Why Keep Chickens, Part 2

Dec 17th

IMG_0690One thing you may notice is that I like to use citations. I think it helps to show I’m not just blowing smoke. Today, though, I’m not going to use citations. In fact, I’ll admit I couldn’t find any citations to support my claim: that our fresh chicken eggs taste so much better than store bought. Seriously, they do! They have a slightly sweet taste with a very “clean” finish. To illustrate what I mean, considered hard boiled eggs. Usually I can walk in the door and tell in a two seconds flat that my mother has boiled eggs. There’s that slight sulfur smell. And when you peel and eat them that sulfur smell is there too. In fact, I’ve struggled to eat eggs most of my life because I kinda found them gross. I had to either douse fried eggs in hot sauce or add so much salt and pepper to boiled eggs that I was eating a little egg with my seasoning rather than vice versa. But with our fresh eggs we get none of that sulfur smell. In fact, I can eat a hard boiled egg without anything on it and enjoy the taste. My husband’s theory is that store bought eggs are a little rancid. Since egg processing in America involves sanitizing, the “bloom” or protective outer coating on the egg is usually damaged during processing and leaves the porous egg shell open to air molecules and other agents.

In fact, while trying to research egg washing requirements in the USA I found conflicting guidance. On their fact sheet, Shell Eggs from Farm to Table USDA states:

Should you wash eggs?
No. It’s not necessary or recommended for consumers to wash eggs and may actually increase the risk of contamination because the wash water can be “sucked” into the egg through the pores in the shell When the chicken lays the egg, a protective coating is put on the outside by the hen. Government regulations require that USDA-graded eggs be carefully washed and sanitized using only compounds meeting FDA regulations for processing foods.

Note that washing eggs “may actually increase the risk of contamination”.

Because the compounds used to wash eggs are considered potential food additives, egg washing falls under the jurisdiction of the FDA. However, to date the FDA has failed to provide any published regulations regarding egg shell cleaning (1) (OK, I guess I’m using citations).

Now, my husband and I do give our eggs a light wash. We rinse any poo pieces that may be stuck on, give it a quick rinse in cool water, pat dry and put away. We don’t use soap or scrub the eggs. Whatever the reason, our fresh eggs taste so much yummier than any I’ve purchased from a store.

1. USDA, Shell Eggs from Farm to Table