World Egg Day: Eggs-actly what we need

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World Egg Day was established in Vienna, Austria, in 1996, when it was decided we’d celebrate the power of the egg on the second Friday in October every year. What’s super exciting is 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of this eggs-citing celebration! (Get ready for a lot of puns.)

According to the International Egg Commission, this year’s World Egg Day celebrates the brilliant versatility of the egg and its vast variety of benefits to people of every age and stage of life. The egg is one of the most nutrient-dense natural food sources on the planet. It improves brain function, supports physical strength, aids in child growth and more. The IEC also notes the egg is the most environmentally sustainable and affordable animal-source proteins available. Eggs contain 13 vitamins and minerals required by the human body, and the egg industry is a significant source of income for rural populations around the world. (And farming them is old school: it’s likely that domesticated laying hens date back as far as 7500 BCE.)

How popular are eggs? Consumption of the round food was about 294 eggs per person in the U.S. in 2019, eaten either by themselves (hello, brunch besties!) or in other products (hello, baked treats!). And, according to United Egg Producers, the majority of eggs in America are produced east of the Mississippi. The USDA notes that the vast majority (87%) of eggs produced in the U.S. are unfertilized table eggs. These eggs are produced for consumption and are what you will find sold at the grocery store. Only 13% of eggs are fertilized, or hatching eggs, which are used for producing chickens.

You’ve likely seen the term “farm fresh eggs” either in the grocery store or at a roadside stand, but what could be fresher than gathering your own eggs every morning? Laying chickens come in a variety of different breeds that produce a variety of eggs with varying qualities, but in general, the top 10 laying breeds are Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock, Australorp, Red Star, Orpington, Spanish, Sussex, Chantecler and Brahma. Leghorns and Plymouth Rocks can produce up to 280 eggs a year! That can save you a lot of money if you use a lot of eggs – and if you don’t, you can always sell some to neighbors. Everyone needs an egg now and then.

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