World Egg Day was established in Vienna in 1996 and has since encouraged egg fans worldwide to think up new and creative ways to “honour this incredible nutrient powerhouse”, says the International Egg Commission.
World Egg Day is celebrated on the second Friday of October each year. Eggs are a staple part of consumer diets in many countries across the globe, and its health benefits are vast. They contain 13 essential nutrients, including choline, which supports foetal brain development; vitamin B12 and iron for overall brain function; and iodine, which aids the healthy functioning of the nervous system.
As part of World Egg Day, Poultry World took the opportunity to speak to Fernando Cisneros, director Specialty Carotenoids Global at DSM, and an official sustainability partner of the International Egg Commission.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of World Egg Day, DSM aims to showcase the significant health and environmental benefits of consuming and producing eggs. “Eggs are one of the most environmentally sustainable sources of animal protein with the lowest environmental footprint. They are also affordable and accessible for people worldwide,” says Cisneros.
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“This year DSM is celebrating World Egg Day by showcasing the potential of this plentiful nutrition source with its growing Egg Family. As the sustainability feed official partner of the International Egg Commission, we continue to work to improve the sustainability and quality of eggs whilst reducing loss and waste.”
We asked Cisneros what DSM is doing to enhance sustainability of the egg sector. “We are transforming the way we feed our animals with a portfolio of solutions that improve the quality of eggs, thereby reducing food loss and waste across the value chain,” he said, noting that solutions include vitamins, carotenoids, eubiotics and other tools that help farmers breed healthier, more sustainable birds.
Hens fed optimum levels of vitamins help to ensure that the birds lay robust and nutritious eggs, leading to significantly less egg breakages and subsequent food loss, says Cisneros highlighting the company’s Optimum Vitamin Nutrition programme.
A healthy hen will produce a golden yolk. Naturally-occurring antioxidants called carotenoids have pigmenting capabilities, which DSM says is particularly important for consumers in colour-sensitive markets and which can be achieved through its YolkFan Pro. This tool helps farmers to check the yolk colour of eggs produced against an industry standard.
Due to the nutritious content and affordability of eggs, Cisneros expects the industry to grow alongside our population, which is estimated to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050. “In fact,” he says, “animal protein production in the form of meat, milk, fish and eggs is expected to grow by 70% from now until 2050. This will mean that producers will need to increase their production levels while ensuring their operations are sustainable.”
Egg facts and stats
– In terms of emissions, eggs emit, on average, a greenhouse gas emissions impact of 24.4 g of CO2 equivalent per g of protein, which falls below the emissions of all other sources of animal protein.
– Eggs offer 6g of protein, 14 essential nutrients and only 75 calories per egg. They are rich in amino acids, calcium, sodium, iodine, selenium, choline and vitamins A, B, D and E.
– Combined with a digestibility of 80%, cooked eggs have the highest biological value of any single food source.
– From 1960 to 2010, the egg industry managed to reduce the carbon footprint of every egg produced by 50%.
– Eggs have an average greenhouse gas emissions impact of 24.4 g of CO2 equivalent per g of protein, which is below that of all other animal protein sources and even below that of vegetable produce.
World Egg Day around the world
World Egg Day is celebrated worldwide. Some celebrations include:
– Brazil: A week of activities will include donations of thousands of eggs, activity books and World Egg Day T-shirts to regional charities.
– Canada: Egg Farmers of Canada are launching media and social media campaigns with 5 chef ambassadors and culinary influencers who will encourage Canadians to take their taste buds on a journey while showcasing several new globally-inspired egg recipes.
– China: A Food Creative Contest is being planned held in conjunction with a science and technology conference.
– Croatia: A theatre festival for children has been arranged, entitled ‘The Egg’.
– Hungary: A conference for producers will feature speaker Nan-Dirk Mulder of Rabobank, and a multimedia campaign aims to promote egg consumption.
– Kenya: The Hatching Hope Kenya Project, an initiative founded by Cargill and Heifer International, will host an event at a local school and will include a nutrition talk about the health benefits of eggs, a mentorship talk, and presentation of poems that the school children have been preparing to commemorate this day.
– Latvia: Balticovo’s egg-branded food truck will distribute scrambled eggs to local residents, offering a variety of egg dishes, including the company’s egg white protein ice-cream.
– Mexico: A webinar will host expert speakers from across the country.
– New Zealand: NZ Egg Producers Federation are running a consumer promotion where participants could win a Kenwood Gold Mixer or 1 of 25 The Perfect Egg Cookbooks.
– Nigeria: The Poultry Association of Nigeria Ogun State (PANOG) will be generating awareness about the many health benefits of eggs, visiting schools, health centres, orphanages, correctional centres and media houses to spread the word about the importance of eggs to wellbeing and overall health.
– Pakistan: The PMAS Arid Agriculture University will host a range of competitions, including best egg dish, best egg carving and painting, and best egg-related poster.
– Russia: Poultry of Russia 2021 will be held. The programme will include tasting of finished products like smoked and pickled eggs, a competition for making salads from boiled eggs, a soft-boiled eggs competition, songs about eggs, and the presentation of diplomas for the top 10 producers.
– Spain: Spain will extend celebrations to World Egg Month and will focus on the benefits of the egg for eye health. The winner of the yearly award in egg research will also be announced.
– UK: World Egg Day will be held alongside British Egg Week when people will be sharing their favourite ways to enjoy eggs.