Eggceptional food

eggBy Kim Cooper

How many eggs do you figure you have eaten so far in your life? Did you know that those eggs we have come to love are called nature’s multivitamin and that they provide lasting energy? Today, let’s look closer at our egg sector and the egg farmers of Ontario.

Eggs are one of nature’s most nutritious foods. They are considered a very nutrient-dense food because they give a significant amount of vitamins and minerals, yet contain only 70 calories for one large egg. An egg has iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, folate, protein, selenium, lutein, and choline.

Most of the vitamins and minerals in an egg are found in the yolk. A little more than half of the protein is found in the egg white, and the rest is in the yolk. The fat (mostly unsaturated fat) and cholesterol are found in the yolk. So for the most nutrition and flavour, the whole egg should be enjoyed, except for the shell of course.

According to current research, eggs provide lasting energy, keep you feeling full longer, help to control weight, protect your eyesight, stimulate brain development, and help you concentrate better.

A hen lays about 320 eggs during her laying cycle. These eggs are not all the same size. Generally, as a hen gets older, she lays larger eggs.

The difference between brown and white eggs is the hen! It may seem a bit obvious, but simply put, brown eggs come from brown-feathered hens and white eggs come from white-feathered hens. Nutritionally and taste wise, brown eggs are exactly the same as white eggs, so it’s really a matter of personal choice which eggs you choose.

You can also now buy eggs that are ‘Omega-3 eggs’ and these come from chickens that have been given feed which contains flaxseed.

Eggs are categorized by weight, not size or shape. Sometimes eggs in the same carton may appear to be different sizes, but their weight will be within a similar range.

Double-yolk eggs are produced by hens whose egg production cycles are not completely synchronized. Two egg yolks mature at the same time, pass through the hen’s reproductive system and are surrounded by a single egg white and shell. Double-yolk eggs are very safe to eat and cook.

The Egg Farmers of Ontario is an independent, self-governing farming organization. They are not a government body or department and are funded entirely by egg producers. Each producer pays a fee or levy on every dozen eggs sold and these funds are used to support the activities of the Ontario and Canadian egg system.

Egg Farmers of Ontario is the marketing organization for the 430 egg producers and pullet growers in Ontario who account for 40% of total egg production in Canada, or 200 million dozen eggs annually. That’s a lot of eggs.

It sounds like including more eggs in your diet is an eggsellent idea. Go for it.

Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our website.

Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 35 years. You can follow him on Twitter.