Let me start by saying that I am beside myself with excitement to talk about eggs. For those of you who know me personally, you are already cringing at the inevitable egg puns that are coming your way. You and I both know that is by far the best opportunity for me to unleash my pun prowess. And I will, trust me.
No food item has ever proved itself as versatile, nutritional, and delicious all at the same time. It is a little weird that I am so into eggs, and I think that my enthusiasm probably stems from my passion for defending things that I believe to be magnificent.
Eggs are magnificent.
Let’s start by removing any possible fears, qualms, or worries that you may have about eggs, because I want us to be on the same page before I start hyping this up even more.
The Cholesterol Phobia of the 70’s and 80’s
Yes, egg yolks have cholesterol. But, what we have learned in the last few decades is that there are different types of cholesterol, and that the LDL or “bad” cholesterol is not just found in food, it is actually made by our own bodies in response to an increase of saturated fat in our diets. The egg is very low in saturated fat (about 1.5g ea.) but the issue is what people were eating with their eggs. Bacon, sausage, and heavily buttered toast are a source of saturated fat and were most likely the culprit in most of the egg studies back in the day. (Regardless, if you have a high LDL or are at risk of heart disease you should ask your doctor how many eggs you should consume on a weekly basis.) If you don’t have any of these problems, consider yourself lucky and stop worrying about egg yolks because they are PACKED with nutrition, protein-rich, and an eggcellent start to your day. Much better than most grain cereals and processed breakfast foods.
Also, who actually enjoys an egg white omelette? Removing the yolk not only yields a white, flavorless…thing… but here’s what you are also leaving out:
Almost HALF the protein, carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, and K, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, B12, copper, manganese, and selenium.
Aren’t you relieved?
Egg Care: Preventing salmonella & “rotten” eggs
In 1985, Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak appeared in the news and for some reason a lot of us still fear it. Rightfully so, as anyone should of something that make them uncomfortably ill. But, we need to chill out because since then there have been millions spent on taking preventive measures and in the 90’s it was estimated that only 1 in 10,000 eggs carried the virulent strain and that heat during preparation would suffice to eliminate it. Since then that number has gone down even more, and we can relax. Also, immunity has a lot to do with this, if you are a healthy adult with no immune deficiencies your body will be able to fight off the symptoms with little disruption. Here are some measures we can take to assure we don’t get that 1 bad egg:
Always buy eggs that are refrigerated, and refrigerate them when you get them home. Avoid having them sit in your car in warm weather, or on the counter in the sun.
Avoid feeding soft-boiled or “runny’” eggs to elderly people, children, or anyone with a weak immune system. If you aren’t feeling well yourself, stick to firmly cooked eggs or avoid them just to be safe.
Eggs will keep for *several* weeks in the fridge! Don’t toss them by the “sell-by” date on the carton- this is a date for the store to track inventory and move it accordingly. When you get home with your new eggs, write the date 16 days from that day right on the carton- you’ll be less likely to toss them prematurely or eat an egg that is too old.
You may freak out when you see a little blood in an egg you just cracked for breakfast. These eggs are safe to eat, and are just an act of nature. I know its a little off-putting- but so is wasting a good egg! Use the tip of a knife to remove the spot and move on. If you’re too grossed out- don’t throw that poor egg away, save it for baking as you will be eating it less directly and the mental part will probably not bug you out as much.
Free-range eggs, are they worth it?
Yes, but not for the reasons you are probably thinking about. Free-range eggs do not have more or different nutrients as their mass-produced competitor. But what they DO have is really great ethics. I am 100% all in favor of consuming as ethically and responsibly as possible. I also would have to assume that a free-range facility is a cleaner facility with less stressed out, weird, unhappy, tweaky animals so, yes…totally worth the extra 1 or 2 dollars.
A closer look inside the egg, and why it behaves they way it does to make our lives so much more…eggciting.