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Volume III
January 27, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Cook'n Basics 101: Egg Information That's Good to Know!

By Alice Osborne

With all the talk today about the healthiest eggs, I've been wondering "Are fertilized eggs more nutritional than unfertilized ones?" Many health and whole foods stores make this claim. However, the research I read says the chicken's embryo in a fertilized egg is so small that the amount of extra nutritional value it offers is inconsequential.

Why is this good to know? Because so-called fertilized eggs cost more. We can save some money here.

And have you ever wondered why some egg yolks have blood spots? It's sort of gross, don't you think? Well here's the story: A yolk membrane can pick up blood spots as it travels down the hen's reproductive tract before the surrounding albumen (egg white) and shell have been formed. If the tract is bleeding, some of the blood can attach itself to the yolk. The blood spots are harmless blemishes and, contrary to some food books, do not indicate fertilization.

Why is this good to know? Again, we can save some money here - we can stop throwing those blood spotted eggs out. If they're harmless, I think I'll go ahead and add them to my cake batter.

And has anyone ever told you brown eggs are more nutritious and flavorful than white eggs? If so, don't believe it. Though some chickens that lay brown eggs produce more nutritious and flavorful eggs than the breeds that lay white eggs, the opposite is true just as often. Therefore, shell color is not an indicator of quality.

Eggshell color marketplace preference is regional: In Boston the brown egg is more popular, whereas in most other areas of our country the white is the top choice. Who knew?

Why is this good to know? Brown eggs tend to cost more - sold under the idea that they're somehow "special." Same deal - save your money.

Finally, there are some simple steps that we can take to safely handle and store eggs:

•  Never using damaged or dirty eggs.
•  Always keep eggs and eggshells away from other foods.
•  Take care not to splash egg onto worktops, utensils or other foods.
•  Wash hands, worktops, dishes and utensils thoroughly with warm soapy water after handling eggs.
•  If breaking eggs to use later (sometimes called 'pooling'), keep the liquid egg in the fridge and taking out small amounts as needed.
•  Use all 'pooled' liquid egg on the same day and do not add new eggs to top it up.

And why is this good to know? Improper handling and storing of eggs is an invitation to salmonella poisoning. No thank you!

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