Should You Stop Refrigerating Your Eggs?

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Eggs. They are amazing for you. A true health bomb. I eat eggs every darn day (seriously, I never miss a day). I eat them boiled. I scramble. I sunny side up. I eat them in corn shell tacos. I eat them with mushrooms. I cook them in coconut oil. And in every situation, they are EggTastic.

But on the daily, my Internet experience comes with a host of crazy Internet headlines. Some tell me I’m too skinny or too fat. Some tell me I’m watching too much TV. Others tell me that the world is ending next year. And then one headline, well it tells me that I’m a darn fool for refrigerating my eggs.

What’s that you say you evil Internet headline?

Of course I have to refrigerate my eggs, I’d die if I didn’t (from something, I think). Refrigerators also come with an egg rack, if eggs didn’t go in there, then why the heck would I have an egg rack in my refrigerator? You see, common sense at play is a beautiful thing. But of course, my anecdotal assumptions aren’t incredibly scientific.

I’ve read some of the articles telling me I can leave my eggs out on my dresser drawer for days without incurring any devastating effects. I’ve googled. I’ve asked friends. I’ve called random people in Amsterdam to make sure they are actually alive and then asked if they’ve eaten eggs recently. I’ve even asked the eggs themselves. Here is my take on the egg situation.

Eggs come out of a chicken (we knew this). When eggs come out of the chicken, they possess a layer of protection. It is a barely visible layer of protection. The kicker comes now…..The United States, Australia and Scandinavia wash this layer off in a shower with soap. BOOM! The layer is gone. This compromises the egg’s natural ability to protect itself from bacteria, namely Salmonella. The layer also makes sure water and oxygen don’t get in. Once this layer is gone, the egg can no longer protect itself and refrigeration is essential to preserving their protection.

But wait, why do Americans do that?

Well, there is a funny hook here. Americans, Japanese and Australians just think chickens are super dirty species. I mean, that’s the start at least.

Here is a great excerpt from NPR.com over the matter.

Salmonella enteritidiscan infect a chicken’s ovaries, contaminating a yolk before the shell firms up around it. Cooking usually kills the bacteria before they can harm you; still, eggs contaminated with salmonella are responsible for about 142,000 illnesses a year in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration.

In some European countries, egg-laying hens are vaccinated against salmonella. In the U.S., vaccination is not required, but eggs must be washed and refrigerated from farm to store, and producers must follow a host of other safety measures.

“They’re different approaches to basically achieve the same result,” says Vincent Guyonnet, a poultry veterinarian and scientific adviser to the International Egg Commission. “We don’t have massive [food safety] issues on either side of the Atlantic. Both methods seem to work.”

So now the million dollar question, do we really have to refrigerate them? In a way, it seems like we kind of don’t. But, we’d risk oxygen and water “spoiling” the eggs. The bacteria is cooked away, unless you plan to eat them raw. And if you are Rocky, this could be the case. I am guessing however, that you are not Rocky.

image credit: pixabay

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