The Incredible Edible Egg?
When I had my breakfast of poached eggs this morning, I didn’t have to worry that they might be contaminated with salmonella from the recent outbreak and resulting recall. I bought my eggs from Eugena, one of the farmers at my local farmer’s market. I know that her hens are free to roam, pecking the ground and eating what Mother Nature intended. They’re not mass-produced in a factory farm filled with thousands of chickens where the conditions are filthy and cruel. The difference in the freshness and taste is undeniable. When I open the carton, each egg is a slightly different size and hue and when I crack the egg, the yolk is a beautiful orange-yellow color.
If you listen to the “experts”, you should thoroughly wash your eggs and them cook them well to kill any salmonella that might exist. Unfortunately, when you do this, you are also killing the vital nutrients that an egg provides. The eggshell is like our skin – a protective barrier, but still permeable. Almost all grocery store eggs (even organic eggs in many states) are washed in a chlorine bath to kill any possible salmonella but in doing so the egg is further contaminated. The healthiest way to eat an egg is either raw (great in a smoothie) or gently poached with the yolk still runny. I would never gamble by doing this with a grocery store egg but have no problem with my market eggs. You can gently rinse the egg before eating and I do take a little sniff when I crack the egg just in case there’s that rare but possible rotten egg in the bunch!
So what’s an egg-lover to do? Don’t expect the FDA to solve this problem anytime soon. There is too much money invested in factory farming and the corporations that run these operations have fierce lobbyists in Washington. It’s more likely that the FDA’s solution will be to require pasteurization of all eggs, thus putting them in the company of other foods that are innately healthy in their raw state (milk, almonds) but by virtue of pasteurization have had their life force destroyed. While we still have the chance to purchase unadulterated eggs, get to know your local farmers and you will not be disappointed.
Here’s a picture of Eugena, from Lani’s Farm located in Bordentown, NJ, at the Tribeca Farmer’s Market, always smiling in spite of the long hard hours she works to bring us such fresh vegetables and eggs.
If you would like to read about the history of chicken farming in America, check out this article by Dr. Joseph Mercola: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/08/31/exploring-our-greatest-nutritional-treasure-the-chicken.aspx
The Incredible Edible Egg was coined by the American Egg Board in the 1990’s. If you’re feeling nostalgic about the 90’s, you can see their old commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmPwL1YulMA&p=0F9E486CE228F1B8&playnext=1&index=13