Eggs are a pretty important part of the diet in most cultures and are an ingredient in a surprising number of things we consume daily. They’re also one of the most common food allergies, and the way that most reptiles, insects, amphibians and birds enter into this world. On the surface, eggs seem pretty simple: shell, white, yolk. Turns out, they’re pretty interesting. Here are 25 Awesome Egg Facts You Might Not Know.
Most people in Europe don't wash or refrigerate their eggs. In the US ( and in Japan and Australia), we wash and refrigerate our eggs as soon as they're laid. It makes for clean happy shells, but we also wash away a very thin coating that keeps good stuff - like oxygen - in and bad bacteria out. Because we do this, we have to refrigerate our eggs. Other countries don't wash their eggs (or at least not to wash away that magical shield) and don't ever chill them, so they don't need to maintain a chilly state. Both methods are different approaches to combating the possibility of salmonella bacteria, and honestly, they both seem to work about as well. It's just what your country's government decides you should do with eggs.
Egg and blood are similar enough in makeup that one could use coagulated blood as an egg substitute in baking. Before you say "WHAT?!? EW, GROSS," remember that when we had a closer connection to our food where everything was local or grown/raised ourselves, people used the ENTIRE animal.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for humans, and our bodies usually make it in our skin when exposed to sunlight. There are very few foods that contain Vitamin D, and Egg Yolks are one of them.
We've mentioned in previous lists how cooking certain foods actually makes their nutrients more accessible for our bodies as we digest them. Eggs are no exception. If you eat an egg raw, you only get about half the protein as eating them cooked. Also, they're a lot less like eating snot.
Americans eat, on average, 250 eggs per year each. But that's "average." So if you're having a two egg omelet every morning, that already puts you well over 700, not including any eggs in things like cakes or some kinds of pasta.
Supposedly the Romans made the first omelette back in ancient times. It was made of eggs and sweetened with honey. It was called Ovemele, meaning eggs and honey.
Eggs are one of, if not THE most versatile ingredient in cooking, and according to legend, there are (or were, once upon a time) 100 folds or pleats in a chef's hat (called a toque) that represented the 100 ways to cook an egg.
One of the most important versions of the egg is the Chocolate Easter egg. Regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, nearly everyone can appreciate this traditional springtime confection. The first chocolate eggs started appearing in Germany and France in the early 19th century.
Speaking of Easter, the egg was traditionally a pagan springtime symbol of fertility (the Church adopted it, much like Christmas trees) and people have been dying eggs to celebrate spring since ancient times (the Egyptians, Persians, Romans & Greeks).
Curious about other pagan rituals and symbols in our current culture? Check out 25 Popular Holidays With Surprisingly Pagan Origins.
The color of an egg's yolk is an indicator of the diet of the hen that laid it. For instance, a darker yellow yolk may indicate a hen fed green vegetables or allowed to free range forage.
You may have noticed that sometimes when you crack an egg there's a little spot of blood on the yolk. This is just a rupture of small blood vessels and doesn't mean the egg was fertilized at any point or that it's unsafe to eat.
Each egg hen lays, on average, 250-270 eggs ever year. Imagine having your period that many times, ladies. Or giving birth that many times.
In 2008, researchers in Canada published the answer to the question "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Answer: The Egg. Dinosaurs were making nests and laying eggs before birds evolved from said dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are so cool you guys. Do you ever just...get randomly sad that they're gone?
Love dinosaurs as much as we do? Check out this list for starters: 25 Giant Facts You Might Not Know About Dinosaurs.
In the US, we only eat unfertilized eggs - eggs without a baby chicken inside. Not so in some Asian countries! In countries like China, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, a snack called Balut is regularly consumed. Balut is a duck egg, with a partially developed baby duck inside. They boil the baby ducks to death inside the shell and then eat them. Before you crinkle your nose, though, do you know what's in your hot dog?
