Family farms are the exception to the rule. In reality, about 97% of animals grown for food in Canada are raised on huge factory farms, where they live unnatural lives of intensive confinement. In the production of eggs, the male chicks are destroyed as they are not profitable.
Many people choose not to use eggs in their diet. About 70% of the calories in eggs are from fat, and a big portion of that fat is saturated. They are also loaded with cholesterol, about 213 milligrams for an average-sized egg. Because egg shells are fragile and porous and conditions on egg farms are crowded, eggs are the perfect host for salmonella, the bacteria that is the leading cause of food poisoning in this country.
Eggs are often used in baked products because of their binding and leavening properties. But smart cooks have found good substitutes for eggs. Try one of the following the next time you prepare a recipe that calls for eggs:
- If a recipe calls for just one or two eggs, you can often skip them. Add a couple of extra tablespoons of water for each egg eliminated to balance out the moisture content of the product.
- Eggless egg replacers are available in many natural food stores. These are different from reduced-cholesterol egg products, which do contain eggs. Egg replacers are egg-free and are usually in a powdered form. Replace eggs in baking with a mixture of the powdered egg replacer and water according to package directions.
- Use 1 heaping tablespoon of soy flour or cornstarch plus 2 tablespoons of water to replace each egg in a baked product.
- Use 1 ounce of mashed tofu in place of an egg. Scramble crumbled tofu with onions and peppers seasoned with cumin and/or curry to replace eggs in breakfast dishes.
- In muffins and cookies, half of a mashed banana can be used instead of an egg, although it will change the flavor of the recipe somewhat.
- For vegetarian loaves and burgers, use any of the following to bind ingredients together: tomato paste, mashed potato, moistened bread crumbs, or rolled oats.