According to the current FDA regulations on labeling, foods such as toaster pastries and pudding cups, are permitted to market themselves as “healthy,” but foods that are widely known to be nutritious, such as eggs, are not. That’s why Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs has filed a petition with the FDA calling for the organization to modify its labeling regulations and allow eggs to be labeled as a healthy food.
“While nutrition experts recognize eggs as a nutritious food, many would probably be surprised to learn that federal regulations prohibit the use of the word healthy to describe eggs,” said Jesse Laflamme, CEO of Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. “Our goal with this petition is to encourage the FDA to bring outdated regulations in line with current nutritional science and general consumer awareness, and thereby help shoppers make more informed choices in the grocery store aisle.”
The family egg farm hopes their efforts boost sales–not just for organic eggs, but for all egg companies.
Starting in the 1950s, a phobia of fat and dietary cholesterol emerged and the egg’s reputation was much maligned, leaving many today still avoiding the protein. The scare was established by the now famous Framingham Heart Study, which made an unsupported conclusion that ingesting foods high in cholesterol would drive up levels of cholesterol in the blood, which would lead to health problems like heart disease. This assumption proved incorrect.
“Despite decades of research that has shown no evidence that moderate dietary cholesterol or egg consumption increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, except in people with a strong genetic risk for high cholesterol, I still encounter consumers actively avoiding eggs and missing out on all their nutritional benefits,” says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN and nutritional advisor to Pete and Gerry’s.
In fact, eggs are now seen as a near-perfect whole food that can help curb cravings and blood sugar levels, both important for weight management and diabetes prevention. One large egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, disease-fighting nutrients such as lutein and choline, and six grams of high quality protein — all for only 70 calories.
“I am thrilled to support Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs in its effort to work with the FDA in reconsidering some of its very outdated and misleading regulations,” continues Glassman. “Nutrient-dense foods like eggs, avocados, and salmon are incredible additions to a healthful diet and Americans should be eating more of them! Hopefully, this petition will encourage a positive shift in what defines a ‘healthy’ food.”