronted by an extreme cost.
Last of all I did my best to compare these characteristics: quality of the eggs (organic versus non-organic), lifestyle of the hens, and additional additives to the final product.
Four Egg White Protein Powders
Jay Robb egg protein declares that its chickens are not treated with growth hormones. They say their chickens are not free range but they are not kept in small cages and are allowed to run around in large pens. This would give them the designation of cage free. Think of a bunch of chickens in a barn. They do not at any time in their declaration state that these chickens are raised in the US or that the eggs are processed in the US. Since they do not declare it then it is unlikely this egg protein is a US product.
They say the protein is flash pasteurized with no additional heating during the final processing. If you choose the flavored versions you will get 4 grams of carbohydrate per serving. If you choose the unflavored version that number drops to 1 gram. Each serving offers 24 grams of protein. There are about 10 servings per 12 ounce package. This puts the per drink cost at about $2.40.
If you choose the flavored versions they are sweetened with Xylitol and stevia.
Gifted Earth Originals egg protein declares that it is the world first organic egg white protein shake. I don't know about 'first' but they are definitely organic. This means that not only are the chickens raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics, but they are also fed organic feed. For organic certification, these hens cannot be kept in cages. They are allowed to free range either in their barn or outdoors. They get their egg from small family farms and not factory farms. This is a US product.
So they definitely get good marks for the welfare and keeping of the hens and this also means that the egg whites produced will reflect this organic treatment. Now we have to look at what is added to the protein powder to see if it stays 'good quality'.
For all of their flavored selections they use organic flavors. The products are sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice and organic stevia. This gives the product 6 grams of sugar per serving. They do sell an unflavored version as well which would have zero grams of sugar. The protein per serving is 25 grams. You will use two scoops per serving which means the 16 ounce container will make about 10 servings. This puts the per drink cost to around $3.50.
Honeyville's Powdered Egg Whites are a multi use product suitable for cooking and baking as well as making protein drinks. This is a US product.
What this company does not say is anything about the fate of the chickens that produce the eggs. This leads me to believe that the chicken welfare is nothing to be admired. Believe me, if they were going through any extra steps for those hens they would brag about it. This means these hens may be living their lives in battery-cages. They also do not mention anything about antibiotics or growth hormones so they probably use them on the chickens.
They only offer unflavored versions and they add sodium lauryl sulfate as a whipping agent. Per serving of 24 grams of protein (16 tsps) there will be 32 servings per the 2.25 lb container. This puts the per drink cost to around $2.
Unfortunately I could find nothing that listed where these egg whites came from, US or otherwise nor how they treated the hens. I must assume that this product could be using egg whites from any major supplier, including from China and that the hens are treated without much regard to welfare. I also assume since they don't mention things like antibiotics and growth hormones that these are also potentially in this product. I do believe if this were a US product with cage free hens that were not treated with pharmaceutical agents that they would brag about it.
The serving size of 1 scoop gives 25 grams of protein with less than 1 gram of sugar. There are 30 servings for the 2 pound container. This puts the per drink cost to around $2.
If we want to have the most control over what we are eating then we will go through all the trouble of creating our own egg protein powder. Yet, how realistic is that? Wouldn't it be simpler to just cook and eat the eggs? Yes indeed if what I am wanting is just a meal with eggs.
A major point of using egg protein is about high quality protein. Egg protein is the gold standard of protein in that its biological value is 100%. That means we use 100% of the protein available in the egg without waste. Compare that to the biological value of rice, which is 55% and it becomes understandable what a resource the egg is to us.
Another major point of using egg protein is value. Eggs offer us a protein value at a fraction the cost of other high quality proteins.
The biggest gain in using egg protein powder versus using an egg is convenience, flexibility and shelf life. What could be easier that adding a scoop of powder? What other ingredient can be added that will mix with so many types of meals from protein drinks, to cereals, to just about any meal or recipe? What is not desirable about something that can be stored easily and in good quality for years versus a fragile construct that has to be protected and whose shelf life is a matter of weeks?
Part of something being convenient is that it does not take up a lot of my time. In a perfect world I would take the time to go through the process of turning high quality organic eggs into egg protein powder. Or, in this world, I will find someone to do that for me.
Choosing organic eggs is choosing more than just a protein devoid of antibiotics and growth hormones. Choosing organic eggs is choosing a reasonable life for the hen that produces that egg. Because of the requirements that must be met for a product to have the organic designation I can rest assured that the hen is not living a miserable life in a tiny battery-cage.
I really wanted to find more choices in organic egg protein powders. I searched and found a couple more companies online, but in one case the product was not yet for sale and in the other case the product was sold out.
This leaves me with just one choice, the Gifted Earth Originals (GEO) brand. Not only do they have an organic product but they also have reasonable additives to their flavored varieties and they offer an unflavored version as well.
The Jay Robb Unflavored egg protein powder comes in a distant second. Although not organic, they do state the product is free from growth hormones. They also state the chickens are at least cage free. My major concern with it is that the product is not from US origin as far as I could find. Without the assurances of the strictures placed on US processing I am wary of taking a risk on some unknown country's standards.
The other powders I reviewed fail in that there is likely the use of antibiotics and growth hormone in the raising of these chickens. There is great likelihood that the chickens are kept in battery-cages. There is also the question of whether these protein powders are produced in the US.
In researching this information I have become convinced that we just are not doing enough for those poor chickens. Yes, cage free factory farms exist and even free range factory farms are becoming more common. Yet the battery-cages still remain in the majority of factory farms. If you want to read more about this sad situation then this article by the humane society can give you more details.
I have also become convinced that we should have more information about where our food is coming from. It is not enough for them to list ingredients. We need to know the country of origin of every ingredient. Where that food comes from and what production practices those countries use matters. Unless we stand up for the highest quality in animal care and processing we will be subject to unscrupulous decisions by those who value profit over conscience.
I welcome your insights and comments.
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