The Perfect Survival Food

by M.D. Creekmore on Thursday, December 8, 2011

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  Gayle from Gainesville

What is the perfect survival food? Before we can arrive at a satisfactory answer to this question we must first agree on a criterion of perfection with respect to foodstuffs.

Fresh eggs and chickens the perfect survival foodI wish to suggest that the perfect survival food must remain viable without refrigeration for weeks at a time. The perfect survival food must also be inexpensive and highly nutritious. It must be incredibly versatile, as food fatigue is a real concern. Finally, every part of the food item must be usable—there can be no waste in the economy of perfection. As the saying goes, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without it.”

Is there anything that answers to the description “the perfect survival food”? Yes, I say. The egg. The egg is the perfect survival food.

Fresh eggs will keep without refrigeration for weeks at a time. Eggs are inexpensive and highly nutritious. The egg is incredibly versatile: I have read that there are more than 100 ways to cook an egg! And finally, every part of the egg can be used: the yolk, the egg white, the eggshell and even the egg membrane. No waste.

Culinary Uses

Sure, everyone knows that eggs serve a number of culinary purposes. Eggs serve as thickeners, as for example, when we make custard. Eggs act as emulsifiers—without eggs, it would be difficult to make mayonnaise. Eggs serve as leavening agents. (A leavening agent helps a cooked product rise.) Without eggs, there would be no angel food cake or lemon meringues pie. Eggs help bind ingredients; try making meatloaf without adding a couple of eggs—it’s not pretty. We use eggs to coat foods—the breadcrumbs used to make fried chicken stick to the chicken because of the egg coating.[1]

Finally, we cook eggs—eggs benedict, eggs Florentine, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs, pickled eggs, eggs cooked sunny side up or over easy. We make omelets, frittatas, quiches, egg salad, egg sandwich, steak and eggs, egg drop soup . . . . The list is truly endless.

Nutrition

The egg is also highly nutritious. Eggs contain almost all the essential nutrients a body needs. Eggs are one of the few single source foods that contain complete proteins, and that means that the proteins are readily absorbable by the body. The egg is also one of the few food sources of Vitamin D.

The egg yolk is the most nutritious part of the egg. According to Living Strong, “An egg yolk is full of the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, cooper, manganese and selenium and the vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, folate, B12, the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K and carotenoids. There are about 51 calories in an egg yolk, 11 calories from protein and 40 calories from fat. Egg yolks are have so many vitamins and minerals it is almost like taking a multivitamin.” [2]

Compost Ingredient

But the egg offers more than good nutrition for the human body. Eggshells help return essential nutrients to the soil through the process of composting.[3] Many soils lack calcium, and it is the lack of calcium that causes blossom end rot on tomatoes. Rather than throwing eggshells into the garbage, compost them. Composting is the process of returning decomposed organic matter to the soil. It is the best and cheapest way to improve your soil. And it helps keep organic waste out of landfills. The extra calcium in the soil will prevent blossom end rot, and your tomatoes will be much happier.[4]

And don’t forget, if you make hard-boiled eggs let the water cool and then use it to water your tomatoes. This will add even more calcium to your tomatoes, providing even more insurance against blossom end rot.

Slug and Snail Prevention

This is not the only garden use for eggshells. If you have trouble with slugs and snails, place broken up eggshells around your plants. Yes, eggshells help foil snails and slugs. The jaggedly surface of the crushed eggshells proves to be an organic deterrent to these unwanted bests.

Seed Starting Container

Eggshells may also be used as garden pots for seedlings. Simply crack the shell into two roughly halves. Carefully poke a hole in the bottom for drainage. Then fill each half with compost. Then plant the seed. When the seedlings are ready to be planted outside, gently crack the eggshell and insert the plant (eggshell and all) into the garden. The eggshell will provide additional nutrients for the growing plant.[5]

Wound Care

We are not finished touting the virtues of the egg. The super-thin membrane inside the eggshell has long been used as a home remedy for minor cuts and skin irritations. First, clean the cut with soap and water. Then carefully peal the membrane from the eggshell. Place the liquidly side of the membrane on the cut. Then let the membrane dry. What you now have is a natural band-aid. Moreover, this “band-aid” contains a natural antibiotic called lysozyme.[6]

References

[1] http://www.saskschools.ca/curr_content/paamidlevel/fd_st/mod8_eggs/ eggs_role_uses/paa_p1.htm

[2] http://www.livestrong.com/article/53249-nutrition-information-eggs/

[3] http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/nyerges44.html

[4] http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting-basics/eggshells-in-the-garden.htm

[5] http://ecolocalizer.com/2011/04/15/creative-reuse-egg-shell-planting-pots/

[6] http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-lysozyme.htm

[7] http://www.motherearthnews.com/ask-our-experts/how-long-will-fresh-eggs-keep-without-refrigeration.aspx

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

This contest will end on January 11 2012 so get busy…

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1 Comment

Filed under Health/Food Related

One response to “The Perfect Survival Food

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