Do You Eat Your Eggshells?

February 14, 2017

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.

Shop the Story

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.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Birdfeeder
  • Sal
  • Kimberly
  • Whiteantlers
  • creamtea
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.


Birdfeeder February 23, 2017
Birds love them and need the calcium to make their own shells. I learned from various bird sites to put a bunch of them in the microwave (mine is an old one, not very powerful) for six minutes at half power and then crunch them up small and mix them into my tub of birdseed.
Sal February 18, 2017
Um no you first?
Kimberly February 16, 2017
omg no!!! the crunch of a stray eggshell while you're trying to enjoy your eggs is like nails on a chalkboard, I can't imagine intentionally eating them. compost that s
Whiteantlers February 14, 2017
No way!
creamtea February 14, 2017
I didn't eat them, but I used to boil them (or bake them, not both), grind them and stir into potting mix for my container plants. Very good for tomatoes, which need calcium. I found it wasn't too difficult to just throw them in a pot of water to boil, let them dry out on paper towels, and store them in a bag in the fridge. When I had enough I ground them up... I knew someone who would pulverize eggshells to drink them for extra calcium. Maybe in a smoothie or something.
Chzplz February 14, 2017
I throw them into my composter.