Eggs are loaded with a host
of salmonella, one of the leading food poisoning around the world. An egg
also contains 213 milligrams of cholesterol, the same amount equivalent to
a pound of meat. Some of the most often asked questions are:
There are different views and criticisms and also an ongoing controversy on this puzzling issue. However. for specific reasons, we shall confine ourselves for health issues. The author dealt with some critical and complex implications such as religious, ethical, moral, ecological and to some extent on health reasons in Sanskriti newspaper ( Jan/Feb 1994).
Health is a matter of great concern to everybody and unless we enjoy a healthy life, otherwise, almost no progress or improvement of ones living, happiness or a peaceful life is possible !
To answer the above questions concerning whether egg is vegetarian, it should be pointed out that although some people who claim to be vegan consume eggs very often due to deceptive propaganda ... but this is not an excuse!. In this scientific age, only scientific evidence or findings are accepted or believed. Thus, on scientific or biological stand point, fertilized eggs are called embryos (liquid flesh) while unfertilized ones are simply the "menstruation" of chickens.
Is it safer and healthier to eat eggs?
"The health of the people is really a foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend" said Benjamin Disraeli.
According to Dr Michael Brown and Dr Goldstein Warn, Noble Prize winners
in medicine, " eggs and meats contain large amounts of cholesterol
that can cause fatal heart attacks, strokes, gallstones and
claudication". The San Francisco Chronicle, 2nd October 1988 reported that
.... " although a variety of meat items are known sources of Salmonella
enteriditis, a disproportionate number of the recent outbreaks have
occurred after people consumed raw or undercooked eggs. (1)
Despite all these information and medical reports, the consumption of eggs are increasing everyday. Even in Mauritius, the 'eggs business' seems to enjoy a sound health that made our country autonomous in eggs and poultry production.
Lack of information, deceptive advertising and also the deterioration of religious and moral ethics, hitherto vegetarians are encouraged to eat eggs. Many people especially non-vegetarians in fear of the high level of fat and cholesterol in red meat have shifted to eggs and chickens believing that these products are a healthy alternative. This is a wrong notion. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reported in their publications, the PCRM Update (Jan/Feb 1988) that " not only does chicken contain the same amount of cholesterol as beef that is 25 grams per ounce, it is likely to be contaminated with leucosis (chicken cancer) which infects 90% of factory-farmed chickens" (3)
Eggs are prominent health hazards. Apart from their concentrated source of cholesterol, egg-white contains avidine and harmful protein which causes diseases other than already mentioned, leprosy, paralysis, skin cancer, osteoporosis, heart diseases, kidney problems, malignant neoplasm (cancer) and liver problems.
The 1996 Health Statistic Annual commonly known as the Report of the Principal Medical Statistician of the Ministry of Health & Quality of Life revealed that heart diseases and malignant neoplasm which was 21.4 and 8.6 percent have increased to 27.4 and 8.7 percent and these diseases are the main cause of mortality in Mauritius. Hypertension is also alarmingly increasing and it can contribute to a host of other problems including heart diseases, strokes and kidney failure.
What you need to know about eggs?
5 reasons to eliminate the use of eggs from your diet:
1. Eggs are concentrated source of harmful cholesterol and avidine contribute to fatal heart attacks, kidney and liver problems, osteoporosis, leprosy and so on.
2. Eggs carry Salmonella. It is now feared that even during frying process bacteria will not be destroyed completely. Salmonella is present even in the egg if the shell is not cracked.
3.Poultry farms hens are injected with various drugs and chemical substances which are detrimental to health.
4.Eggs contain much sulphur, which causes strain on the liver and kidney system. Sulphur tends to make blood acidic and this makes the body work hard (under severe stress) to produce alkaline substances such as calcium and magnesium to counteract the excess of acidity. These two minerals are drained from the bones and contribute to mineral loosing diseases such as osteoporosis.
5. Egg protein found in egg-white contributes to allergies and other ailments.
The harmful effects of eggs and meat as listed above are enough evidence to make one think twice before taking these products. The happiness of a good health is the real happiness and is enjoyed much more than the wealth happiness!
Alternative eggs substitute
Tofu makes an ideal and cholesterol free eggs substitutes. It contains high nutritional value. Soft Tofu can be blended to make creamy dressings, puddings, pie fillings and dips. Firm Tofu will hold its shape when sliced and diced- perfect for stir-frying or baking. (4)
You must have noticed that some of our newspapers are currently publishing misleading ads praising the nutritious qualities and importance of eggs. Such ill-motivated propaganda with the help of unscrupulous newspapers led to confusions. According to Eileen Bogel, a registered Dietitian with the UC Davis Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, " the egg industry's advertisements "are adorable and entertaining, but I don't think they're doing people a great deal of service if they get the idea that it's OK to eat as many eggs as you want." (5)
"Eating an egg is not the worst thing in the world," Bogel says, noting that eggs are inexpensive and high in several nutrients, including iron, protein, phosphorous and vitamins A, D and B-12. However, those nutrients are in many other foods that do not have the high cholesterol and fat content of eggs.
