Eggs Eggs are primarily designed for making new birds rather than for our culinary pleasure. To make a new bird, the egg must contain all the minerals, vitamins, proteins and fats necessary to create a fully formed hatchable living chick. Our ancestors relished an occasional feast of eggs whenever they succeeded in stealing eggs form birds.
For primitive man, they were a rare delicacy. As they did not keep birds, they had to first find, and then pilfer the hidden nests of birds. Birds laid seasonally, and only a few each year, so eggs were available only in Spring and Summer. When we domesticated birds, we changed their food supply by feeding them grains and other household wastes. We also sheltered them, so their egg-laying capacity increased. Nowadays, freely-ranging chickens lay fewer eggs in winter, because winter is their time of rest. Eggs are rich in lecithin, great for nerve health, and an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is an important vitamin for vegetarians. Eggs are also a very rich source of protein, especially the yoke, although most people think that the protein is found mainly in the egg white. Although egg yolk has some cholesterol, lecithin and choline are also present and these are fat emulsifiers. Whole eggs contain about 11% fats. The yoke contains about 30% fats by weight.
The white is fat-free. 1/3 of the fats in natural, free-range eggs are good fats. We now produce millions of eggs very cheaply that are almost colourless, almost tasteless and unhatchable. Although, as far as I am aware, precise biochemical analyses to compare the nutritional merits of the 2 types of eggs has not been done (as no one has volunteered to pay for the research), the difference in taste and colour points to differences in nutritional content. Like humans, chickens in concentration camps don’t perform their best, and like us, they require sunshine, whole fresh foods, fresh air and room to move. Then they lay healthy nutritious eggs. Eggs should come from healthy, naturally fed, freely-ranging poultry that were raised drug and hormone-free if at all possible. These healthy eggs contain a balanced rich source of nutrients.
Unfortunately, most eggs that are eaten in Ireland come from chickens that are reared commercially and are therefore less nutritious.