The next time you open your refrigerator or go to the grocery store, be sure to check out the eggs. Remember, there’s not a chick inside! These edible eggs were produced specifically by poultry farmers for us to eat.
There are more than 200 different breeds of chickens, but the Single Comb White Leghorn is the most common breed used for egg production in the United States. They are the egg-laying champions! While diet has an impact on what the inside of the egg looks like, it doesn’t have much to do with the eggshell color. White eggs come from chickens with white feathers and brown eggs come from hens with red or brown feathers.
Do we have egg farmers in Utah? The answer is YES!
You have most likely been eating local eggs and didn’t even know it. Utah has several commercial egg farmers like Oakdell, Shepherd Eggs, Delta Egg/Cal-Main Foods, Rigtrup Poultry Farm, and Fassio Egg Farms. Or you may even be eating local eggs as close as your backyard. Over the past few years, many in Utah have participated in a growing nationwide trend of raising backyard chickens. You can learn more about the best practices of raising backyard chickens from Utah State University Extension. 1
Have you ever taken a close look at the inside of an egg? Sure, there’s the yellow part and the clear part, but that’s just the beginning.
Let’s check out all the parts of an egg!
The first part that you see on an egg is the hard coating called the shell. This is the egg’s protection, like a suit of armor! The shell is made of calcium carbonate, the same ingredient in pearls.
Inside, the yellow yolk is suspended in the middle of the egg between two spiral bands, called the chalaza. The albumen, the clear part, is like a big pillow surrounding the yolk. If you hold an egg in your hand, you’ll notice that one end is wider than the other. On the wider end is a smaller air pocket just inside the shell. If the egg were fertilized and a chick developed, the air space is like an oxygen tank for the chick when it begins to hatch. What an egg-cellent design!
Egg Crush Challenge
Can you crush an egg with your bare hands? It sounds easy, but eggs are amazingly strong despite their reputation for being so fragile. An egg can withstand nearly your entire strength as you try to squeeze it. Try it out.
Place an egg in the palm of your hand and completely wrap your hand around the egg.
Holding the egg over a sink or bowl, squeeze the egg by applying even pressure all around the shell. Are you surprised the egg didn’t break?
Now hold the egg between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze the top and bottom of the egg.
Hold the egg in the palm of your hand, again. Over the sink, press only on one side of the shell. Do not squeeze the egg – just press on the side. What happens now? Do you have egg on your face?
How Does It Work?
The egg’s unique shape gives it tremendous strength, despite its “fragile reputation”. Eggs are similar in shape to a 3-dimensional arch, one of the strongest architectural forms. The egg is strongest at the top and the bottom. That’s why the egg doesn’t break when you add pressure to both ends.
The curved form of the shell also distributes pressure evenly all over the shell rather than concentrating it at any one point.
So where do eggs get their wrap for being so fragile? Eggs don’t stand up well to uneven forces which is why they crack easily when you push on just one side or crack it on the side of a bowl.
This perfect design explains how a hen can sit on an egg and not break it, but a tiny little chick can break through the eggshell by pecking in just one spot. Nature is amazing!
Incredible Edible Eggs
Did you know eggs are good for you? They are packed with high quality protein which provides your body with mental and physical energy. Eggs contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, and all for just 70 calories!
Eggs are not boring. They’re like a blank canvas just waiting for your creativity. If you think you’re in an egg rut, visit the American Egg Board’s website at incredibleegg.org to find tons of kid-friendly egg recipes like Veggie EggPops, Egg Pita Snackers, and Mini Cheddar Quiche Bites.
The next time you open your refrigerator look to the eggs to give you egg-ceptional possibilities!
Article resources: utah.agclassroom.org
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