Vegetarians should not remain passive but should become more active by making proper inquiries before buying a particular product. Likewise extra care is important by reading the ingredients lists and it will be prudent and safer not to buy a product if in doubt.
Eggs a source of energy-A Myth
General belief is that 'EGGS' are more nutritious cheaper and easily digestible. Production of eggs at National Level is considered cheaper. Let us examine these issues on the basis of facts and figures and conclude ourselves whether these facts are correct or not.
1. Nutritive Value
As per Health Bulletin
No.23 issued by Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore
(Government of India), 100 grams Eggs provide 160 calories whereas 100
grams of pulses (Gram, Lentil, Peas, etc). 330 to 370 calories, oilseeds
450 to 550 (Groundnut, Til, Soybean etc.) and 900 calories in Butter,
Ghee, as given in Table 1 below.
COMPARATIVE STUDY OF FOOD VALUE (Per 100 grams)
2. ECONOMIC ASPECT
It is generally believed that 'EGGS'
are cheaper and good source of Energy, especially for the people living in
the developing countries like Mauritius. The facts are, however, quite
different. The average cost of 100 grams eggs (2 eggs) in Jan., 2002 is
3. HARMFUL EFFECTS OF EGGS ON HEALTH
It is generally propagated that
'EGGS' are more nutritive and very beneficial for the health. However, the
reality is that these are actually injurious for health in many ways.
Chemical analysis bas proved that the egg yolk contains more cholesterol,
a waxy alcohol, which deposits in the liver and the blood vessels:
producing fatty change in liver
Eggs sometimes create, ' ANIMAL
HYPER SENSITIVITY' reactions. Eating of eggs aggravates many diseases
like rheumatoid arthritis and gout etc.. In addition, eggs are deficient
in vitamins especially 'B' Complex and Vitamin
C. Carbohydrates are also not available therein. As a result of this human
body suffers from many deficiencies.
4. EGGS -GOOD SOURCE OF PROTEIN -A WRONG CONCEPT
100 grams Eggs contain 13.3 percent, proteins, whereas pulses have 24%, Groundnut 31.5%, Soya bean 43.2% and powdered milk 38 %. It is clear that the protein contents of eggs are very low and costly as compared to other items, mentioned above.
5. DIGESTIBILITY OF EGGS
Eggs are not easily digestible. Both the bile and pancreatic juice are in different to egg-white. Nearly 30 to 50% of the egg white passes through the digestive tract undigested.
6. EGGS DEFICIENT IN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS
Eggs are deficient in Iron, Calcium and Magnesiurn, which are very essential for human body.
7. ROTTEN EGGS: PROBLEM TO IDENTIFY
It is a problem to distinguish spoiled eggs because one cannot see the rotten egg if eaten, can leads to death.
8. VEGETARIAN EGGS: A MISNOMER
It is propagated by vested interests that eggs are vegetarian. It is not scientific because eggs cannot be obtained from plants. Their only source is from Animals, birds. In fact, the so-called vegetarian eggs can be named immature, unfertilized, stillborn or aborted eggs.
9. 'Unfertilized Eggs' cannot be accepted as vegetarian on the scientific basis, as these are, on maturity, capable of getting fertilized.
10. EGGS HAVE LIFE: A SCIENTIFIC FACT
Research has proved that electrical activities can be recorded from the surface of unfertilized eggs. Therefore, unfertilized eggs cannot be considered as life-less. Famous scientist, Late Shri Jagdish Chander Bose demonstrated signs of life in plants on the basis of active flow of water. Eggs of all kinds have life as evidence by recording of electrical activity on Polygraph.
11 ECONOMIC LOSS IN TRANSPORTATION OF EGGS
According to an official estimate, nearly 10% eggs are broken in transit, which is a serious matter from economic point of view. Such loss is negligible in transportation of fruits and pulses, which are better food substances than eggs.
12. PROMOTION TO EATING OF EGGS -A THREAT TO ECOLOGY
Habit of taking eggs is also responsible for ecological disturbances. During the recent past, plants have been destroyed extensively, causing serious ecological disturbances in the form of floods, spreading of deserts etc. in the country. If timely attention is not given to this problem, we may have to face many serious hazards on this account. An ecology expert has opined that within a few years, there may not be a single bird in Delhi which is likely to pose a serious ecological threat.
1. Eggs are less nutritive than pulses, groundnut, and soybeans.
2. Eggs contain less protein compared to plant proteins resources.
3. Eggs are costlier than pulses, milk, cereals, groundnut, etc.
4. Eggs are responsible for many serious diseases.
5. Eggs cause heart trouble, paralysis, kidney-ailment, etc.
6. Eggs arc not easily digestible.
7. Eggs -"Vegetarian Egg is a misnomer.
8. Eggs, if rotten, can be injurious to health.
9. Eggs do not come in the category of vegetarian diet.
10. Eggs eating is a serious threat to ecology.
Sources: Voluntary Health Sty (adapted)