History of Favorite American Food Eggs Part 2

About the favorite American food eggs, history and information of chicken production.


There is a misunderstanding about the relationship of yolk color to nutritive value of the egg. Xanthophyll, which causes the deep yolk color, has no nutritive value itself; however, one of its natural sources is grass and so farm flocks will have seasonal changes in yolk color, while commercial flocks have such factors regulated artificially. Farm flocks lead a more natural life, getting sunlight and vitamins outdoors (in conjunction with the natural xanthophyll in their food), and they produce at a less hectic pace. It is actually the albumen, or white part of the egg, which suffers loss of nutritive quality when egg production is high, as in commercial flocks. Furthermore, the use of insecticides and other drugs in commercial flocks causes residue in both the eggs and body tissues of these chickens. Organic eggs--typically farm eggs--contain no pesticides.

Other claims are that fertile eggs have higher nutritive value than nonfertile ones and that cooked eggs are more digestible than raw. In fact, raw egg white contains a small amount of a toxic protein called avidin, which is inactivated by heat. The yolk comprises less than 1/3 of the egg but contains most of the calories, fat, iron, vitamin A, thiamine, calcium, and half of the protein and riboflavin. Studies by Everson and Souders (1957) and Hanning (1958) on the B vitamins showed that scrambled eggs had 20% less riboflavin than hard-boiled eggs but that neither method of preparation affected the available thiamine or protein. Studies on cholesterol give conflicting results, saying that while the body needs and can utilize some cholesterol, eggs do tend to raise the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Whether or not this is raised above a desirable level is debatable.

Eggs also have the properties of foaming, coagulating, emulsifying, and coloring, which make them useful in cakes, custards, meringues, mayonnaise, and other foods typical of American culinary taste. Among their nonfood uses: eggs and eggshells are used in fertilizers; fertile eggs are used in the production of the vaccines for canine distemper, mumps, and yellow fever; and egg yolks are used to preserve bull semen for artificial insemination.

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