Eggs are such a common food and touted as being great for us, but should we actually eat eggs?
Now I have to admit, that eggs were the hardest thing for me to leave behind, but I did so for a couple of reasons.
The Egg Industry:
I think we all know just how cruel life is for the chickens who have to live in the cages. So let’s look at a few facts on the caged chicken.
- It can take around 34 hours for a chicken to produce an egg which means that farmers have to make sure they have enough chickens producing enough eggs in order to make a living. As demand increased so the space allocated to each chicken decreased.
- Battery cages allow a space no bigger than an A4 size piece of paper. And, because the hens are packed into these cages with anywhere between 5 to 11 to a cage,
- At the start of their life the end of their beaks are cut off with a hot blade – no anesthetic given (not all battery hens suffer this, but it is still a common practice around the world).
- Cages are usually stacked one on top of another which allows urine and feces to fall through to the birds in the cages below
- They often die in the cage and on some farms are left to rot. This does make you wonder just how much disease is coming through into the eggs.
These cages are being phased out. They’re already banned in many European countries and in parts of the United States. N.Z. has put a ban on battery cages, however, currently is allowing colony cages which is really just a bigger version. … wire and steel. Australia, I believe, still is running with this barbaric practice.
So, instead, you choose free range eggs.
Before I go on let’s start at the beginning because this is the start of all chickens lives regardless of whether they are for the caged or the free range farms.
- Because the demand is so great for layer hens, chicks are born in large incubators obviously never seeing their mother.
- Shortly after birth the chicks are sorted into male and females. The males are tossed into the trash to suffocate gassed or ground up alive in machines.
- At the other end of life – again, same for all types of egg farms.
- Hens can live up to 10 years of age, but in this industry they are lucky if they reach 2 years. Most are packed into crates and trucked off to slaughter around the 18 months of age this is because their egg laying begins to tail off and so they are no longer a viable proposition to the farmer.
- For those who live in cages and in barns – the journey in the truck to the slaughter house is the only time a hen will see the light of day, the only time she will breathe the air and see the sky.
Eggs For Health:
Where do I start?
Even the US Department of Agriculture warned the egg industry that if they say eggs are nutritious or safe they may violate the rules against false and misleading advertising.
That in itself speaks volumes.
- Egg yolks alone can cause artery clogging plaque build up nearly two thirds as bad as smoking.
- Eggs are the number one source of cholesterol. A fascinating study was done over a period of a year where they put the subject on eggs, then took him off eggs, put him back on eggs, took him off eggs and the rise and fall of cholesterol was massive – it turn his blood cholesterol on and off like an eggy light switch.
- Eggs increase our risk of cardiovascular disease. Putting all the studies going right back to the 1930’s all together you find those who ate the most eggs (average a single egg per day), had a 19% increase in cardiovascular disease, a 68% increase risk of diabetes and those with diabetes a 85% increase risk of heart disease.
You must remember that you need to be sure the research you read are not funded by the egg industry.
and what I find amusing is that their studies will compare a single egg to something like a cheese and sausage found in the McDonald’s McMuffin which, of course, is laden with saturated fats.
Now, If you’re already eating a high cholesterol diet, then adding an egg isn’t going to make a difference. But if you’re trying to eat healthy and bring your cholesterol down, then an egg is going to shoot it right back up again.
Apart from the cholesterol and looking at other phytonutrients that eggs have such as lutein which have been shown to be beneficial to one’s eyesight against conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
But wait – you can get both these nutrients in spinach. In fact, you’d have to eat 9 eggs to get the same amount that is in a single spoonful of spinach.
Eggs are not rich in protein, iron or folate as the industry might want you to believe. Choline is about the only nutrient eggs are rich in (besides cholesterol) and even though the industry would love you to think that eggs are the only source of it in reality we probably all get too much choline as it’s found in lots of foods.
If you tend to have a bit of a ‘fishy’ breath, sweat, urine and other secretions, then chances are you’ve had too much choline. Oh and by the way, dietary choline is found mainly in eggs, milk, liver, red meat, poultry, shell fish and fish.
It’s also been discovered that once it’s been through the gut and oxidized in our liver the result may contribute to plaque build up in the arteries.
My conclusion is that eggs are a double whammy when it comes to heart health having both the cholesterol and the choline.
There’s just no way round it …. go wholefood vegan and help not only the chickkies but your health as well.