8 Reasons You Should Stay the Hell Away From Eggs
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It was enough to make the nation put down their Egg McMuffins. Almost a billion "government-inspected" eggs were recalled because they might harbor salmonella, a bacterium that causes bloody and mucoid diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg warned people that if they ate their eggs runny and over-easy, something else could become runny and over-easy -- not to mention sunny-side-up.
It's hard to believe a nation so concerned with cardiovascular disease -- 33.5 million take statins -- would eat the "strokes in a shell" known as eggs, the highest cholesterol food known to man. And there are even more reasons to remove eggs from your diet. Here are eight of them.
1) Yuck factor
Undercover video shot at Menifee, CA-based Norco Ranch egg farm in 2008 shows bloody, insect-covered eggs destined for tomorrow's omelets. Video also shows the bleeding and prolapsed hen's vents that produced the eggs. Egg operations are so plagued with salmonella and other bacteria, the FDA found a hatchery injecting antibiotics directly into eggs. And the eggs those birds laid? They had residues of antibiotics, says at least one medical study.
2) Ovarian cancer
"Our findings suggested that ovarian cancer risk was positively associated with higher consumption of dietary cholesterol and eggs," says the journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The American Journal of Epidemiology, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention agree. Results from the 84,129-women, 20-year Nurses' Health Study also show an egg consumption/ovarian cancer link. Why are we surprised? Human eggs are produced in women's ovaries.
3) Steeped in Noxious Gases
Because egg farms stack hens on top of each other over manure pits so farmers don't have to clean cages, the air is toxic for the animals, workers and other humans who enter barns. According to United Egg Producer guidelines (the group that approved the farms producing the salmonella eggs) ammonia should not exceed 25 ppm but "temporary excesses" are acceptable. Cesar Britos, an attorney representing egg workers, tried to enter an egg factory in Turner, Maine owned by Jack DeCoster (the producer at the heart of the current scandal) and said "I thought I was going to faint and I was only there a few minutes.'' Last year law enforcement and state agriculture workers entered the same factories in Maine, more than a decade later, and had to be treated by doctors for lungs burned by ammonia.
Eating eggs is "positively associated" with the risk of diabetes, finds May's journal, Nutrition and last year's journal, Diabetes Care. While other studies have disputed the connection, some financed by the egg industry, the journals Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases and International Journal of Clinical Practice say consumption of eggs in people who already have diabetes is "associated with an elevated risk o f coronary heart disease."
5) Hideous Cruelty: Carcasses and Moribund Hens
Laying hens crammed into battery cages don't always survive. And while workers periodically come through to remove them from the living as undercover video from Turlock, CA-based Gemperle Enterprises farms shows (Gemperle eggs are distributed by NuCal Food, a U.S. Department of Defense vendor), dying hens also remain while "farm-fresh" eggs are produced. "Another live hen, also trapped under her cage's front wall, had the side of her face on a moving egg belt. I saw that the side of her face, including her eye, was encrusted in what appeared to be egg yolk and dust," writes an undercover humane investigator at a DeCoster farm last year.