Industry News

In appreciation of the egg…

The below article was issued for the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) by Protactic Strategic Communications

There’s something to celebrate! Friday 9 October 2020 is World Egg Day, a welcome souffle moment to appreciate the sheer nutritional, environmental and all-day, every-meal culinary perfection that is the egg.

The SA Department of Health’s food-based dietary guidelines state that eggs can be eaten every day! This means that not only can eggs help fight malnutrition, they increase the nutrient and protein plate profile of the average hard-working, time-strapped South African making family meals on a budget.

Another reason to eat more eggs in this worrying age of worldwide climate change is that they are easy on the environment. They are a wonderfully sustainable food, that has a low environmental impact, and requires very little water to produce. In fact, the overall footprint of farming eggs has been significantly reduced in the past 50 years!

Even if all you do is hard-boil them, always-tasty eggs provide high quality complete protein (they contain all nine of the amino acids that make up protein), along with an array of necessary daily nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which contribute to protecting your eye health.

Another important antioxidant in the egg arsenal is choline. According to the South African Poultry Association’s dietitian, this is an often under-consumed yet critical nutrient for neurocognitive development, meaning it could help maintain brain health at every age and stage of life, but is especially critical during pregnancy. Two eggs contain about 250mg of choline, or roughly half the recommended daily choline needs in pregnancy, so eggs are an important food for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It also helps that eggs are quick to cook and easy to eat during this busy time!

Other nutrients you get with your eggs include vitamin A, which helps with vision, B vitamins from vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B12 (cobalamin) to vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), all of which help the body change the food you eat into energy, phosphorus for strong bones and teeth, immune-supporting selenium, and a natural source of vitamin D for strong bones, teeth, and immune function.

Research suggests that if you are low in vitamin D you increase your risk of autoimmune diseases, heart disease and cancers. And new research also tells us that vitamin D may reduce the risk of COVID-19 and flu infections, which is especially good news in 2020! Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, with almost one-third of our daily needs in one large egg.

Most of the vitamin D is found in the egg yolk, along with about half the protein in an egg, so be sure to always eat the whole egg – forget those egg-white omelettes please!

How are you going to celebrate your love for eggs on World Egg Day? Bake a gorgeous cake, make a morish custard or a filling family-friendly quiche? We’re partial to a good egg salad in a jar (recipe below), great for prepping ahead and taking with you for a fabulous lunch wherever you have to be.

Creamy, egg salad jar

Makes 2 mason jars

Preparation time 20 minutes

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 150ml mayonnaise
  • 60ml (¼ cup) sour cream
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground paprika
  • 1 large potato, boiled and cut into small cubes

Ingredients for the salad

  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 10 Rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 4 large eggs, hard boiled
  • Sesame seeds, toasted to serve

Method

  1. To make the dressing mix all the ingredients well, except for the potatoes, and then gently mix in the potatoes.
  2. Divide the potato mixture between two mason jars and start layering the jars with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

World Egg Day 2020 – Friday, 9th October

We’ve said it countless times before on our Industry News page, and will say it many more times, but when it comes to nutrition, you can’t find anything packed with more essential macro and micronutrients in one neat little shell (what, no plastic??!), than the egg. When level 5 lockdown hit, South Africa (and the world for that matter) showed how much they love the egg too! Given the time and space, families indulged in more baking and cooking with eggs resulting in a much higher demand. Some of us love the egg so much that we studied about it and made a career out of it! How awesome then that we have a day honouring our egg?! Even better is that the whole world celebrates the day too, WORLD EGG DAY, taking place on Friday, 9 October. Click here for a summary of how the world celebrated in 2019, and click here for a peek at what countries are preparing to do this year, South Africa is featured on the list. Nearly every country is using social media as a platform for the event, and given our current mask-donning, social distancing state of affairs, it’s likely the wisest way to get involved, but also the most effective. So use the hashtag #WorldEggDay if you do post anything on social media and celebrate with the rest of the world!

 

 

Vitamin D: The Sunny Side of Eggs

The below article was issued for the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) by Protactic Strategic Communications

As this generation comes to grip with the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world are implementing public health measures to control the spread of the virus. Regular handwashing and sanitising, social distancing, and wearing of masks has become the new normal. But is there more that we can do?

Published in Nutrients in March 2020, American scientists think that they may have found the next piece to the COVID-19 puzzle: vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. In the past, much of the attention vitamin D got was in relation to healthy bones, skeletons, and healthy teeth. We now know that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and cancers. But this new research leads scientists to think that vitamin D may reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections, and even the flu. While more research is needed, this is based on the fact that the outbreaks occur in winter, a time when vitamin D is at its lowest in our bodies, and that the number of cases towards the end of sunny summers are low.

One in five people in the UK have low vitamin D levels, which is why the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SCAN) in the UK urged people to make sure they are getting enough vitamin D. Our multi-ethnic population combined with vast differences in climates and the number of hours of sunshine across our large country make it difficult to know the vitamin D status of South Africans.

There are two ways to increase our vitamin D levels: sunlight and diet. When we expose our skin to the UVB rays from sunlight, the body makes vitamin D. The more sun you get, the more vitamin D your skin will make, and both dark-skinned and light-skinned people have the same capability to make vitamin D. While there is no consensus as to how much sun to get, about 15 minutes three times per week on exposed legs and arms with no sunscreen should do the trick.

Chilly winter days and staying indoors to help curb the rise in COVID-19 infections may mean that we are getting less vitamin D from the sun. Eggs, mushrooms, and tinned fish with bones like pilchards are some of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. With almost one third of our daily needs in one large egg, eggs are a source of vitamin D. Did you know that most of the vitamin D is found in the egg yolk? This is all the more reason why we should eat the whole egg. Added to this, the egg yolk contains half of the protein of the whole egg and tossing the egg yolk means you are also missing out on zinc and selenium, two other nutrients important for supporting our immune system.

While we wait for more conclusive evidence, get a double whammy of vitamin D, and serve up some eggs, whether simply scrambled or as a fancy frittata, while catching some sunshine. It is important to remember that as much as healthy eating is very important, it does not take away the need for good hygiene measures like regular handwashing and sanitising, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and keeping a distance between yourself and others.

References

  1. Buttriss, J.L., 2015. Vitamin D: Sunshine vs. diet vs. pills. Nutrition Bulletin. 40, 279-285.
  2. Grant, W.B. et al., 2020. Evidence that vitamin D supplementation could reduce risk of influenza and COVID-19 infections and deaths. Nutrients. 12(4), 988.
  3. Norval, M. et al., 2016. Vitamin D Status and Its Consequences for Health in South Africa. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 13 (10),1019.

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