There are many myths in the world of eggs. Whether it is in regards to human food intake, human health issues or about chickens themselves; many myths exist that simply aren’t true. Here are ten myths about eggs, debunked.
- . Eggs are high in cholesterol.
FALSE. The Harvard School of Public Heath says, “While it’s true that egg yolks have a lot of cholesterol—and so may weakly affect blood cholesterol levels—eggs also contain nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease, including protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate.”1
|Mabel & the newly hatched Alice|
C 2. Chickens don’t lay eggs without a rooster.
FALSE. When a hen becomes the right age just like any other female, her body produces eggs. A rooster is only needed if producing chicks is desired.
3. You can’t eat fertilized eggs.
FALSE. Even if you have a rooster and he mates with your hens as long as the eggs are collected daily and not set on by a broody hen, the chick does not begin to develop. This is what allows fertilized eggs to be sent via mail and hatched at a later time.
4. Eggs you collect fresh from your chickens must be refrigerated.
DEPENDS. The FDA recommends refrigerating all eggs regardless of them being freshly collected or store bought. Many chicken keepers store them un-refrigerated. They collect eggs daily and eat them within a few days as well as practice good nest box hygiene.
5. The white twisted material attached to the yolk is sperm from the rooster.
|Photo courtesy of Wikipedia|
FALSE. The Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us, “The whitish, twisted material seen near the raw egg yolk is thick albumen, which is part of a layer of dense egg white surrounding the entire yolk. Its purpose is to help keep the yolk centered in the egg. The albumen is especially prominent in fresh, high-quality eggs.” 2
6. Brown eggs have a stronger taste than lighter colored eggs.
FALSE. The taste of a chicken egg is not determined by the color of the shell. The breed of the chicken determines the egg shell color. Some fowl have stronger tasting eggs than others, e.g. duck eggs can be stronger than chicken eggs.
7. The shape of the egg can tell you the sex of a chick.
FALSE. The sex of a chick cannot be determined by the shape of the egg. Some breeds like sex links can be sexed in the first three days but not while in the egg.
8. The greenish-grey color around the yolk of a boiled egg means the egg is bad.
FALSE. This is a compound of iron and sulfur called ferrous sulfide3 that occurs when the egg is heated. It is harmless to ingest. Some experts say ferrous sulfide can be prevented by immediately immersing the egg in cold water once boiling is complete.
9. It’s better to eat only egg whites.
FALSE. While the egg yolks have more calories than the whites, the yolk is packed with Vitamins D and A as well as many other vitamins.4 Rarely is one food source packed with so many vitamins like a complete egg.
10. You should always wash eggs after collecting them from your hens.
FALSE. There are many sources out there that will tell you to wash eggs when in truth a protective coating called the “bloom” is applied to the egg from the hen’s body right before it is laid. This seals the pores of the egg to keep out bacteria.5
So there you have it, ten myths about eggs busted. So break a few of your own and enjoy them in your favorite recipe.
1. Harvard School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source, Eggs and Heart Disease, retrieved November 17, 2013 from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/eggs/
2. The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Useful and Surprising Facts About Eggs, retrieved November 17, 2013 from http://www.almanac.com/content/useful-and-surprising-facts-about-eggs
3. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cook It Quick Tips, Avoiding a Green Ring Around Hard-Cooked Egg Yolks, Retrieved November 18, 2013 from http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciqtips-eggs.shtml
4. Incredible Edible Egg, Egg Nutrient Chart, retrieved November 18, 2012 from http://www.incredibleegg.org/health-and-nutrition/egg-nutrients/nutrient-chart
5. Damerow, Gail; Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens; p. 209; Storey; MA; 2010