Lurking Beneath the Shell

Lurking Beneath the Shell: Health Concerns with Eggs There are many reasons to eliminate eggs from your diet. Recent studies suggest that egg consumption can cause heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

Eggs have zero dietary fiber, and more than 60 percent of their calories are from fat—-a large portion of which is saturated fat. An average-sized egg also contains an unhealthful 186 milligrams of cholesterol. To put this amount in perspective, those with high cholesterol, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease are advised to limit their daily intake to less than 200 milligrams. But any dietary cholesterol is unnecessary, as our bodies already produce more than enough for our needs.

A 2011 Harvard study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that eating eggs is linked to developing prostate cancer. By consuming 2.5 eggs per week, men increased their risk for a lethal form of prostate cancer by 81 percent, compared with men who consumed less than half an egg per week.

Researchers found that those who consumed the most eggs increased their risk for cardiovascular disease by 19 percent, and for those who already had diabetes, their risk for developing heart disease spiked to 83 percent.

Eggs are included in recipes for binding, leavening, and adding moisture. However, there are many simple replacements, such as ground flaxseeds or applesauce, which allow for fully enjoying favorite foods while avoiding possible health risks. Products like tofu and beans can even take the place of eggs, making tofu scramble or garbanzo bean eggless salad.

Eggs: Healthy or Not? I guess a lot of it has to do with cholesterol. A large egg contains about 185 mg of cholesterol. And since the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a limit of 300 mg per day, eat two eggs and you've exceeded that limit.

Eggs Are Worse Than Cigarettes? here’s the deal on that new study. Researchers from Western University in Canada examined over 1,200 men and women to come to the conclusion that regularly eating egg yolks was two-thirds as bad as smoking when it comes to carotid plaque in the arteries, a known risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

THE GREAT EGG DEBATE: 4 REASONS YOU NEED TO STOP EATING EGGS Not so fast. I used to think the same way, but with a wealth of incriminating evidence piling up, eggs have lost their luster for me. Here are some of the top reasons why.

Reason #1: It’s probably smart to stay away from cholesterol bombs.

The problem is the pro-inflammatory and oxidative effects dietary cholesterol has been shown to have on your LDL. This in turn can damage the endothelium (the lining inside our arteries) and increase cardiovascular effects. Another recent study found that frequent egg consumption might be as bad as smoking when it comes to carotid artery plaque build-up.

Reason #2: Salmonella poisoning is not a fun thing to have.

Salmonella is the leading cause of food-borne illness related death in the United States. More than 100,000 Americans are poisoned by salmonella-tainted eggs per year. So whatever you do, make sure you stay away from conventional eggs at all costs. Even if you don’t die from salmonella, the symptoms even from just getting sick are quite unpleasant. That being said, the risk lies mainly with conventional eggs.

Reason #3: Free-range eggs may not be much of a better choice.

While purchasing free-range eggs over conventional eggs is definitely a step up from an animal welfare and immediate health standpoint, considering you’ll have lower risk of salmonella poisoning, studies have shown there’s not much difference in cholesterol levels between the two.

Reason #4: Consuming an egg a day may shorten your life.

The Harvard Physicians Health study, which followed 20,000 doctors for over twenty years found that those doctors consuming at least one egg a day had a significantly higher all-cause mortality risk, which essentially suggests that consuming even just one egg a day is significantly associated with a shorter lifespan. Not great news for those who like their omelets in the morning.

Rotten: Why Vegans Don’t Eat Eggs When you eat an egg you are supporting the murder of hundreds of millions of male chicks every year (200,000,000 – two-hundred million in the United States alone). They are killed by the hundreds of thousands every day by being thrown in a dumpster and left to die, tossed in garbage bags and suffocated, or more commonly, by being ground up alive in meat grinders.

Actually, it is more profitable to kill male chicks by the millions because the money spent raising them wouldn’t be worth the money earned in profits. It takes a lot of food, shelter and water to raise a chick into a full-grown chicken. Boy chickens simply will not grow as big or as fast as female chickens. They also are not able to produce eggs. Their bodies are a liability that must be disposed of before they start eating too much into the farm’s profits, so they cut their losses early and “humanely euthanize” (aka grind up) baby chicks that are only a day old.

Every time you buy a carton of eggs, whether they are conventional, organic, free-range, cage-free, certified humanely raised, etc., you are in effect paying for the murder of hundreds of millions of baby animals.

Though the males die a relatively quick death, the females will live their entire lives in giant warehouses holding hundreds of thousands of birds in tiny battery cages so small that they can’t even stretch one wing. They are treated by humans as egg-laying machines with little to no regard for their basic biological and behavioral needs.

The vast majority of the eggs consumed around the world come from hens kept in conditions like the ones above. These hens natural life span of 15-20 years is cut drastically short and they are only able to live 1 to 2 years before they are slaughtered when their productivity declines. That is the thanks they get after all we have taken from them. After a lifetime of abuse their bodies are so wasted and emaciated that their meat is only able to be used in soups and pet food.

