41 Things You Didn't Know About Chicken Eggs
Incredible, edible. And did we mention incredible?
The chicken egg. In some ways, it’s so familiar and in others, so strange.
Whether scrambled, fried, boiled or foamified, the egg is an incredibly versatile food that packs an unparalleled punch of protein and satisfaction. And while it’s a visual joke—wobbly and throwable and what a mess when it breaks—it’s also pretty profound, when you think about it. The source of life!
With an industry valued at $6.5 billion in the United States alone, we might as well be living in the good ol’ U.S. of Egg. (Not that we ever think of ourselves that way.) And so, we figured it was time that we sat down and gave the great egg a little more consideration. Here’s how it breaks down:
1. Number of eggs produced in a year in the USA: 6.6 billion dozen
2. Top egg-producing state: Iowa
3. Number of egg-laying chickens in the USA: 280 million
4. Number of humans in the USA: 311 million
5. Number of undesirable male chicks killed by egg industry each year: 219 million
6. Number of human, male babies born each year in the USA: 2.1 million
7. Average annual egg consumption per American in 2011: 247
8. Average annual egg consumption per American in 1950: 389
9. Dominant breed of egg-laying chicken: White Leghorn
10. Place where Leghorns were first bred: Tuscany, Italy
11. Year Leghorns were first brought to the USA: 1828
12. Leghorns’ name before they were called Leghorns: Italians
13. Average number of eggs produced by one Leghorn in a year: 280
14. Earliest record of fowl domesticated to lay eggs (in Egypt): 1,400 B.C.
15. Earliest record of the joke, “why did the chicken cross the road?”: The 1847 edition of The Knickerbocker magazine
16. Year that the eggs-on-burgers trend unofficially jumped the shark: 2008
17. Main ingredients of Paula Deen’s Lady’s Brunch Burger (introduced in 2008): Ground beef, eggs, bacon, glazed donuts
18. Unofficially, the most evolved version of ham and eggs: WD-50’s slow-poached egg with chorizo emulsion and black olive powder
19. Unofficially, the most evolved version of eggs and toast: Jean-George’s “Egg Toast” with caviar and dill
20. Year ad agency Campbell Mithun debuted the “Incredible, Edible Egg” slogan: 1977
21. Another Campbell Mithun campaign: “Oh, those Golden Grahams”
22. Year a guy cracked an egg into a frying pan and first said, “this is your brain on drugs”: 1987
23. The recommended daily amount of protein that a large-sized egg supplies: 12.6%
24. Amount of cholesterol that one large-sized egg contains: 186 mg
25. The recommended daily limit of cholesterol that a healthy person should eat: 300 mg
26. What Homer Simpson yells at the “Egg Council creep” in the 115th episode of The Simpsons: "You’d better run, egg!"
27. Homer’s reason: The Egg Council apparently convinced Lenny that eggs don’t have a lot of cholesterol
28. Actual egg industry associations: The Iowa Egg Council, the Virginia Egg Council and the New England Brown Egg Council
29. What you should do if you see a cracked egg in the store: Not buy it, because bacteria could have entered the shell
30. What you should do if you accidentally crack an egg: Remove shell, place in clean container, cover, refrigerate, and use within 2 days
31. Why there are sometimes blood spots in eggs: There’s a rupture of blood vessels in the yolk at the time of ovulation. It is not unsafe.
32. A sign of a fresh egg: A cloudy egg white
33. A sign of an aging egg: A clear egg white
34. Why fresher eggs are more difficult to peel after boiling: The air cell of the shell increases in size the longer the raw egg is stored. As the contents of the egg contract and the air cell enlarges, the shell becomes easier to peel.
35. Man who claims to be the "Eggman" in the Beatles' song, "I Am The Walrus": Eric Burdon, lead singer of The Animals
36. Burdon’s claim to fame: A fondness for breaking eggs on naked women's bodies
37. Average amount of cage space allotted to an egg-laying chicken: Less than an 8” x 11” sheet of paper
38. Percentage of egg-laying chickens raised in organic conditions: 1.8%
39. Average cost of a dozen conventional eggs: $1.73
40. Average cost of a dozen organic eggs: About double that of conventional eggs
41. What Plutarch said of the chicken-or-the-egg question: “The problem about the egg and the hen, which of them came first, was dragged into our talk, a difficult problem which gives investigators much trouble. And Sulla my comrade said that with a small problem, as with a tool, we were rocking loose a great and heavy one, that of the creation of the world.”