Original published August 4, 2015 by http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/fascinating-egg-facts/
Chicken Coop Chatter©
August 4, 2015
No matter how you cook them; scrambled, poached, fried or baked, eggs are chock full of healthy nutrients, but there may be some things you don’t know about eggs.
1. Eggs are nutritionally healthy with 7 percent protein, calcium and minerals to help meet our daily requirements.
2. The protein in an egg is equal to the protein in one ounce meat, chicken or fish, according to the USDA.
3. The digestible protein in a cooked egg is higher than digestible protein in a raw egg.
4. Duck, Guinea, Peahen and Turkey eggs are as good for you as chicken eggs, however chickens lay more eggs and are more consistent layers than other fowl, therefore there is little consumable market for those eggs.
5. After 25 years of claims that the cholesterol in eggs was the leading cause of heart disease, scientists took another look and found that the culprit was saturated fats. However it is recommended that if you tend to have high cholesterol that you limit consumption of eggs, but not eliminate eggs from your diet.
General Egg Facts
6. The color of the egg yolk is determined by the food eaten by chickens. It has nothing to do with the nutritional value of one egg over another or a commercially produced egg over a farm produced egg. A supplement of Pumpkin, Squash, Carrots, Marigold, Dandelions or Calendula will produce deeper yellow-orange yolks. Some organic egg producers use a Marigold extract as supplement to achieve the rich orange egg yolk, even if those hens are in enclosed pens and not free-range or pasture raised.
7. The color of egg shells does not alter the nutritional value or taste of a chicken egg. The color of the egg is strictly about the breed that lays the egg.
8. The size of hen does not determine the size of the eggs. We raise several different breeds at Just Fowling Around. Our tiny Serama hens that weigh less that 1 pound, lay a medium size egg, one of our largest breeds, the Blue Breda that weighs as much as 10-12 pounds, also lays a medium to small size egg. Our mid-range breed, the white heritage leghorn that weighs an average of 4 to 5 pounds, lays a large to extra large egg.
9. Eggs can be frozen or dehydrated when there are more eggs than can be used fresh. These methods of preserving are best used in baked goods. Eggs can also be pickled to use in salads and sandwiches or eaten out of hand.
10. Eggs last many weeks without spoiling. The date on an egg carton is not an FDA requirement, it is simply there for store inventory purposes to be sure products are moved from the shelves. It does not mean the eggs are no good after the voluntary use by date. Even store-bought eggs will last weeks well beyond a use by date.
11. Eggs are sold in several grades. AA, A and B grade. There is no difference in the nutritional value or taste from one grade to another. The grading has to do with shape, uniformity, weight and aesthetics. B grade eggs are typically sold to institutions and bakeries though they used to be available in grocery stores, most eggs sold now are either AA or A grade.
12. For recipes calling for raw eggs, simply pasteurize them to prevent possible bacteria. To pasteurize, place the eggs (in the shell) in water over low heat and bring the temperature up to 140 degrees F for 3 1/2 minutes (a candy thermometer works for this). This temperature will kill any bacteria, but will not alter the texture of the egg. You can also purchase pasteurized egg liquid for use in recipes that require raw eggs. When I use raw eggs for eggnog, I temper the eggs with a little hot liquid before adding into the cream and milk mixture to prevent cooking the eggs, yet making them safe for consumption; essentially this is pasteurizing them. My recipe for the Skillet Apple Sausage Egg Bake is a great way to use your farm fresh eggs.
13. Eggs tend to get a bad wrap. We hear warnings about Salmonella contamination, however, salmonella is literally everywhere, and according to the CDC only 1 in 20,000 eggs may be contaminated. Eggs have extra protection from salmonella and other bacteria with two inner membranes, a shell and the *bloom* as a protective coating on the outside. Salmonella contamination is far more common in other foods and illness is often caused by undercooked food or improperly handled food.
Eggs By The Numbers
14. A 6 month old pullet named Harriet, in Britain, has held the record for the largest egg since 2010. It was 9.1 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches long which is nearly double the size of an extra large egg. However Harriet does not hold the record for the heaviest egg. Harriet’s egg weighed 163 grams (5.7 oz), the record holder was a double yolk and double shell that weighed 16 oz. Her owners said they feed only regular hen food and vegetable scraps, and that in spite of the size of the egg, Harriet has continued to lay without problems.
15. Iowa holds the record for the largest egg production state with about 15 billion eggs annually. Ohio is the second largest egg producing state with about 8 billion eggs annually, followed by Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas. According to the USDA 2012 economic reports, there were over 90 billion eggs produced in the United States. Three quarters were for consumption, the remaining were used as hatching eggs for broiler and layer production.
16. In 2012, annual egg consumption in the United States per person was estimated at 250 eggs.
Additional Egg Facts
17. To test eggs for freshness, place in a container of cool water. If the egg lays horizontal on the bottom it is fresh, if it rises to the top it is an old egg, but not necessarily a bad egg, typically is just means it needs to be used or boiled, that it can potentially go bad. If your hens free-range and you come upon a nest in their ranging area, test them in water to determine if they are fresh or too old to use. We here at Just Fowling Around did our own test between a fresh laid farm egg and a commercial store bought egg. The surprising result was that both were equally fresh. We would like to point out however that may not be the case tested against all store-bought or commercial eggs unless there is volume turn over at some other outlet.
18. Eggs will keep longer if they are not washed. Washing removes the protective coating *bloom* that is part of the egg laying process. If an egg is dirty it is best to wipe off the dirt with a soft damp cloth or not washed until just before using. It is a requirement by the USDA for commercial eggs to be washed and sterilized before distributed to prevent possible illness from bacteria on the egg shell and possible contamination of the interior. Eggs are not washed in foreign countries
19. Eggs can be stored on the counter or cool pantry, though they will last even longer under refrigeration. Foreign countries do not refrigerate eggs.
20. Most chickens do not lay an egg each day. The number varies by breed, with some laying 5 days a week and others laying every other day. The record for one hen was set in 2009 of 325 eggs in one year.
21. It takes 4 pounds of feed to produce 12 eggs. One chicken will eat about 1/2 cup of feed each day. It is very important to feed a well balanced layers diet for the health of the chicken and for normal egg production.
22. Though it takes 24 to 26 hours for a hen to produce one egg, there are other eggs in various stages of development in the reproductive system. If the ovary were dissected, there would be several eggs present without shells or shells developing.
23. Most eggs produced in this country are for domestic use, a very small percentage is exported.
24. Did you know that the 100 folds in a Toque (Chef's hat) are there to represent the number of ways eggs can be cooked?
25. The statistics in 2012 for egg consumption in this country per person was estimated at 250 eggs annually.
Sources: USDA, FDA, Purdue University, CDC, WebMD.
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