Which came first?
___ The chicken
___ The egg
2. Which eggs are healthiest to eat?
___ White eggs
___ Brown eggs
___ Both equally healthy
3. Eggs are dangerous because of
___ Cholesterol content
___ Salmonella poisoning
___ All of the above
___ None of the above
4. Eggs are good for you because they contain
___ Vitamins A,D, and B-12
___ Choline, an essential nutrient
___ All of the above
5. Egg yolks are bad for you. True or False?
6. If an egg floats in water, it is fresher than one that sinks. True or False?
7. The healthiest eggs to eat are
____ Chocolate Easter eggs
____ Grade A eggs
____ Grade AA eggs
____ A or AA eggs
8. Eggs are sometimes safe to eat past their expiration date. True or False?
9. If you heat an egg from the store in an incubator for long enough, it could possibly grow and hatch a live baby chick. True or False?
10. Which is the most humane level of egg production?
___ Free range
___ Cage free
___ Certified humane
Eggs are considered by some to be the perfect food. They are cheap, can be prepared in many ways, and contain lots of healthy proteins and vitamins. Chicken eggs have evolved to be the egg of choice because chickens can lay more eggs than other birds and are less protective and demanding than ducks or geese. The average American eats some 250 eggs a year for a total of over 76 Billion for the country.
Eggs can be a part of a healthy diet. Part of the problem is that they are often paired with less healthy breakfast foods like bacon, sausage, hash browns, and pancakes. Adding cheese or meat to an omelette also counteracts the nutritional goodness of the simple egg.
Lets look at the questions above to see how egg-savvy you are.
Of course the egg came first. It always does. Eggs are formed by a union of male and female genetic material, and the first chicken came from two similar species that formed the first chicken (or dinosaur, duck, snake) egg.
Brown and white eggs are equally healthy. Brown eggs tend to cost more at the store because they are layed by bigger chickens, but the nutritional content is essentially the same.
Salmonella is the big danger with eggs, which is why they always must be cooked. Eggs come out of the same chute that bird poop comes out of, so there's always a danger of this deadly bacteria popping up. Eggs should be refrigerated until use and cooked at high enough temperatures to kill the salmonella. For many years it was believed that the cholesterol in eggs was bad for you, and eggs were discouraged by nutritionists. But in 2015 experts changed the guidance after studies proved that cholesterol in your diet doesn't translate to higher cholesterol in your blood. So now eggs are fine, as long as they're prepared correctly.
All of the above. I knew about the first two, but it turns out choline is essential for infant development, brain health, cell maintenance and metabolism. Luckily, it is in many healthy foods even if not on the food labels.
It depends on how you define bad, but I say false. Egg yolks have most of the fats and calories of an egg, but they also contain much of the protein and other nutrients. If you are going for low-fat and low-calories, then egg whites alone are what you want. Otherwise eating the yolk is fine.
False. It's the opposite. If an egg floats, then air has seeped into the egg, meaning it is older and possibly rotten.
While I like chocolate eggs the best, both A and AA are deemed healthy by the FDA. The main differences between the two are cosmetic. AA eggs have slightly thicker and firmer egg whites, which can only be detected with special lighting that can look inside the shells.
True. As long as they remain refrigerated, experts say that eggs are safe to eat up to a month past the expiration date.
False. Eggs from the store are always unfertilized, so there is no chance that any of them could ever hatch. (Unless the farmer screws up big time.)
Certified humane. Any egg carton with this designation means that the farmers who raised the chickens adhere to a strict set of humanitarian standards. The more farmers accommodate the chickens, the more expensive the eggs will become. As a bit of background, here are the different designations you might see on eggs:
- Conventional. This is the way 75% of eggs are currently produced in the US.. These hens are kept in small cages not much larger than their bodies. The EU has outlawed this type of production and the US is working on phasing it out.
- Cage free. This covers about 18% and growing. Here the hens are allowed to roam around indoors, but conditions could still be crowded.
- Free range. This is about the same as cage free, except that the hens have a small outdoor area that they can access, though there's no guarantee that they will.
- Organic. About 6% of all eggs. Essentially the same as free range plus they also use an organic diet with no GMO's or pesticides.
- Pasture-raised. (Not FDA regulated). Most certified humane eggs are also pasture raised. These would be the happiest chickens as they are allowed to roam outside regularly and have the most space to move around.
- Meaningless terms to ignore: farm-fresh, hormone-free (all eggs are), all-natural.
So how did you do? Hopefully you learned a little something about the incredible, edible egg. Hopefully if consumers put enough pressure on big agriculture, the conditions of America's hens will improve, as it already has in many countries around the world.
Weight loss tip #20- Don't be afraid to include eggs in your diet, but try and be informed when it comes to the treatment of the chickens who layed them for you.