Sunday, April 24, 2011

Nature's perfect food, not just at Easter

On a day when much of North America has been consuming chocolate covered candies, it occurred to me that this is a good time to spend a couple of minutes reflecting on the other kind of eggs.

The ones that come from chickens.  

They are an excellent source of protein, the essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6, and a host of other nutrients, yet with only trace amounts of carbohydrate.

There is sufficient research to put to rest the still widely held notion that the cholesterol in eggs might be harmful.  On the contrary, most people can safely nourish themselves very well on several eggs a day without experiencing any negative effects.

Eggs can be produced without killing or hurting the hen that lays them, making them an excellent animal source of protein for anyone who may be troubled by the idea of killing animals for food.

Free range chickens play an important ecological role when raised in backyards or on farms, where they form a natural pest control team that loves to eat bugs and caterpillars. Kitchen scraps can also be given to hens to root through.  The composted droppings can be used as a high quality fertilizer, helping to continue the cycle of organic food production.

Eggs from free range chickens can be more nutritious than the regular eggs in the stores.  Here in Ontario, Omega 3 eggs come from caged hens, and although there are organically fed cage-free ("free run") chickens, there are no free range eggs available in our grocery stores.

Eggs are also a very versatile ingredient to cook with:  while boiled eggs are highly transportable, they can also be poached, scrambled, fried, deviled or made into the most delicious omelettes or crustless quiches.  That's without even going into the numerous grain and sugar filled baked concoctions we're trying to stay away from!

Lastly, but certainly not least importantly, eggs are normally a very affordable source of nutrition.  In communities with widespread obesity, economics often play a role in people's ability to move away from the carbohydrate loaded diets that are killing them.

We need more people to recognize the nutritional benefits of eggs - prepared and served without grains or sugar, of course.  Eggs are a healthy and affordable way for everyone to eat high quality low carbohydrate food on a regular basis.

If ever there was one perfect low carb food to be stranded on a hypothetical desert island with, it would have to be a supply of fresh eggs.   Admittedly it would be dreadfully boring after a while with no other ingredients, but at least you would stay perfectly healthy while waiting to be rescued.

1 comment:

  1. Many years ago, on a trip to Turkey, I was introduced to Menamen, a delicious egg dish with tomatoes and peppers. "My" version was spicy, and the eggs were cooked slightly apart from the vegetables so they didn't quite get blended in the pan. Here is another variation of the same recipe: