My Slight Misconception
‘I’m so happy to hear I’m not eating chicken babies’, said Helena, (mid 2015) after not being able to work out in her head exactly what an egg was.
Waheyy, omletes, scrambled, poached, you guys can all carry on filling up my belly, she thought to herself.
My preference for sending ‘notes’ to boys rather than paying attention during Biology lessons left me with a distorted idea that an egg is a baby chicken that hadn’t been given the chance to hatch yet. When I learnt this wasn’t the truth I felt relieved. Whoop. Score. I’m not eating babies. That would be wierd.
Now I’d worked out what an egg isn’t it was time to figure what it is….my inquisitive nature quickly got going… (over a not so eggy brekkie) and I’ll explain what I figured out a little further down this post…
Why you might be interested in this topic
The average Westerner eats about 6 eggs a week. Eggs are considered a staple part of diets in most countries worldwide.
When living in Guatemala to study Spanish, my host Mama cooked me eggs every single night. My staple Balinese breakfast was banana pancakes and my favourite, pad thai in Bankok, is traditionally cooked with an egg.
Therefore eggs were a significant part of many dishes I was used to. However, opening my mind to new things and learning about how industries work is a big part of my life so I felt the need to explore.
Feeling inquisitive, brave or simply interested in understanding one of the Western world diet staples in a little more depth? If so, read on!
Background (in Lehman’s terms)
Here I will compare human to chicken reproduction and use an anaology to hopefully make things easy to digest…hopefully 😉
- Stage 1: For most females, an egg or two is released by the ovaries once a month, which hopes to become fertilized (whilst I pray it doesn’t 😜!)
- Stage 2: Meanwhile, the womb starts creating a bit of a home in case fertilization does occur, doing this by filling up with blood – think of this like sofas and cushions to create a comfy home.
- Stage 3: If the egg becomes fertilized (by sperm) it rests in the comfy home that the uturus has created and forms an embryo. The ‘sofas & cushions’ keep it safe and comfortable.
- Stage 4: If this fertilization doesn’t occur, the female body eliminates the egg along with the uturus lining, i.e. those fantastic things called periods. This can be thought of like redecorating, getting rid of the furniture as it is ‘oh so last month’.
- Every woman is secretly a DIY diva.
- Stage 1: Although chickens don’t menstruate in quite the same way as humans, a hen similarly releases an egg (in the form of a yolk) from her ovary during ovulation. Again, their body hopes it will become fertilised.
- Stage 2: This egg travels into the oviduct, where it is hopefully fertilized by stored sperm – the chicken has the comfy cushions and sofas ready, this time in the form of the egg white which surrounds the yolk.
- Stage 3: The egg, like for human females, is not always fertilized, resulting in the need to get rid of it from the hen’s body. The shell forms to allow for this passing through to occur…allowing for redecoration to happen.
So is an egg a chickens period?
This may be an oversimplified version but yes, basically it is. Similarly both a period and chicken egg are unfertilized reproductive cycles.
However, there is a difference, this is that chickens don’t hold their eggs like mammals do for 9 months – they don’t have the capacity to do this as birds.
Essentially then, a chickens egg is both the unfertilized egg (period) + the womb (which would only be used if the yolk had become fertilized)
If you’ve been able to digest the above information, I’ve followed on with some egg related facts which I found to be particularly interesting, or maybe it’s just the loser in me!
Egg fact 1: Modern Day V’s Natural Egg Laying Figures
- In nature, wild hens lay only 10 to 15 eggs per year.
- Modern egg laying hens have been intensively bred to lay between 250 to 300 eggs a year.
Egg fact 2: Are Eggs Dead Baby Chicks?
In order for an egg to hatch, it has to be fertilized. The eggs in the grocery store are laid by hens, which have not mated with a rooster, so they are not fertilized.
Therefor no, eggs sold for human consumption are unfertilized and therefore not dead babies.
Egg Fact 3 Eggs Replacement for a sporty lifestyle
People worry about needing eggs for protein, which yes, protein is crucial for growth and repair but we actually (despite a whole host of proper ands) don’t need that much of it. About 5% of our diet in fact yet the average westerner is consuming 25 to 30 % protein (majority animal based), which actually studies, such as the China study show to have significant longer term effects eg on liver function and cancer rates.
I get plenty of protein from all the foods I eat. Grains, veg and even fruit!
Powering through the type of workout below means the need to carb up before and after. My favourite high carbs are oats, sweet potatoes and bananas
- (1) University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Poultry Extension, Small and Backyard Flocks: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved 2/11/2014 from http://www2.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/FAQs.html