We've all been there—some of us more than others, I guess. You’re whipping up a culinary storm when, before you know it, whoops! A shard of your eggshell gets in your pancake. A nice crunch in your morning frittata.
Last week, while scrolling through Twitter, I came across this somewhat bizarre, fear-mongering Business Insider video above that provocatively suggested I eat my eggshells rather than discard them. Hm.
STOP throwing away your eggshells, the video's bold typeface demands of me. It goes on to detail the sheer number of wasted egg shells produced in the States alone—150,000 tons—and it offers a suggestion to remedy this through eating your eggshells instead. The video walks through the benefits, arguing that an eggshell is a hearty source of calcium; a chicken eggshell contains roughly twice the recommended daily value of calcium.
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And then comes the catch: The video warns that, if you'd actually like to eat your eggshells, you'd better boil them to kill any bacteria, bake them at 200° F degrees for 10 - 15 minutes, and grind them. The resultant powder can fit in much of anywhere: pizza dough, bread, spaghetti. Careful, though, the video warns at the end; too much calcium can be bad for you.
Thank you, Business Insider. That was quite a ride.
The suggestion that you should eat your eggshells isn't new; in watching this video, I think of the soul who wrote The New York Times three years back asking if it was permissible to eat part of an eggshell with a soft-boiled egg every morning. Most proponents of eating eggshells point to a 2003 study that demonstrated the eggshell’s capacity to act as a buffer against senile osteoporosis.
Still, I'm not sure I'm convinced. The process seems too cumbersome, and there may be calcium-rich alternatives to eggshells that require less preparation. But I guess I’m willing to try.
Do you eat your eggshells? Would you ever? Let us know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.