Mystery Behind Eggs

Eggs are a hot commodity in the U.S. They are used in almost every dish you can think of. There are a number of different varieties of eggs. Since there are many different versions of eggs they get regulated differently. For instance, shell eggs are inspected by the Food and drug Administration (FDA) facility whereas liquid and frozen eggs are inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The purpose of eggs getting regulated is to decrease the risk of people getting sick from salmonella.

To protect eggs and make sure they remain healthy for customers, the FDA administered an Egg Safety Rule. The Final Rule is implemented to protect eggs from foodborne illness and to provide a high demand product. During this process it includes five practices that had been proven to reduce the amount of Salmonella Enteritidis. By using practices such as refrigeration, biosecurity, house cleaning and disinfection, fly and rodent control and Salmonella testing it protects the hen houses from getting contaminated. When it comes to storing your eggs must be held at a temperature of 45 degrees fahrenheit or less. This temperature will help keep the eggs fresh during transportations to egg facilities. Flies and rodents are known for spreading salmonella so the FDA maintains a visual and physical inspection in the hen houses.

There are different versions of eggs but the question is what makes eggs organic? Organic products are items that are used with renewable sources. They use certain sources that don’t harm the environment which makes products even healthier. “According to Erica Kannall, before eggs get labeled as Organic they are enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture” (Benefits of Organic Eggs). Making sure your food is completely clean and healthy is very important when it comes to your health. Products that aren’t organic can sometimes be harmful to your body. Companies and agencies feed animals anything which causes the animal to become sick. If the animal is sick it can harm our food because the animal is contaminated with diseases. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that some of the harmful pesticides used in food production can cause cancer, skin irritations, nervous system disruption or hormonal imbalance in humans” ( Benefits of Organic Eggs). This is why it is important to feed your animals natural plant grown foods or just any food that hasn’t been processed or won’t be harmful. Chickens that get access to the outdoors are most likely to lay Organic eggs. When chickens are healthy and get access outside they get a chance to exercise, eat plant based foods, and insects which helps improve the eggs nutritional quality. “According to Susan Allport, eggs from chickens that are free-range eat a diet rich in omega 3 fatty-acids. Chickens tend to lay eggs that are higher in omega 3 fatty acids than chickens that are only grain-fed” (Benefits of Organic). Having an omega 3 diet helps brain function, growth, and helps preventing diseases.

It is very important to have a strict schedule when you are maintaining good health and good quality in egg farms. It is also important to have a plan and know what your doing when processing eggs. Hens are grouped and kept in cages most of the day. They are grouped in sets of 3 to 5 so it won’t be crowded within their cages. When eggs are laid they get picked up at least twice a day. Eggs get picked up as soon as an egg lays them to try and maintain warm temperatures within the egg. Once the eggs have the correct temperature they are then packaged to processing plants. When eggs arrive at the processing plant they are placed on a conveyor belt. They are placed on the conveyor belt to be graded and cleaned with a USDA cleanser. When grading an egg it is inspected by a candler in a dark cubical room. “The trained candler can see that an older egg has a thinner albumen where the yolk casts a sharp shadow” ( Eggs: Made How). These close inspections determine the grade of each egg. After eggs are inspected they are then weighed to be packaged and shipped out.

Eggshells are very useful when it comes to waste. They are very hard to get rid of because of its thin membrane. Eggshells are primarily made of collagen. “Collagen’s are used in the production of tissue replacement products, plastic surgery, angioplasty sleeves “ (Famous for Egg Waste). The goal when it comes to waste is to de-attach the membrane from the egg shell. By doing this it can be used to decrease joint pain, stiffness, skin health, etc. Sources say that it is very hard to find a method to get the collagen out of the shell. “After multiple attempts a guy named MacNeil found out how to take the collagen out by using a multi bladed knife” (Famous for Egg Waste). By finding a solution to get the membrane out of the shells it allows companies to make lots of money. It is also really beneficial for people as far as creating health solutions.

According to an article I read, outdoor egg production seems to be a sustainable system that farmers will start to use. The outdoor system is all about a sustainable alternative where hens can find nutrients in land for grazing verses commercial foods. The outdoor system has wood shavings as bedding, two nest boxes, field covered with star grass, one feeder, and one drinker per pen. Using the outdoor system can benefit the environment because of the increase of nutrients within the system. The system provides hens to move around more freely and unveil their natural behaviour patterns. Consumers demand a more environmentally friendly product so that we can start to have a sustainable egg production and expand it. When it comes to bodyweight it has to be very precise. Farmers must follow a certain routine when taking care of eggs. When counting eggs, egg numbers are recorded daily whereas food intake and food efficiency are measured weekly. Body weight is taken at the end of each period. On the days of measurements eggs are weighed and eggs of each treatment are broken onto a flat surface where the height of the albumen is measured between the yolk and the edge of the inner albumen. After the color of the yolk is detected the yolk is separated from the albumen and they are weighed individually.

Egg production has increased over the years. Eggs are not only cheap but include a lot of protein. Recently, in Europe there has been a large amount of farms with free-range chickens. It is very important to pay attention to egg farms and their production. There are a few negative effects in egg farms such as greenhouse gases and contaminated soil and water. There are concerns when it comes to manufacturing of materials because packaging is harmful for the environment. Around the 1980s livestock farming started to become an environmental problem. Scientists from the University of Oviedo researched the effect of egg production on environmental categories such as ozone depletion, climate change, human toxicity and land occupation. The main category affected was the transformation of water and land toxicity. Another factor that is a harmful effect is the replacement of the elder hens by younger hens. The effects associated with the manufacture of materials used in the packaging of eggs also harm the environment.

In areas where there is flooding and shallow water it is more likely to have water quality problems because of improper disposal of poultry carcasses. Methods for the disposal of carcasses include burial, incineration, and composting . Large amounts of carcasses can have excessive amounts of pollutants which increases the cause of environmental contamination. When birds are buried they start to decompose which cause pathogens and toxins to get released within the air. As the substances enter the soil, they may be broken down, transformed, and lost in the air so that they pose no environmental threat.

I have truly learned a lot of information about eggs. As far as the process behind egg production, eggs are a great source of nutrition. Organic eggs are very similar to traditional eggs but the main difference is the amount of omega 3 within the eggs. I didn’t really know the effects behind eggshell waste until now. Eggshell waste is actually a great thing if used correctly. Overall I think eggs are a great thing to eat but it truly determines on how well farmers raise their hens. Farmers need to take into consideration on how to have or create different methods to maintain healthy hens and protecting the environment.

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