The versatility and importance of eggs makes them a major component of agriculture.
In tribute to the egg, here’s a trivia list about them, just for fun:
• Wildfowl may have been domesticated as early as 3200 B.C. The first record of fowl laying eggs for man was around 1400 B.C.
• Columbus introduced laying chickens to the New World on his second voyage. These European hens had been developed from strains of Asian chickens.
• There are approximately 200 breeds of chickens in the world. Only a few are used in commercial egg production.
• The Single-Comb White Leghorn is the breed of chicken most frequently used in American egg production.
• Ohio is usually one of the top three egg-producing states. In 2012, it was number two, producing 7.7 billion eggs. Iowa was number one at 14.5 billion.
• Ohio has approximately 28 million laying hens.
• The U.S. produces about 10 percent of the world’s eggs. Japan is the biggest buyer of our eggs.
• In the U.S., approximately 6 percent of laying hens are in cage-free flocks and 9 percent are in some form of cage-free environment. Organic production accounts for about 5 percent of laying hens.
• Around 60 percent of U.S. eggs are for consumers and 9 percent are for the food-service industry. The remaining eggs are primarily used in restaurants and in processed foods.
• Younger hens lay smaller eggs. Egg size increases as hens grow bigger and older.
• Egg size is determined by weight per dozen eggs. Grade refers to shell, white and yolk quality.
• Smaller eggs tend to have thicker and stronger shells than larger eggs.
• Egg shells have thousands of tiny pores on their surface to allow moisture and carbon dioxide to move out and air to move in to form an air cell.
These pores allow eggs to absorb odors, but the absorption of unwanted refrigerator odors from other foods may be prevented by keeping eggs in the carton.
• Do not microwave eggs in the shell. Microwaving may cause steam to build up faster than it can escape through the tiny pores. The egg will explode.
• Yolk color depends on the type of feed fed to hens. Eggshell color depends on the breed of laying hens. There is no nutritional difference between white or brown eggs.
• Eggs are an excellent protein source. One egg of any size equals one ounce of lean meat in protein.
• Slightly over half of the egg’s protein is in the white.
• Eggs are an important source of choline, part of the B-vitamin complex, which is associated with our memory.
• Eggs are a good source of vitamin B12 and riboflavin. Yolks contain more vitamins than the white. Egg yolks are one of the few foods to naturally contain vitamin D.
• You may have egg on you. Yolks have been used in shampoos and conditioners and sometimes soap.
Yolk cholesterol, lecithin and some fatty acids have been used in skin-care products such as revitalization, makeup foundations, and lipsticks.
Many of these facts came from the American Egg Board, http://www.incredibleegg.org.
Lentz is extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for The Ohio State University Extension Service in Hancock County. He can be reached at 419-422-3851 or via email at email@example.com.
Lentz can be heard with Vaun Wickerham on weekdays at 6:35 a.m. on WFIN, at 5:43 a.m. on WKXA-FM, and at 5:28 a.m. at 106.3 The Fox.
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