Farm fresh pastured Eggs – washed or unwashed?
Different cultures treat egg washing in different ways – many cultures frown on washing fresh eggs….. So the question arises – is it best to wash the eggs after collecting them or leave them unwashed? The answer is, it is best to leave the egg unwashed.
Just before laying an egg, the hen adds a protective layer called “bloom” or cuticle to the outside of the egg. This coating seals the shell pores, prevents bacteria from getting inside the shell, and reduces moisture loss from the egg – all designed to make the egg last longer. Washing the eggs removes this protective layer, and does reduce the time that the egg will remain fresh.
This very coating – the bloom – is also protecting the egg to get contaminated with salmonella….. Unwashed eggs will last at least 2-3 weeks unrefrigerated, and three months if refrigerated.
Diet and lifestyle of a hen makes a huge difference in the quality of eggs that are produced. If a chicken is engaging in outdoor activities, eating grasses and insects, worms and a little bit of substituted, organic and soy free feed – those eggs are nourishing and brimming with nutrients. But if confined and under artificial light, not only does an egg contain little to no Vit D, those eggs have no nutrients and antioxidants that would protect the chicken and the content of the egg from disease.
Salmonella is all too often a worry for commercial producers, but here on our farm, we take pride to keep all chickens in a clean and safe environment and we move their pens after the cows. Once the grazing has proceeded and the cows are moved onto fresh pasture, the chickens happily indulge on the freed bugs that are to be found in the soil and the remaining manure from previous grazers.
The farmer has a pretty nice system that every animal is partaking in soil restoration and fertilization – all under the open skies and how nature intended.