When I gave up eating meat 41 years ago I continued eating eggs for another 33 years. In other words, it wasn´t until 8 years ago that I began a whole food vegan diet of whole grains and cereals, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. There were 2 reasons why it took so long to say “NO” to eggs: 1) I totally enjoyed eating them and found it difficult to break the habit of eggs for breakfast, especially with so many wonderful Mexican sauces at my disposal and 2) I was ignorant as to the nutrition facts that explained why they weren´t as healthy as portrayed and could eventually lead us down a path towards chronic illnesses, especially heart and brain diseases, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
As with the meat and dairy industries, the egg industry spends millions annually on advertisement, extolling the virtues of their product. You can actually read about these benefits on the American Egg Board´s website. With regards to an egg´s nutrition they claim:
“The egg remains one of nature’s most perfect foods. Locked inside the shell lies a host of vitamins and minerals in addition to the highest quality protein found in any food – all for just 70 calories in a standard-size egg. In fact, egg protein is the standard by which other proteins are measured. The nutrients found in eggs contribute to a healthy diet and can play a role in weight management, muscle strength, eye health and brain function to name a few benefits.”
I spent some time searching through their site and found absolutely nothing negative that was said about the egg.
Yes, it´s true that there are nutrients in eggs. How else could chicks grow? When it breaks through the shell, all of the nutrients have already been consumed. The question is, how healthy is the egg´s composition for a human being? Or, besides the nutrients, what excess baggage is there, inside that shell? It´s actually similar to the baggage found in cow´s milk. Of course there´s nutrition in milk…enough to grow a 6oo pound calf in just a few months. But does that make it automatically safe for human consumption…with all the cow hormones, saturated fat and cholesterol that comes with the territory?
I like how Dr. John McDougall expresses it in his article…
EGGS ARE PERFECT FOR GROWING CHICKS
“The purpose of a hen’s egg is to provide all the materials necessary to develop the one cell—created by the joining of a cock’s sperm with a hen’s ovum—into a complete chick with feathers, a beak, legs, and a tail. This miraculous growth and development is supported by a one and a half-ounce package of ingredients, the hen’s egg, jam-packed with proteins, fats, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals. As a result, the hen’s egg has been called “one of nature’s most nutritious creations.
Indeed, an egg is the richest of all foods, and far too much of a “good thing” for people. The components of a cooked egg are completely absorbed through our intestines. As a result, this highly concentrated food, recommended by the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, provides too much cholesterol, fat, and protein for our body to safely process. The penalties are heart disease, obesity, and type-2 diabetes, to name a few epidemic sicknesses from our food.”
WHAT DO FACT BASED STUDIES AND RESEARCH CONFIRM?
1) An egg is by far the most cholesterol dense food on the planet with between 200mg – 275mg per egg. Since the American Heart Association puts the daily cholesterol limit at 300mg, yes you can eat an egg, but that´s it! Forget about consuming another animal product or anything else made with eggs (i.e., bread, pasta, cookies and cakes), for the rest of the day. And that´s just “one” egg. Who eats just one egg?
2) Eggs have very high levels of saturated fats, which can lead to the chronic diseases mentioned above.
3) Egg laying chickens in factory farms are injected or fed hormones, medicines and antibiotics in order to keep them healthy and productive. These foreign chemicals are passed on to us…at the breakfast table.
4) Originally hens, like all birds laid approximately15 eggs a year, only laying eggs during breeding season, which mostly occurred during springtime and only for reproduction. Nevertheless, because of the demand, through genetics, controlled feeding and artificial insemination, hens became programmed to produce between 300 and 400 eggs annually. In factory farms, this puts tremendous strain on their reproductive systems usually shortening their lives from 12 to 4 years.
5) 8 to 10 egg laying chickens are crammed into small “battery” cages, where they can´t even stretch their wings…for their entire lives and where they often develop illnesses and infections, such as salmonella, that are passed on to us, through their eggs.
6) The protein in eggs, as in all animal products, is acidic by nature. When consumed the body reacts to neutralize it by summoning the existing minerals, which are alkaline. The calcium, in our bones, is one of these minerals. As a result, the protein depletes the calcium in the bones and this, over time, often leads to osteopenea, osteoporosis and hip fractures…prevalent within populations that consume the Standard American Diet.
On a final note, I just want to mention something that´s been bothering me. Where I live, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, chickens and eggs are a major commodity and, on the highway outside of the city, almost on a daily basis, you can see trucks with flatbeds loaded with thousands of egg laying hens, packed into small “battery” cages. There are at least 8 or 10 packed into each cage, like sardines. They can´t stand…they can hardly move. I don´t know if the trucks are coming or going. One thing is for sure though…the chickens are suffering and for me that´s a sad situation to swallow. The problem is that, if we don´t get a chance to witness something like this, we don´t have a complete understanding of what goes on behind the scenes of the factory farm industry…and how it effects our health.