When you buy eggs in America, the carton usually carries this warning message:
SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria: Keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.
I always wondered why. I eat raw eggs over rice almost every day when I'm visiting my parents in Tokyo, and then I fly back to California and promptly switch to scrambled eggs because of this fear that I'll get sick from eating raw eggs in America.
Tamago kake gohan
Scoop some rice into a small bowl, and dig a hole in the middle. Crack an egg into the hole. Add a dash of soy sauce. Mix everything together. Optional: Add furikake, pickles, sour plum, fried fish, cod roe.
Image via Gourmet.com
There's a 1 in 20,000 chance that an egg might contain salmonella, according to the American Egg Board
. "The risk of getting a foodborne illness from eggs is very low, but the nutrients in eggs are also a good growth medium for bacteria," says Elisa Malobert, director of egg product marketing at the AEB. "To eliminate risk, we do not recommend the consumption of raw or lightly cooked eggs." It doesn't matter, she adds, whether you're eating organic and free range $8-a-dozen farm fresh eggs or super-processed $2 eggs. (Egg "grades" are determined by appearance and yolk-to-white ratio, not content quality.) Hens aren't affected by salmonella, so they can carry it and pass it onto egg yolk without anyone knowing. And if that doesn't happen, salmonella could enter through the shell after the bloom — the natural coating that protects the inside — is washed off after collection. Egg shells are super porous; there are anywhere from 7-17,000 pores on a single shell.
My brother got salmonella once from eating raw chicken at a high-end yakitori restaurant in Tokyo. I know, I know. Raw eggs are debatable, but nobody in their right minds eats raw chicken! This might imply that the Japanese are less concerned about food safety, but on the other hand, most restaurants there will never wrap up food to go precisely because food can go bad once it's no longer fresh and they don't want to be liable for that. If I can guess at any reason why the Japanese are more inclined to eat raw everything, it might be because the culture inherently appreciates and celebrates the purity of unprocessed, uncooked flavors. I don't have any numbers for the incidence of salmonella in Japanese eggs, but I'm assuming that, like American eggs, it's not that common.
Raw eggs are a great source of Vitamins B12 and D; they also have tons of protein. If you're willing to see past the USDA warning and try it, I highly recommend making tamago kake gohan — raw egg on rice — for breakfast.
Every installment of Taste Test will explore recipes, the science, and some history behind a specific food item.
Image via Gep's Flickr
Two villages either side of the Apurimac River in Peru must rebuild the rope bridge linking their communities every year. You wonder: why don’t they build a modern one that lasts? Then you watch the video and you know why.
Everyone behaves badly in this one—snotty youngsters v. violent veterans—but that older guy throwing punches and threatening a pregnant woman should be in jail. Come for the Pokemon rage, stay for the expert demolition of a portable gazebo. A story at the Winona Daily News appears to concern the same park; it looks like there’s […]
At 238 feet and 3 inches, Adam Winrich’s manila rope whip is reportedly the world’s longest. Adam’s YouTube channel is packed with amazing whippings; below he dual-weild fire whips.
Looks like all of your potential employers are hiring candidates with programming skills (which you don’t have). With all of the languages out there today, it’s tough to know where to start.With the Complete Front-End to Back-End Coding Bundle, you can beef your resume up in all the right places, no confusion necessary. This package of […]
Those of us who love music wish we could listen to it 24/7. But it’s impossible when we’re trying to converse with our friends, or when are swimming in the local pool.That is, until now. The KOAR Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset, now 48% off, has changed the audio game.Made with lightweight titanium memory metal, this headset boasts patented bone conduction technology to transport sound […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]