QM Easter Special: Eggs

eggs-in-nest Eggs Are One of the Most Nutritious Foods Available. Here’s the Inside Story

In many households, egg consumption rises sharply immediately after Easter. The reason for this is well known. However, an enduring mystery is how the farmers get the hens to manufacture this surplus supply once a year. Have they selectively bred chickens to go into overdrive a few weeks in advance?

In any case, we are interested in consumption, not production. And consume away. An egg is one of the most complete meals possible.

An egg is a single cell. Actually that’s an eggaggeration. It’s a single cell surrounded by nutrients. It should come as no surprise that eggs contain every amino acid we need. After all, if properly fertilized and incubated by mama hen, the result is a baby chick with all the requisite bits: brains, eyes, muscles, digestive system, etc., just like us (well sort of).

egg-with-chick

Most of the building block‑the amino acids‑ are found in the egg white. And most of the material to stich these amino acids together into something useful is found in the yolk. Additionally eggs have a couple dozen micronutrients—vitamins and minerals and the like.

You would think something as healthy as an egg, and a renewable resource to boot, would be a lauded food. But, this is not the case. Eggs got accused of heart disease, and practically banned. The science behind the ban was about as shaky as science can get (although this area frequently holds surprises for us.)

The Great Egg Ban

As of 2016, Wikipedia has this: “There is debate over whether egg yolk presents a health risk.” This sort of stuff make us want to tear our hair out, which maybe why we have so little. Egg yolks have cholesterol, but, for the thousandth time, dietary cholesterol has nothing to do with circulating cholesterol. If you abstain from eggs, and your LDL cholesterol is 110 mg/dl, and then spend a week eating nothing but eggs, your cholesterol will still be 110. This has been known since the 1950s, except, it would seem, in medical circles.

Eggs Shells Have a Coating.

In the United States, this coating is washed away. It’s the law. It makes the egg look better, washes away any bacteria, but makes the egg more porous and susceptible to contamination. In most European countries, it is illegal to wash away the coating. These eggs will keep better, and may appear a bit “smudged.”

Could You Survive on Eggs?

Except for a couple of missing vitamins, the answer is probably yes. In particular vitamin C is missing. Eggs plus a nice fruit or vegetable would probably do it. Or even a multivitamin. You might get a bit tired of eggs, but there are over a dozen ways to cook them, which should help if you are considering eggatarianism .

Useful Egg Facts

How to tell if an egg is fresh.

Method 1. Put it in water. You may have noticed an indent at the end of a hard-boiled egg. This is the air sac. It starts out small, and in that state the egg will quickly sink in a glass of water. But as the egg ages, the air sac grows. Eventually it will float.

Method 2. If, no matter how careful you are, those yolks break in the frying pan, you probably have some old eggs.

How to tell if an egg that is still in the shell is hard boiled.

Spin it. A hard-boiled egg will spin dozens of time, a fresh egg will just make a couple of turns.

Eggs come in many colors

eggs-colored

And not just around Easter. The Araucana chick lays pale blue and pale green eggs. Deep reds are possible. No need to dye eggs.

Eggs Are Very Strong in the Lengthwise Direction

An egg crosswise in the palm of your hand is easily squashed, but doing so if placed lengthwise is almost impossible. This egg fact has money making possibilities.

Eggs are gluten free.

In fact most stuff is gluten free, but it’s good to know these things.

Certain Egg Myths Dispelled

  • Roosters do not lay hard-boiled eggs.
  • We do know why the chicken crossed the road, but is has nothing to do with eggs. So it is beyond the scope of this post.
  • And finally, the answer to that age old question: The egg obviously came first, brought by the Easter bunny.

Happy Easter from Quantitative Medicine

  2 comments for “QM Easter Special: Eggs

  1. Jim
    March 27, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Happy Easter to the QM crew! Eggcellent article!

  2. Helene
    March 28, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    An immense confidence booster for eggs! xx

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