Eggs are a very common item found in almost every kitchen, and there are unlimited ways to add eggs to different dishes.
In America, eggs are the most popular source of protein in the daily diet. On average, an American consume 19 pounds of eggs in a year. Chicken eggs are the most popular eggs consumed around the world.
The most common confusion exists if the egg is a vegetable, meat, fruit, or what is the best category to list eggs in.
However, there are many arguments about categorizing eggs into a certain category of food. Some people believe eggs to be a non-vegetarian food and others believe it to be a vegetarian one.
This blog article will answer the question about which category to fit eggs in. besides, we will be addressing a lot of other questions and queries regarding eggs. So let’s get into it.
What is an egg?
We all know eggs are laid by birds and reptiles. The edible eggs are usually obtained from the birds.
What exactly is an egg?
The egg is the birds’ reproductive body that is protected by a hard shell. Or, more scientifically, the egg is the organic vessel that comprises a zygote in which an embryo develops. It keeps on developing until an independent organism is completely created to survive on its own.
Eggs are eaten as food as well. They are rich in protein and choline. Therefore, eggs are abundantly used in the diet to meet the daily requirements of nutrients.
Types of eggs eaten around the world
And now to the types of edible eggs, people consume in different parts of the world. We will list down each type and its nutrition to let you know which one to consume more often.
The broader categories of egg types are fish eggs and bird eggs. And if we sneak into further segregation, here are the most commonly consumed egg types:
Hen eggs or chicken eggs are the favorites of all human beings on the planet. These eggs are obtained from the domestic hens kept in houses or from the dairy hens kept on poultry farms.
The notion of eggs is mostly reserved for hen eggs, and you get two varieties of these eggs –white and brown. The eggs are a rich source of protein, calcium, choline, and zinc, Whichever color.
Turkey eggs are also one of the edible egg types, and around 7-8 million turkey eggs are eaten in the UK on Christmas.
The egg looks similar to the hen’s egg, but it has a bigger size, harder, and spotted shell. These eggs have a creamier flavor, unlike the mild flavor of hen eggs. However, turkey eggs are sold more expensive due to lower average production.
On average, a turkey lays 100 eggs in a year. Calcium content in turkey eggs is high, making them a good source of calcium.
Duck eggs and turkey eggs are similar when it comes to size and shell thickness. These eggs are rich in fats, proteins, and Vitamin B complex compounds. One good thing about duck eggs is that they don’t get rotten for long.
The color of duck eggs ranges from white to brown and green, depending on the duck breed. The larger yolk-to-white ratio makes them a more suitable substitute for poultry eggs for baking.
Asia, specifically China, Thailand, and Vietnam, are popular for consuming most duck eggs. However, a fair number of Britain people also consume duck eggs in their diet. If we look into the USA market, turkey and chicken eggs are commonly consumed.
If duck and turkey eggs are 50% larger than the hen eggs, the goose eggs are 100% larger than the chicken eggs.
These double-sized eggs have a pleasant taste blessed with a lot of proteins. These eggs have 19.97 grams of protein as compared to 6.23 grams of chicken eggs.
The goose’s egg production per year is limited to only 40 eggs on average. Therefore, these are not so commonly sold types of eggs.
Italian cuisine, specifical pasta, has the most desire for goose eggs due to the vibrant colors of yolk. Goose eggs are also desirable in baking due to the thick consistency granted to the batter by adding these eggs.
Hilsa eggs are fish-derived eggs, and these eggs are very popular in the sub-continentaL regions of Bangladesh and India(Eastern).
These eggs are famous for the higher content of Omega 3 Fatty acids and other nutrients as well. Female Hilsa fish can produce up to 2 million eggs, and the major spawning season comes in September-October.
Well, besides anything else, quail eggs are very special due to the richness in Ovomucoid protein –a natural anti-allergenic.
These eggs are very small in size compared to the chicken eggs –almost 1/3 of the chicken egg. Although quail eggs are smaller than chicken eggs, the fat, Vitamin B12, and protein content are higher than the former one.
Quail eggs are commonly eaten and desired in Southeast Asian, European, and American cuisine.
Bantam is a type of hen smaller in size and popularly known as miniature chicken. This breed is easy to take care of, and life expectancy is 4 to 8 years.
Like their own size, bantam egg size is also smaller than normal chicken eggs. However, these eggs are a rich source of iron and protein. 3-4 bantam eggs are equivalent to 2 standard eggs laid by a normal chicken.
Bantam eggs are also consumed in most parts of the world without differentiating them from normal chicken eggs.
Just like the size of an ostrich, the size of the eggs laid by an ostrich is large. It won’t be wrong to say the largest bird eggs found on earth.
The average weight of an ostrich egg can be anywhere around 2 kg, and the shell is 20 times thicker than chicken eggs.
If nutritional values of protein are compared for ostrich and chicken eggs, there is not much difference. Under the farm condition, a female ostrich lays around 40 to 130 eggs in a year.
Most Common Type Of Eggs
Without any doubt, chicken eggs are the most common type of eggs. We have discussed many types of edible eggs.
However, there is a prohibition on eating all types of eggs in some religions. Eggs from chicken, duck, quail, turkey, pigeons, ostrich, caviar, roe, etc., are considered edible.
On the other hand, those derived from reptiles or hunting birds like snakes, turtles, eagles, vultures are prohibited.
Is egg a vegetable, fruit, meat, or what?
Now come to the concern of many vegetarians: is the egg a vegetable, fruit, meat, or what?
Is egg veg or non-veg?
Here is the answer.
The one-word answer is that eggs have their own category, but most vegetarian diets allow egg consumption. A vegetarian diet usually prohibits animal flesh or animal-derived meat.
However, egg is a vegetarian-friendly food.
However, another argument exists in different vegetarian schools of thought.
The argument unfolds as ‘ is a fertilized egg veg or non-veg?’
From the general perspective, fertilized eggs are good to eat. However, many vegetarians have a stance that since the fertilized egg is supposed to become a new offspring, it is not allowed to eat.
Even the religions that prefer a vegetarian diet, Hinduism or Jainism, also do not prohibit the consumption of eggs.
In short, the eggs are not animal flesh, and you’re good to eat them in your diet. If worried about how to know if an egg is fertilized or not, most commercially sold eggs are unfertilized.
Nutrition Of Eggs
Since the chicken egg is the most common type of egg consumed around the world, we will break down the nutritional values of the chicken egg.
Calories: 75 kcal
Protein: 7 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Other nutrients: carotenoid, vitamin, iron. minerals, etc.
The eggs are very nutritious due to their high protein content and choline(required for normal body functioning).
Besides, vegetarians can add eggs to their diet as a source of nutrients like protein that they can’t have due to avoiding meat.
Whatever questions or ambiguities did you have about the nature of eggs as food, this article would have clarified that.
The eggs, whichever bird or fish, are perfect for eating by vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It might be hard to categorize eggs as vegetables or meat.
However, one thing is sure, they are not meat, so all vegetarians can have as many eggs as they want.