Eggs are a good source of protein, low in fat (if you limit yourself to the whites), and relatively inexpensive, so it is often on an anti-aging menu. Proper handling and preparation are critical, however, especially since it is estimated that 1 out of every 10,000 eggs (about 4.5 million eggs per year) are infected with Salmonella enteritidis, which causes food poisoning. Because contaminated eggs do not look or smell any different than non-contaminated eggs, it isn’t possible to know if any of the eggs you purchase are affected.
The notion that “free-range” eggs are healthier and produced in less cruel conditions than conventional eggs is largely untrue. In most cases, free-range egg producers keep their hens uncaged but confined to overly crowded facilities that have very limited access to the outdoors, or they are confined to cages that are larger than those used to hold conventionally raised hens. There are no government laws that regulate the meaning of “free-range,” so unless you personally see the conditions under which your eggs are produced, you cannot be sure that the higher prices you pay for free-range eggs are supporting a healthier product produced in less cruel conditions.
Choosing and Preparing Eggs
If possible, buy your eggs from local producers (with a facility that you can visit). They may sell from their farm or at a farmers’ market.
Purchase eggs that are refrigerated at 40°F or lower.
Do not purchase eggs that are cracked.
When you get the eggs home, immediately place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator (in the rear), not on the door.
If you accidentally crack an egg before you are ready to use it, break the egg into a clean container, cover it tightly, and refrigerate it. Use it within 2 days.
Cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm. Do not eat lightly poached or soft-boiled eggs.
Never eat raw eggs or foods that contain raw eggs (e.g., eggnog, Hollandaise sauce).
Do not leave eggs unrefrigerated for longer than two hours.