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Duck Eggs

Originally published May, 2020

The highlight of our Saturday morning is going to the Albany Farmer’s Market to buy duck eggs.

I didn’t think I would be writing today’s blog about eggs, but, well, sometimes if there is no looming personal subject or event to explore, and if I keep my promise to myself not to rant about present-day nonsense from a certain man who calls himself a President or about people who refuse to wear masks because their particular belief of individualism is combined with rabid distaste for anything bordering on “the common good”, then I’ll write about eggs, dammit.

Getting my rant out of the way, I’ll start.

First, this subject arises from a comment of the husband’s. He pointed out that Europeans, the French in particular, greatly prefer ducks and geese as their poultry choices over the American equivalent chicken and turkey. One of the farms coming to the market sells both chicken and duck eggs. When we discovered this several weeks ago, only duck eggs remained—the chicken ova were sold out, so we bought two dozen from the duck, and now we’re hooked.

Duck eggs are richer than chicken eggs. If you normally eat two eggs at a typical breakfast meal—or supper, whatever—one duck egg will quite suffice.

Quoting that section of Google where they list a bunch of FAQs whenever you look something up:

“Duck eggs have a higher fat content than chicken eggs. Duck eggs contain 9.6 grams of fat, compared to 5 grams of fat in chicken eggs. Duck eggs are also higher in Omega-3 fatty acids – 71.4 milligrams vs 37 milligrams. Duck eggs are higher in protein than chicken eggs.”

I’ll reveal a secret. The husband and I are two-chicken egg breakfast eaters. A majority of my family and friends cringe at the idea of eating more than one egg at a time, and even more that one egg a week. However, I’m not a lipo-phobe, or at least not as rabid about non-fat foods as others. I’ll take that extra Omega-3 fatty acid and protein consumption any day. Fat intake—and again, what quality of fats do you define as “fat”?—can be regulated in many ways. Eggs are not the biggest culprits, if you are assigning blame.

Our method of the two-egg scheme vanished when the husband served the first breakfast of duck eggs. One duck egg is plenty. If you figure it out for the two-chicken-egg eater, you’re saving yourself some fat and getting more Omegas. Pretty good deal, I say.

But why do Americans prefer land foul to water foul for our poultry menu?

Chickens are a dietary choice around the world. According to The Smithonian Magazine, chickens arethe first birds whose genome has been completed, pigeon-holing (forgive the pun) their likely birthplace as the Indus Valley. In addition to this interesting fact, chicken did not constitute the major part of the American diet until the mid 20th century when someone figured out that antibiotics and hormones could allow Tyson and other greedy poultry growers to cram chickens into cages in vast indoor feeding stations.

OK, there’s my rant about factory farming out of the way.

In early America, turkeys and ducks were a lucky food source for early settlers—not domesticated, but as game. It’s a pretty good guess that the reason Americans today are not great duck eaters is because of the affordability of chicken. The largest exporters of duck and geese meat is Hungary, France and Poland. The highest consumer of duck meat is China. In the article from Global Trade magazine from which I found these statistics, the U.S. isn’t even mentioned.

I love chicken as well as the next person. The husband loves duck, and I eat it when we have one, but it’s not quite the same. The eggs, though . . . .

PS. Some months after writing this blog, I realized that, since retirement, I had gained 15 pounds. Now, at the start of 2023, I have shed 20. One of the causes of this deliberate weight loss? Eating only one egg at breakfast.


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