Eggs still offer good nutritional value amid high prices
COLUMBIA, Mo — The nutritional value of eggs remains high despite the steep rise in prices.
In a press release, Sarah Wood, University of Missouri Extension state nutrition specialist, said “When considering the protein content of eggs in the diet, eggs are still pretty affordable compared to other animal protein sources.”
The USDA national average price for Grade A whole eggs in January was $3.99 a dozen. An ounce of 85% lean ground beef is $5.55 a pound, or 35 cents an ounce, Wood said. An ounce of chicken breast is about 25 cents at $3.98 per pound. “Eggs fall in the middle, at 33 cents an ounce,” she said.
“Most American adults eat more than one ounce of eggs or meat,” she said. “Typically, we see portion sizes of two eggs or upwards of 4-6 ounces of meat or chicken.”
Nutritionists recommend a variety of protein sources in the diet. A serving of eggs has six grams of protein, lean ground beef has seven grams and chicken breast is eight grams.
“There are ways to stretch your food dollar by using alternatives in baking quick breads, cakes or muffins,” said Wood. Use ¼ cup pureed fruit (such as applesauce), or one teaspoon baking soda combined with one tablespoon vinegar, or ¼ cup buttermilk or plain yogurt.
“It is possible to freeze eggs for later use,” Wood said.
This is a way to extend their shelf life and lock in prices when they do come down.
Eggs cannot be frozen in the shell because expansion of the white and yolk will cause the shell to break. Hard-cooked eggs cannot be frozen because the white becomes rubbery.
Select fresh, chilled eggs and break each separately into a clean saucer. Examine each egg for freshness and remove any pieces of shell before mixing with other eggs. Eggs with blood specks are safe to eat; removing the specks is optional.
Freeze eggs in amounts that will be used in recipes. Add sugar or salt to whole eggs or yolks before freezing to prevent gumminess.
The recommended length of freezer storage for frozen eggs is nine to 12 months.
For more information, see the MU Extension publication “How to Freeze Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs and Dairy Products,” which is available for free download at extension.missouri.edu/gh1504.
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