【Are you sure that’s what you want?】Health, Food Safety, and Environmental Issues as Deciphered from Eggs
Click here to read the article in Japanese.
There is also a link to the article in Japanese, but I will change the link from the article translated into English.
Why is it that there are so many varieties of eggs out there, but
Why are there only a handful of really safe and delicious eggs?
I always have mixed feelings when I look at supermarkets, online stores, etc.
They have a large sales floor and a large number of products, but…
There are very few eggs that I am willing to buy.
I think people tend to focus on price because it is something they eat every day.
But because we eat them every day, I think that this may be a problem.
Therefore, I would like to write about my own thoughts on eggs.
I know it may be difficult to share some of them with you, but I would like to share them with you.
I hope you will take the time to read it when you can.
Eggs with no visible rearing environment are very ordinary eggs
Eggs for which there is no information on the egg product package about the breeding method are normal eggs.
What I am referring to here are eggs that are generally born in the following conditions.
- Windowless henhouses with no windows
- Cage keeping that is too small and difficult to move freely
- An environment that is poorly ventilated and prone to disease without medication
They are unable to sunbathe, bathe in sand, forage for food, mate, lay eggs, or move to their sleeping areas.
This lack of exercise makes it difficult for them to build up their physical strength and resistance to disease, and stress builds up.
Hens are unable to perform their normal activities, and they continue to lay eggs in a confined space.
Although this has the advantage of less influence from the external environment and more efficient production, it is far from a natural environment.
Even if the price is low, I am not inclined to buy chickens when I think of them.
Importance of Place of Origin
Even if there is an image of “eggs born in an area rich in nature," if the eggs are ordinary eggs with no particular statement beyond that, it simply means only that there is a poultry farm in the location indicated.
It does not mean that the eggs are actually laid by pasture-raised hens on the land.
On the other hand, in the case of roaming free-range or pasture-raised, the quality of the external environment is important.
It is better to check the place of origin carefully because the air must be clean, the outside environment must be pleasant and comfortable with few external enemies.
Don’t be fooled by the appearance or their specific nutritional fortification.
- Differences in color, such as white-pink-red
- Differences in yolk color intensity
- The degree of rise of the yolk
- Difference in viscosity or elasticity
- Difference in hardness of shell
- Difference in shape
- Difference in size
There are many different types of eggs, but I personally think that you don’t need to worry about them that much unless you want them to look good or need to calculate detailed quantities, etc.
- Folic acid supplementation
- Vitamin A supplement
- Vitamin E supplement
- Vitamin D supplement
- Alpha-linolenic acid supplement
- Contains taurine
- Contains lutein
- Contains Astaxanthin
- Lowers neutral fat
- Low cholesterol
Hens that lay nutritionally enhanced eggs tend to eat more food that they would not normally eat, which is a bit far from nature.
As a product, it does seem appealing…
I think it is more important that the parent hens are healthy and laying eggs in an environment that is close to nature first, rather than feeding them a specific feed to raise the visible numbers.
And, as in any situation, food is a balance.
It is healthier and less stressful for the body to eat a balanced diet of natural, seasonal foods than to eat several different types of foods that are fortified with nutrients.
Food is very complex, with several nutrients intertwined into one.
It is easy to talk about how certain nutrients are good for the body, but if you focus only on those nutrients, it can be counterproductive to the body. By taking them together with other nutrients in good balance, the absorption rate can be increased, the disadvantages can be offset, and synergistic effects can be expected.
Nutritional foods are designed for people who are deficient in certain nutrients, but I do not believe that the problem can be easily solved by eating them. I think it is safer to think of it as a food to be eaten only when it is difficult to solve the problem.
The act of fortifying certain nutrients is not that important in itself, in my opinion.
More than half of brand eggs are image strategies
To distinguish their products from others, each producer does everything possible.
- Taste differentiation
- Nutritional differentiation
- Differentiation of origin
- Feed differentiation
- Differentiation by appearance
- Size differentiation
- Differentiation by eco-friendliness
Differentiation through nutritional enhancement, which I wrote about earlier, is also a brand strategy in a sense. Products tend to be differentiated from items that can be made inexpensively.
Producers create their own image and brand even small differences with packaging and advertisements that catch the consumer’s eye.
However, the more advertising is done, the more expensive the advertising costs become, so less is spent on the actual product. Since the more frequently seen products tend to be more splendid only in appearance, we, the consumers, need to check the details of the products carefully before buying them, rather than simply buying them because they are well-known.
Feed safety can easily be unclear.
Corn, soybean meal, rice, acetic acid, wormwood, seaweed, chlorella, oyster shells, bamboo powder, mulberry leaves, paprika, oak and other sap (wood vinegar), ore, marigold, oligosaccharides, lactic acid bacteria, natural water, etc.
Even a cursory search shows that there are so many different types.
In most cases, even the type of feed is mentioned, but the extent to which the feed is safe and environmentally friendly is not clearly stated.
- Is it grown with pesticides?
- Is it genetically modified?
- Is it grown on land with minimal marine pollution?
- Is it grown on land with minimal soil contamination?
- Does it contain substances that promote deforestation?
And so on.
I believe that what is really important is not the content but the safety and environmental friendliness.
What chickens eat will eventually become soil and return to nature.
If the feed is not produced in an environmentally friendly manner, the process of producing the feed will be harmful to the environment, and it will also be harmful to our bodies when we eat the chicken meat and eggs.
In addition, a large amount of chicken manure from poultry farms is processed and sold.
The soil is then used to grow vegetables again, and the cycle continues.
Not only chicken meat and eggs, but many other things are happening at the same time before food is produced, and the accumulation of these things has an impact on the environment as well.
Next, let’s look at heirloom eggs and organic eggs, which are kind to the body and the environment.
Continue to 2 page.