Eggs have been a food for humans since time immemorable, though of course these were, until relatively recent history, foraged and so did not come by the dozen. While we scarcely forage for eggs today — except on strange holiday celebrations (Easter anyone?) — they are still foraged by our ape ancestors the chimpanzee. As we all have heard, eggs do, of course, represent an excellent source of protein. So excellent, in fact, that the World Health Organization uses eggs as the standard by which all protein sources are measured. They represent a 100% on the HBV (High Biological Value) scale for their perfect balance of amino acids.
The Incredible Edible Egg
Why I love eggs:
- They are fresh; this is an animal protein that we can easily access and that has never been frozen, dried, or processed. It comes fully intact and raw. While there is little scientific/nutritional appreciation for this property at present, I suspect in time greater emphasis will be placed on this by the nutritional "experts".
- They can be procured locally, which means we can easily access these wondrously nutritious foods from our local food shed. They can be raised at home, or by people we have relationships with.
- They are a rich source of DHA and other omega 3 fatty acids. This helps to balance the Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratios that become so woefully skewed in our domesticated food diets.
- Each is a large, single animal cell. Simply put, this means that they contain nearly everything we need to nourish our own animal cells.
- They are low glycemic and represent a wonderful source of saturated fats, and essential fatty acids and amino acids.
- I can easily find fresh local eggs nearly anywhere I travel.
What I look for in an egg:
- Organic, local and pasture raised eggs from small flocks of heirloom birds.
- Hard, well formed shells. The thicker and harder to crack the better.
- Dark golden-orange yolks. If the yolks are pale yellow, I know I need a new source.
- When I have the option I choose fertile eggs. While at present there is no scientific evidence for fertile eggs being more nutritious than infertile eggs, I think this is simply because there are properties in foods that still remain unnamed, unclassified, and as of yet “undiscovered”. We have — throughout modern history (“his story”) — disregarded what we haven’t understood.
What I avoid:
- Commercially raised eggs. Whether these are from factory farmed battery hens, or just from small scale farmers who feed their birds GM feed.
- Organic eggs if not local or if they are corn-fed. Corn fed chickens, despite being raised organically, will concentrate in their eggs the Omega 6 fats that are over-sufficient in their feed. Additionally these eggs will be deficient in Omega 3 fats, since these are lacking in their diet.
- Eggs labeled as vegetarian fed. This seems strange to me, in that chickens are omnivores. I understand that the concept here is that these chickens are not being fed rendered animal meal, however, I prefer to eat eggs from chickens that have been free to eat on pasture. This means birds that eat insects.
In the below video, I show you how I like to cook my eggs!
What you'll need:
Local, organic, pasture raised eggs
*A note on eating raw eggs. The whites of raw eggs contain a glycoprotein known as avidin, which has a strong affinity for the B-vitamin Biotin. It binds together forming the avidin-biotin complex which is not absorbed by our digestive tract. If you choose to consume raw egg whites it may be wise to do so sparingly, or at different times than other biotin rich meals. Cooking denatures avidin, rendering this biotin reaction inert.
How do you like YOUR eggs?
This article was excerpted from Dispatch 3 of ReWild Yourself! magazine! To read the rest of this article, enter your email below!