Cage-free eggs

Cage-free eggs come from hens who are not kept in tiny battery cages like the hens mentioned above. However, they are still confined their entire lives inside and their lives are still very far from normal. The only difference is the size of the cage the chickens are kept in. Instead of being crammed six to a cage in tiny battery cages, they are jam-packed into a giant warehouse. They are still debeaked, kept in filthy conditions, often not able to see or be in the sun, often fed the same food conventionally raised chickens eat (a feed that has disturbing ingredients that include rendered chickens), and they are still sent to the same slaughterhouses at the end of their short miserable lives.

Free-range eggs

The label “free-range eggs” might conjure images of an open pasture, where chickens are free to run around, peck at the dirt, flap their wings and enjoy life, but in truth it is just another marketing ploy... This outdoor area that chickens may have access to (and the amount of access they have varies) can be as small as a back porch or covered patio, with a small, hard to find door. While this is a great step in the right direction compared to the lives of conventionally raised egg-laying hens, it is still most definitely not cruelty-free. Once again, many chickens are debeaked, forced to live in their own waste, often fed the same antibiotic and arsenic-laden feed that conventional chickens eat, and are still slaughtered in ways that will make your stomach turn. Free-range chickens are far from free, and they don’t live on a range.

Organic eggs

Organic eggs come from chickens that are kept in cage-free conditions and are fed a certified organic, vegetarian diet (though chickens’ natural diet is not strictly vegetarian). There is still no pasture, no space and often no sunlight. The quality of the eggs may be improved, but the living conditions are still far from cruelty-free.

Farmers are permitted to confine their egg-laying hens twenty-four hours a day if they feel that the weather is too harsh, that there may be a disease outbreak, to protect soil and water from being contaminated by all of the waste inherent in the keeping of thousands of chickens, or the chickens’ “stage of production”. There are no clear regulations on any of these factors, and because they are left completely to the farmer’s discretion, are almost never regulated or enforced in any way.

The egg industry is taking advantage of your good heart, and profiting off your ignorance.

These labels are false advertising that was created to make you pay up to three times more for eggs that are nearly identical to cheap, conventional eggs. When you buy eggs from a grocery store, whether they are conventional, cage-free, organic, free-range, etc., you can safely assume that you are being taken for a ride by those companies, and are throwing your hard-earned cash down the drain for a false peace of mind.

Don’t be a dummy. Stop wasting your money on fancy packaging and labels that lie. LIVE VEGAN.

"I'm Charlie, a male chick at a hatchery, and I'm here because humans want to eat eggs. My life will be filled with fear and ended brutally very soon because I can't grow up to lay eggs.

It's too late for me, but I'm asking you to help the others. As demand for eggs goes down, fewer chicks like me will be born into misery. Nobody should experience what I have - and what I'm about to..." (Vegan Outreach)

Could Veganism End World Hunger? The World Health Organization calls malnutrition "the silent emergency", and says it is a factor in at least half the 10.4 million child deaths which occur every year.

If you’re concerned about animal rights, water conservation, clean air and health then you may already be on the road to becoming vegan – so why not take five minutes and find out how veganism could end world hunger?

There is more than enough food being produced to feed everyone in the world twice over.

The problem is, our meat-based diet means that land, water, and other resources that could be used to grow food for human beings are being used to grow crops for farmed animals instead.

70% of U.S. grain production is fed to livestock.

One-third of the world's fish catch is fed directly to livestock.

In cycling our grain through livestock, we waste 90% of its protein and 96% of its calories.

An acre of cereal can produce five times more protein than an acre devoted to meat production. Legumes [beans] can produce ten times as much.

"Those who consume livestock products and fish are competing directly with those who need grain for food." (Lester Brown, president of Worldwatch)

The truth can no longer be dodged. Livestock farming gobbles up agricultural land, water and energy that could be far more efficiently devoted to growing food for people.

The cost of an 8 ounce steak will fill 45 to 50 bowls with cooked cereal grains.

Livestock now outnumber humans by almost three to one. In the last 40 years, the number of cattle has doubled and the fowl population has trebled.

The meat and dairy industry is also putting a huge strain on our water supply.. it is unsustainable.

"The American fast food diet and the meat-eating habits of the wealthy around the world support a world food system that diverts food resources from the hungry" [Dr. Waldo Bello].

It would take just 40 million tons of food to eliminate most world hunger, yet a staggering 760 million tons of grain will be used to feed farmed animals this year.

An individual can make a huge difference. They can stop supporting the meat, fish, egg and dairy industries. They can become vegan.

In the U.S., 64% of cropland produces feed for animals, while only 2% grows fruit and vegetables.

It takes about 300 gallons of water per day to produce food for a vegan, and more than 4,000 gallons of water per day to produce food for a meat-eater.

Fact: You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for an entire year.

Veganism is about wanting something better.. for the future of our children and the world as a whole.

Veganism is about making the world we live in a better place for people and animals alike.

Diet and Global Warming If one takes the threat of global warming seriously, the most powerful personal step you can take may well be choosing a vegetarian diet.

Send comments to, Colby Glass, MLIS