How Organic Eggs are “Washed” (and highest manufacturers to shop for)

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The stunning checklist of chemical compounds allowed for USDA natural egg washing within the United States, which leaves the possibility of chemical residues given the porous nature of egg shells.

brands of organic washed eggs in healthfood store refrigerator

One of the targets of this weblog for the previous 15 years is to inspire folks to take their meals sourcing in the community.

In different phrases, redirect as a lot of the meals finances as imaginable to native manufacturers or artisans.

What this implies, in apply, is the removal of the “food middleman” that’s the Industrialized Food System.

The Industrialized Food System is the place just about all the dangerous issues occur in your meals.

This comprises nourishing, complete meals like natural eggs, Even pastured and free-range types from small farms can fall sufferer to its regulatory risks.

You see, when you are taking a high quality product from a small farm and move it throughout the Industrialized Food System, poisonous practices and meals adulteration most often happen.

It’s now not the similar product when it emerges from the Industrialized Food System as when it first entered!

Let’s check out how natural eggs are washed as a very simple instance.

USDA Organic Egg Wash Standards

While many of us steer clear of typical eggs as they know concerning the poisonous chlorine washes which are same old apply, because it seems, egg (and carcass) washes for USDA natural manufacturers if truth be told don’t seem to be significantly better!

Egg shells are extremely porous and any chemical used to wash the shell and coat it afterwards can finally end up within the egg itself.

According to Section 205.605 of USDA Poultry Guidelines, the next chemical compounds are authorized to be used as natural egg washes. (1)

  • sodium hypochlorite
  • Potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide
  • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
  • Sodium carbonate (washing soda)
  • Peracetic acid (Peroxyacetic acid)

While two of those chemical compounds (H2O2 and sodium carbonate) are protected, the others are maximum indisputably now not!

For instance, sodium hypochlorite is corrosive and an environmental danger. (2)

Potassium hydroxide is corrosive and an irritant. (3)

Peracetic acid is flammable and corrosive in addition to an irritant and environmental danger. (4)

How those chemical compounds are by some means allowed in “organic” egg manufacturing is past me.

Why does not the USDA handiest permit protected elements corresponding to hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate? Why the opposite poisonous trio as smartly?

Toxic Vegetable Oil Coating after Washing

Another not unusual apply is for natural eggs to be lined with vegetable oil after washing.

This “seals” the porous egg shells “for safety”.

Section 205.605 of the USDA Poultry Guidelines lets in for this poisonous apply as smartly. (1)

What oils are used? Your bet is as excellent as mine, however it does not wish to be indexed as a result of it’s an “industry standard”.

My bet will be the most cost-effective oils imaginable … natural canola or subtle sunflower oil someone?

How to Find Safe, Unwashed Eggs

The unhappy fact is that it’s crucial for shoppers to teach themselves and take evasive motion on the subject of sourcing eggs. They can not depend at the USDA or natural requirements to offer protection to them.

In my view, the most efficient resolution is to stay yard chickens your self. Our circle of relatives has saved a small flock for over 10 years now, and I extremely counsel it!

The subsequent highest factor is to procure recent, unwashed eggs from a neighbor’s or farmer’s marketplace. Avoid natural eggs from the shop up to imaginable.

If you suppose unwashed eggs are unhealthy, they don’t seem to be!

The “bloom” or herbal coating on an egg is extremely protecting, even making an allowance for the eggs to stay unrefrigerated for lots of days.

In Europe and different portions of the arena, unwashed (and unrefrigerated) eggs can also be discovered at retail outlets or even out on the street!

The image under is a photograph I took myself of unwashed eggs sitting out unrefrigerated in a healthfood retailer within the Netherlands in 2018.

unwashed eggs in cartons on healthfood store shelf

The subsequent image under is a photograph I took at the streets of Venice, Italy in 2015.

Completely unrefrigerated, unwashed recent eggs out within the outdoor subsequent to fruits and vegetables!

The scare techniques of the USDA towards unwashed eggs are totally unwarranted!

unwashed unrefrigerated eggs on Venice street market

Best Organic Egg Brands

If you end up in a meals barren region the place recent, unwashed eggs aren’t to be had and maintaining a couple of hens your self isn’t an choice, then it is important to perform a little investigation of the to be had egg manufacturers to your space.

The highest natural egg emblem score machine I’ve noticed is from the Cornucopia Institute. (5, 6)

While this in-depth egg scorecard investigates an exhaustive checklist of standards about dozens of natural egg manufacturers, sadly, the egg-washing procedure isn’t amongst them!

Thus, I’d recommend the use of this rating card to winnow down the checklist of egg manufacturers which are highest and to be had to your space.

Then, touch each and every farm at once (by means of telephone is highest in my enjoy), to procure data at the chemical compounds used to clean the eggs and the vegetable oil used to coat them earlier than they’re positioned in cartons and shipped in your retailer shelf.

In a worst-case state of affairs, in case you wouldn’t have a “best” natural emblem to be had to your space that makes use of unhazardous hydrogen peroxide or sodium carbonate as an egg wash, then no less than you should definitely re-wash the eggs your self totally in heat , soapy water earlier than the use of.

While this is not a failsafe manner given the porous nature of egg shells, it could no less than scale back the danger that chemical or rancid vegetable oil residues get into the eggs while you crack them.


(1) USDA Poultry Guidelines

(2) sodium hypochlorite

(3) potassium hydroxide

(4) Peracetic acid

(5) Egg Scorecard Criteria, Cornucopia Institute

(6) Best Organic Egg Brands

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