Cracking Egg Claims
Cage Free - The hens that lay these eggs are spending their days walking around an indoor enclosure and have access to food and water all day.
Free Range - These hens are Cage Free and spend their days outside. They aren't necessarily eating grass and bugs, but they do have access to sunshine and fresh air.
Pasture Raised - These are the hens that most think of as Free Range. The difference is, Pasture Raised girls live their lives outdoors on open fields where they get plenty of sunshine, fresh air, bugs, and grass. They are also provided a supplemental feed.
Certified Organic - This claim is regulated by the USDA and means the hens live a Free Range lifestyle with an organic diet. An organic diet for hens means the same thing as one for you: no pesticides, fertilizers or chemical additives.
Omega-3 - These hens eat a diet with flaxseed, algae, or fish oil to boost the fatty acids found in their eggs. Eggs with this claim generally have 50mg more Omega-3 than a regular egg. Spoiler Alert: Free Range hens have access to green leaves of many plants and insects. Both of those diet inclusions raise the Omega-3 in their eggs.
Hormone Free - The USDA banned the use of hormones in the 1950s, so this really doesn't mean much as far as the quality of eggs goes, but it looks impressive on the carton.
What about all those different sizes? We'll save that one for another day, but here's a tip you can use. If a recipe calls for a large egg and you're not sure what size are in that carton of farm fresh eggs, beat the egg and use a kitchen scale to measure the weight. One large chicken egg weighs 50 grams. If you end up cracking and measuring an egg that weighs more than 50 grams, then you've scored yourself a jumbo egg. That may be too big for your recipe, but that one will be delicious scrambled with cheese.