Appreciating the incredible egg

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eggs

About two years ago, I joined a group that posts interesting environmental stories, much of it pertaining to the protection of sea turtle eggs. 

People involved share the enormous challenges, and helpful intervention tips toward successful hatching in a coastal area of North Carolina where we have vacationed a number of times. It is a quiet area with a friendly rural population, and to us it has come to feel like a wonderful home away from home. 

Imagine my surprise when, just a few days ago, the posts dealt with an entirely different type of egg. Locals, as well as vacationers in the area, complained about the cost of eggs in their seaside grocery store.

One person commented, “I won’t pay $4 or $5 for eggs!” Another replied, “Don’t buy them at the grocery store. Go find somebody who has chickens and eggs in their backyard and I bet they’ll be a whole lot cheaper.” I rolled my eyes so hard I fell off my chair. 

I have long believed that eggs are the best overall buy of anything we need and use nearly every day in homes all across the world. Not only does an egg provide an easy, nearly perfect protein, it is a hidden necessity, required in so many dishes. 

People who enjoy eating but are not involved in cooking or baking have no idea the demand of the humble little egg in recipes we use every day. We have been spoiled by the easy access and low price of eggs throughout our lifetime. People who don’t blink an eye spending big money on expensive coffee drinks or evening cocktails or fast food will complain about the suddenly increased cost of eggs because they aren’t considering what it takes to produce, gather, carry and deliver so carefully to home kitchens everywhere this easily breakable commodity. 

Flu is a common illness annually among wild birds, but the H5N1 strain currently circulating is uniquely contagious and deadly. A worldwide, prolonged outbreak, the enormous number of birds killed since this particular virus was detected in late 2021 makes this the largest bird flu epidemic in history.

Having originated among wild birds, with migration patterns accelerating its global propagation, this virus poses an incredibly high risk to farmed birds like chickens and turkeys. The rate of reproduction is high, with one bird able to infect up to 100 others through saliva and other bodily fluids. 

All around the globe, record-breaking bird death tolls due to this virus are becoming the norm. More U.S. states than ever have reported bird flu with an all-time high of nearly 58 million poultry impacted as of this month. 

Raising chickens and gathering eggs is surely not easy and most definitely not for everyone, and because of this, too many have no idea what all goes into the process. 

I choose to be grateful to be able to buy eggs, no matter where I find them, and no matter the price.

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.

1 COMMENT

  1. AMEN!! I have raised chickens, dressed chickens, & cooked chickens.. I paid five bucks for the last dozen I bought & consider that a bargain!! They are a lot of work, susceptible to avian flu, & feed is getting higher, also.. They are versatile, easy, a great source of protein, & used in MANY of my recipes.. For instance, I made bread pudding on Friday. They will have to get much pricier before I quit buying them!!

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