Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Prepper's Pantry: Eggs

Humans have eaten eggs since before recorded history. They were, and are, an essential part of our diet, featuring in the cuisine of every culture, region, and religion. They are an incredibly versatile ingredient, whether eaten as-is or combined in a dish. In the western world, chicken, duck, and goose eggs are the most commonly used, but eggs from every species of bird from quail to gull have been eaten somewhere. 

Some of our readers may remember the “Incredible Edible Egg” ad campaign from the 1970s. Eggs can be purchased fresh, dehydrated, frozen, salted, pickled, shelled in cartons, and there are even egg substitutes for use in cooking and baking.

In the United States, eggs are washed during production to clean the shell and make them more attractive for market. Unfortunately, this removes a thin coating from the egg called the cuticle. Without this coating, the eggs will spoil quickly unless refrigerated.

Fresh, unwashed eggs can last for months unrefrigerated if the cuticle is intact and the shell is otherwise undamaged. Eggs can also be preserved at home using the following methods.

WARNING: Only use farm fresh eggs, even if the instructions say "use store bought". The risk of spoilage is much higher!

While there are some reported health risks from over-indulging in eggs, they provide a considerable amount of nutritive value. Probably the greatest health risk involving eggs is spoilage and bacterial contamination, specifically Salmonella. This was the rationale by the USDA for recommending eggs be washed as soon as possible after laying.

So enjoy eggs if you are able. Everything from fried for breakfast, hardboiled in a salad for lunch, to egg drop soup sopped up by Challah for dinner. There are a near infinite number or uses for this wonder of nature.

1 comment:

  1. The addition of eggs to canned spinach makes canned spinach...downright tasty.


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