Having Issues With Eggshells? You’re Not Alone.

And there's a reason for it

If you've been worried about eggshells lately, there's a scientific reason why.
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Is something a little off right now when it comes to the nation’s eggshells? Anecdotally, I’ve certainly seen more broken eggs at the supermarket than in past years, and while that’s hardly the stuff of peer-reviewed studies, it is concerning. It’s one thing to notice something odd and another thing entirely to trace the underlying phenomenon.

And yet the latter is precisely what Business Insider‘s Katie Notopoulos did in a new article. Notopoulos noticed more and more chipping when cooking with eggs — even though her preferred brand and techniques hadn’t changed. Which led her to investigate further, unearthing the scientific reasons behind the eggshells having less structural integrity.

The short version: remember the avian flu that surged around the globe last year? That’s to blame. What’s more fascinating is how it’s to blame, which takes us further into the way commercial egg production works.

What the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Sheila Purdum told Business Insider of her suspicion — that the issue related to chickens lost to the aforementioned avian flu. Purdum observed that, as a result of this, “the remaining birds are kept in production longer, which then starts a cycle of poorer eggshell quality.”

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In other words, older chickens lay thinner eggs. And with fewer alternatives for farmers to choose from, thinner-shelled eggs might be deemed preferable to no eggs at all. It may be frustrating for anyone who enjoys cooking with eggs, but Notopoulos notes that the system should recover from the adverse effects of avian flu before long.


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