Well, the massive egg recall has now reached over half a billion. A sum that’s almost impossible to get your head around. What will happen to these eggs, a “salmon ella omelet” anyone? Congress is now getting in on the act, presumably to crack a few heads together, sort out the bad eggs.
The FDA and Egg Safety Council have issued some safeguards to help protect us from salmonella, one of which reads, and I quote “Resist mopping up runny egg yolks with toast. They might not be fully cooked.” Really; isn’t that the whole point of the yolk?
I love eggs; they’re such an incredible food source, a protein that can be served quickly, in many, many ways. And they are vitamin friendly, especially the organic ones.
The American fashion of serving two eggs for breakfast or at any meal, however cooked, is quite a revelation for Brits. A friend of mine staying at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York used to specify one egg for breakfast. Of course, every day, he got two. This is a source of amusement to my wife, who remembers reading an English magazine in which there was a recipe for Egg Benedict. That’s right, eggs singular. As she likes to say, “Get a grip, the war is over.” Once in Europe she insisted on two eggs and had to pay for the second one. Imagine!
Buying eggs today is becoming a chore isn’t it, we’re swamped with so many alternatives. It’s worse than cereals and ketchup, the “too much choice dilemma” as I like to call it. You can double your “eggspenditure” depending what type you decide to buy. And do you really buy into all that organic, Omega-3 enriched, certified humane, hormone-free-range and cage free tosh? I can’t believe how much of this stuff is actually advertized on egg cartons.
For example, I saw a six-pack and it actually described the eggs as being produced by barn-free, sun-lit porch, free- range, vitamin added hens. Way to go, but they were so expensive, yes double, that they only sold them in six-packs to avoid any sticker shock. Is it really worth the extra? I somehow doubt it. Better off buying the cheapest and a bottle of vitamins.
And do you know the difference between brown and white eggs? One is brown, the other is white. Simples!
According to the Egg Nutrition Board "White shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and ear lobes. Brown shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes. There is no difference in taste or nutrition between white and brown eggs. They simply come from two different breeds of chickens. Brown eggs, however, are more expensive because the chickens that lay them eat more than those that lay white eggs. Among the breeds that lay brown eggs are the Rhode Island Red, the New Hampshire and the Plymouth Rock, all larger birds that require more food.”
So now we know.
In July this year it was reported by scientists that the chicken came before the egg. The white coat researchers found that the formation of egg shell requires a protein only found in chicken ovaries, so a chicken egg can only exist if it has been inside a chicken. Dr. Colin Freeman from Sheffield University’s Department of Engineering Materials commented that it was long thought the egg came first, but now there is proof the reverse is true. The next question to be solved, as we step backwards in our avian journey is how did the chicken get to where she is now, what did the chicken descend from. The possibilities include a genetic mutation in a chicken-like animal that produced the first chicken egg, which then allowed the next chicken to be born and off we go.
Of course there is another alternative, as any schoolboy can tell you; she crossed the road.
This does of course remind me of the old joke. A chicken and an egg are lying in bed. The chicken is smoking a cigarette with a satisfied smile on its face and the egg is frowning and looking a bit pissed off. The egg mutters, to no-one in particular, "Well, I guess we answered THAT question!"
And there's more.
Tests conducted in 2007 by Mother Earth News magazine (“the Original Guide to Living Wisely”) that pastured free-ranging chickens lay eggs that provide nutritional benefits over eggs from confinement operations. Mother Earth News tested samples from pastured flocks across the country, and compared the results to US Department of Agriculture data for commercial eggs. Results showed the pastured eggs contained: 1/3 less cholesterol than regular factory –farmed eggs; 1/4 less saturated fat; 2/3 more vitamin A; 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, and 7 times more beta carotene. High carotenoid levels are usually found in darker orange colored eggs. A more natural diet, insects and grass seeds, also contributes to a darker colored yolk. But the yolk color can be manipulated, for example, by using marigold petals in the feed.
Eggs are one of the few food sources of naturally occurring vitamin D, and recent tests showed that pastured eggs have up to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs.
“Eggsciting” news, eh?