Eggs are a topic of conversation each spring, largely because of their relationship to the Christian celebration of Easter. Brightly colored Easter eggs are on display, chocolate eggs line store shelves and egg-lined birds’ nests in trees and bushes dot spring landscapes.
Eggs take center stage in early spring, but they’re more than just novelties to include in Easter celebrations. In fact, there is plenty of time between now and Easter in early April to learn more about these versatile products.
Eggs are nutritious. Eggs are loaded with vitamins A, D and B12 and the nutrient choline. They’re also an excellent protein source in a small package. At 72 calories and packing six grams of protein, eggs can make for a great, filling meal at any time of day.
Eggs boost brain health. The choline in eggs is a crucial nutrient for memory, mood and muscle control, according to the University of Missouri Health Care system. Choline also is essential in fetal brain development and can help prevent birth defects.
Eggs don’t always have to be refrigerated. In countries outside of the United States and Canada, eggs may not be refrigerated and do not have to be chilled. Also, outside of North America eggs are not washed prior to commercial production. However, according to the food resource TheKichn, power-washing eggs removes a protective coating and makes the eggs porous and vulnerable to contamination. A synthetic coating is put on washed eggs.
Shell color does not matter. The color of the eggshell doesn’t indicate taste, nutritional value or even egg quality. The color of the eggshell reflects the breed of hen that laid the egg. Red-feathered hens tend to lay brown eggs, while hens with white features lay white eggs. Similarly, the shade of yolk is representative of what the chicken is eating. A dark, yellow yolk means the hen was probably fed green vegetables. Lighter yolks coordinate to corn and grain diets.
All eggs are ‘hormone-free.’ The term ‘hormone-free’ on egg cartons does not signify anything special. It’s like advertising that snow is cold. The United States Food & Drug Administration banned the use of hormones in all poultry production in the 1950s. All eggs are hormone-free.
Size and eggshell thickness indicates the age of the hen. Eggs come in different sizes, such as medium, large and jumbo. The age of the chicken determines the size, with older hens producing larger eggs. Age also affects shell thickness, with younger hens laying thicker-shelled eggs, says Eat This, Not That!
Eggs won’t hatch. Eggs sold for consumption are not fertilized. Hens that have laid them haven’t mated.
Many birds lay eggs. Kiwis lay the largest egg in relation to their body size of any species of bird in the world. However, the ostrich, emu and cassowary lay the biggest eggs.
The sink or swim test can say a lot about an egg. Eggs become more porous as they age. You can tell if an egg is old by putting it in a glass of water. If it sinks, it is fresh. If it floats, it is an older egg.