Eat your eggs. For a while, egg yolks got a pretty bad reputation because of their cholesterol content. Turns out, after many studies, that eating eggs doesn't necessarily increase your risk of heart disease, and the antioxidants can actually be really good for you. Some studies even suggest that eating eggs can help lower blood pressure.
Eggs actually have a pretty long shelf life. Most egg cartons have a "sell by" date, not an expiration date. This is because eggs are generally good for up to a few weeks after the sell by date. If you're unsure if an egg is good, crack it in a small bowl before adding it to anything, and smell it. Rotten eggs smell like...well..rotten eggs. Sulfur. Baddness. There isn't really a question if an egg is bad - if you've cracked a bad egg, you know.
Each egg takes from 24-26 hours to form inside the hen before it's laid. The Ovum develops into the yolk in the ovary, and when the hen ovulates - DAILY - the albumen and whites form around the egg on the way to the uterus. The shell then forms in the uterus. Yes, eggs are chicken periods. And the poor chicken has one daily. About half an hour after the last one is laid, the process starts all over.
In the United States, eggs cost about $0.17 per serving, making them one of the cheapest meals (not to mention sources of protein) you can have.
Iowa produces more eggs than an other state in the US - nearly 15 *billion* per year. This sustains around 8,000 jobs in Iowa.
Eggs are used in many common vaccines. Vaccine manufactures claim that these effects are minimal if you or your child has an egg allergy, but always check with your doctor to be safe.
In case you were wondering, the temperature of an egg when it's laid is about 106°F.
The largest Hen's egg on record was laid by Harriet the Hen in 2010. It was 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) long and 9.1 inches (24 cm) in diameter. Ow. Poor Harriet was only 6 months old at the time.
You can eat Ostrich eggs, Quail, Emu, Goose, and Duck eggs in addition to chicken eggs. An Ostrich egg is about 2 dozen chicken eggs in volume, so save those for when you're really hungry. Or, if you're Gaston, eating Ostrich eggs cuts your morning omelette down to just 2 eggs.
We all know you shouldn't eat things with raw eggs in them, like cookie dough and brownie batter. That's because it's possible for eggs to contain the bacteria salmonella which can make you very sick or even dead. However, it's really rare that eggs even contain the bacteria - about 1 in every 20,000 or so *might* have it. That means the average person will encounter an unsafe egg around once every 80ish years, and if that egg is cooked, it kills the bacteria. So then, what are the odds that the once or twice a year you have some unbaked goods with pretzels and beer it's going to be a bacteria ridden egg? Anyone want to do the math? I'm not doing the math.
An egg's shell color has nothing to do with it's nutritional quality; it indicates the breed of hen that laid it. Hens with white feathers (usually) lay white eggs, and hens with brown feathers lay brown eggs. Some hens like Araucanas even lay pale blue or green eggs. That's not dye or something weird in their diet; that's just the color eggs they lay.
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Photo Credits: Feature Image: shutterstock, 25. pixabay (public domain), 24. Nyki m, Blood, CC BY 3.0, 23. Max Pixel (public domain), 22. Max Pixel (public domain), 21. Max Pixel (public domain), 20. Max Pixel (public domain), 19. Max Pixel (public domain), 18. wikimedia commons (public domain0, 17. pixabay (public domain), 16. Herzi Pinki, Different color of egg yolk, CC BY-SA 3.0, 15. miya, Chicken egg01 monovular, CC BY 3.0, 14. Gsvadds, Always Maxi pads, CC BY-SA 4.0, 13. goodfreephotos.com (public domain), 12. Nepenthes, Balut001, CC BY-SA 2.5, 11. wikimedia commons (public domain), 10. pixabay (public domain), 9. own photograph —Uwe Gille 14:21, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC), Oviduct-hen, CC BY-SA 3.0, 8. pixabay (public domain), 7. wikimedia commons (public domain), 6-5. pixabay (public domain), 4. Max Pixel (public domain), 3. Zureks, Comparison of eggs by Zureks, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2-1. pixabay (public domain)