I had never considered until the other day whether eggs were or should be washed or not.
So i decided to consult Mother Hen who I thought would know best.
It amazed me to learn that America, Japan and Australia wash their eggs while the rest of the world (which includes Europe, Great Britain and the asian countries) do not.
It creates a sort of trade embargo where British eggs cannot be sold or eaten in America and likewise American eggs cannot be sold or eaten in Britain.
How utterly bizarre is that!
According to Mother Hen, it is all down to animal husbandry.
We are all educated folk and know that the salmonella virus can be contracted from eating eggs.
We are not sure how salmonella gets there in the first place.
Mother Hen curtly points out that the issue of salmonella is a fairly recent thing.
We tend to forget of days gone by when people were less health-conscious, health-aware and refrigerators did not come into being until that well known genius Albert Einstein came up with the idea in the 1920s.
What we fail to understand, says Mother Hen, is that eggs are more resistant than you think to bacterial contamination.
Eggs have this invisible coating or safety jacket called a cutible which blesses every egg shell and makes them very strong.
Mother Hen is adamant that eggs which are washed of this coating make them damaged and susceptible to contamination.
Washing the eggs in a special chemical way merely deludes public thinking that salmonella cannot be contracted..
Quite the contrary in fact as it becomes the breeding ground for it.
So there is every reason to suppose that a washed egg could become tainted.
While not refrigerating eggs at the outset when Mother Hen lays them and not washing them, there is actually less likelihood that anyone will get sick.
Mother Hen boasts that eggs are one of the healthiest kinds of food humans can eat.
Eggs are the ultimate fat-fighters and it is nonesense to suggest they raise your cholesterol level.
The wisdom of Mother Hen is undeniable.
She realizes she could be a salmonella carrier even before she lays an egg, so she is all for the idea of anti-salmonella vaccination.
She does concede that as she gets older, the eggs she lays have poorer cuticle coverage and the risk of contamination, although small, is still there.
Mother Hen thinks the public are confused about the selection process for eggs and what to do with eggs once we have bought them.
The best place to buy the eggs is at the farm shop but few people get that opportunity, so we usually buy them at the grocery store or the supermarket.
The eggs might be cooled or chilled but they are rarely refrigerated and more often than not, they are kept at room temperature.
Keeping the purchased eggs at room temperature when we get them home is the logical thing to do.
Their shelf life for consumption may be shorter than if they were refrigerated but the shorter duration will provide a more healthier egg to eat.
What happens to a cold egg then, I asked Mother Hen, if it is then introduced to room temperature?
It will sweat and possibly be open to breed bacteria.
Mother Hen sees the modern day refrigerator as the enemy in the quest to preserve the glory of the beautiful egg.
Every one of us will surely admit that we buy our eggs, perhaps by the dozen, in the carton and then place them later at home in the special slot inside the refrigerator.
It indeed preserves the shelf life, so to speak, for cooking and eating the egg but it also reduces the natural taste the egg has to offer.
The ultimate message of Mother Hen is not to underestimate the power of the egg, to respect the aesthetics of the egg and not exaggerate human health and safety out of ignorance.
I want to thank Mother Hen for her time in giving this somewhat unusual interview.
Do not forget to read this article again and refresh many of the useful phrases which I have highlighted.