Eggs

by Kim Cooper

The egg is one of those basic, yet fascinating foods we take for granted. This week, let’s look at some questions many people have about eggs.

As with all our agricultural sectors here in Ontario, quality is number one when it comes to the eggs you eat. Freshness is an important factor, and Ontario egg farmers work hard to provide you with Grade ‘A’ quality fresh eggs.

How are eggs graded? Graded eggs are what you find in the grocery store. The process of grading starts with the gathering of eggs from the chickens. The eggs are then washed in a mild detergent to remove any particles. The eggs then go through a candling light where they are gently rotated to look for any imperfections inside the egg and also checking for any breaks in the shell. Only the ‘Grade A’ eggs move on and these eggs are then individually weighed. It is the weight that determines whether eggs are medium, large, or extra-large.

Is there any difference between ‘Farm Fresh Eggs’, and the eggs you buy in the grocery store? No, these are the same eggs. They travel from the farm to the grocery store in only 3-7 days. The eggs are collected on the farm, washed, graded and packaged at the grading facility, then immediately shipped to the grocery store. The only difference is that the ‘Farm Fresh Eggs’ are sold at the farm instead of the grocery store.

How long can eggs be kept and should they be kept in the refrigerator? Eggs, along with many other perishable food products, should always be kept in the refrigerator, where the lower fridge temperature limits moisture loss out through the pores of the egg shell. Eggs are one of the few sources of protein that can be kept refrigerated for 4 – 5 weeks without spoiling. The ‘Best Before’ date on the carton indicates how long an egg will stay fresh and maintain its Grade ‘A’ quality. To preserve the quality and freshness, keep the eggs in their carton in the refrigerator.

A large egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein. Protein is found in both the egg white and the yolk, with just over half in the white and the remainder in the yolk.

Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein. A complete protein contains the nine essential amino acids your body cannot produce naturally. Regarded as the “building blocks” of the body, amino acids help form protein and are vital to your body’s health.

A large egg contains only 1.5 grams of saturated fat and zero trans-fats. In terms of nutrition, with only 70 calories and packed with 14 essential nutrients which your body needs, an egg is a nutrient-dense food.

Ontario eggs – including more in our daily lives is a smart move and an eggscellent idea!

Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com

Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 40 years. He can be reached at: kim.e.cooper@gmail.com

You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’

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