Yesterday we went to our favorite ranch to pick up some delicious grass-fed beef and some equally delicious fresh eggs from pastured chickens. The owners of the ranch are wonderful, hard-working people who have a deep love and respect for their land and for farming.
As I was chatting with the Betty (the owner), she mentioned that she didn’t have any washed eggs, as she hadn’t had time yet, so if we could wait, she would wash some. I asked her if we had to have them washed and she began to tell me things I never knew about eggs. First of all, the eggs come out of the chicken with a coating on them that actually seals the egg. That coating is dissolved when the eggs are washed.
Additionally, if you raise chickens and want to sell to a restaurant or grocery store, it is a federal mandate that the eggs must not only be washed prior to selling, but also sprayed with bleach water. Now you might say, “So what?” Well, when the eggs are washed the above-mentioned natural seal is dissolved. Now the eggs are porous, so the bleach spray is absorbed into the eggshell, and sucked into the egg. So when you eat a grocery store egg, you get a shot of bleach with it.
According to Betty, we are one of the only countries that require all this rigmarole in order to sell an egg to a grocery store or restaurant. Her sister lives in Spain, and the stores sell unwashed eggs. Not only that, but the eggs are out on shelves, not refrigerated. Why? Well, eggs will last a long time unrefrigerated if they are unwashed. Remember, the natural coating seals the egg. No air gets to them, and so they have a long shelf life. So it is common in most other countries to have eggs out unrefrigerated.
Farm-raised, naturally fed chickens live as chickens are supposed to live. They run around in the pasture, eat bugs, worms, and whatever else chickens eat and produce eggs that are naturally high in Omega 3’s and other healthy nutrients. Chickens raised on soy, artificial hormones, and other bad juju from commercial feed providers whose eggs are sprayed with bleach solution just can’t compare.
So if you can find a great, local egg source, go get some real eggs.