(I may have dated myself with that American Egg Board marketing slogan but it was too catchy to pass up!)
Growing up, my parents prepared meals in a way that made meat a (delicious) supporting character rather than a leading star in our family meals. One of the star players for many of those childhood meals was the humble inexpensive egg. Yes, there were plenty of scrambles and sunny-side-up eggs but seldom did we see those for breakfast. Eggs appeared in many luscious braises, ethereal seafood-tomato noodle soups, and even a unique quiche-meatloaf hybrid; those sunny-side up eggs topped everything from sandwiches to rice bowls. Alas, my mom eventually fell prey to the nutrition info of the times which vilified the egg as a cholesterol bomb, and our household egg intake dropped dramatically.
Fast forward to present: while eggs have not completely shed their villainous past with the general public, new research emerges that may help change the negative image of eggs. It’s a slow process undoing of years of widespread misinformation and Paul Jaminet of the Perfect Health Diet blog tackled an assertion that egg consumption is directly correlated with colon cancer, a charge leveled by an ardently vegan reader based on a study that used data collected by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Paul masterfully dissected the study and presented many helpful graphs based on the exact same data to show how the study was flawed. He even went on to state that the data used in the study indicated that egg consumption may even extend lifespan by reducing cardiovascular disease mortality. Egg-cellent news for fans of the egg!
All of this new research thankfully reinforces my choice of eggs as my primary Paleo/Primal protein source. With animal protein making up a large part of the Paleo/Primal diet, it stands to reason that this lifestyle could easily eat up a large chunk of your wallet. Pastured meats, while more affordable than in years past due to increasing demand, remain out of reach for most households (present company included). Eggs are relatively inexpensive, even when purchasing from an organic soy-free, true pastured source (my favorite being Coyote Creek Farm’s Jeremiah Cunningham’s World’s Best Eggs). They are also nutrient-dense and easy to find at any grocery store or farmers market. I buy more eggs than any other animal protein sources as they are an incredibly versatile culinary ingredient. My meat-minimal upbringing definitely made an eggs-centric focus easier when I transitioned into the Paleo lifestyle. How can you get more of this healthy food in your life? If you have a cooked egg aversion, you can always start with an easy Paleo mayo. A good beginner recipe is the popular Paleo mini frittata “muffins”. And if you’re ready to break away from the “eggs as breakfast” concept, why not try the exotic-sounding Ijjit Qarnabit (Lebanese Cauliflower Omelet), served with a side of tabbouleh salad (subbing hemp seeds for the bulgur wheat) for lunch or dinner?