Iowa's egg farmers continue to lead the nation in egg production and in egg processing. This year, Iowa will see some 15 billion eggs laid. Kevin Vinchattle, executive director of the Iowa Egg Council, says "Eggs are delicious, versatile and economical. Eggs provide the least cost per serving of high-quality protein plus 13 vitamins and minerals. But, in addition to being a great food, they also feed the Iowa economy."
Egg production is beneficial to Iowa economy
The 2013 Iowa State University report, "Economic Importance of the Iowa Egg Industry," shows the following contributions to Iowa's economy:
* More than $2.02 billion in total sales (all economic activity associated with egg production and processing)
* More than $657 million in value added to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
* More than $424 million in personal income
* Nearly 8,000 direct and indirect jobs
* A $19.3 million contribution to state general tax revenues each year
Vinchattle says the report illustrates the positive value-added impact of eggs. "One of the great things about eggs is they not only feed people but also feed our economy. Egg farming adds value to Iowa's corn and soybean crops. Egg farming provides jobs, income and tax revenue for our state," he notes.
Iowa's egg farmers can play a big role in feeding a growing world population, he adds. "We are heading toward more than 9 billion people inhabiting the globe by the middle of this century. Eggs provide a great opportunity to get high-quality protein in to people's diets. There are few, if any, better places for food production than Iowa. We need to seize on the opportunity to be a world leader in food. It's a natural for us."
One little egg is one big nutritious punch
What food naturally contains Vitamin D, has only 70 calories, and provides 6 grams of protein? The incredible egg, of course! One little egg packs a big nutritious punch. Eggs also provide 13 other essential vitamins and nutrients that contribute to good health. Eggs contain the highest quality of protein found in any food, along with the essential amino acids our bodies need. Protein is an important component to building muscle, maintaining muscle and keeping us feeling full longer. Not only do eggs contain the highest quality of protein, but they also provide it at the least cost per serving.
The whites found in eggs supply a little more than half of an egg's protein, along with niacin, riboflavin, magnesium and potassium. The yolks contain vitamin A, riboflavin, and folate, which contribute to eye health and brain function. Caratenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are also found in the yolk, and they protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. Choline, also in the yolk, stimulates brain development and function.
Eggs play an important role for pregnant women, especially. An entire egg provides a large amount of B vitamins—nutrients that are key to contributing to healthy brain and nervous system development in babies.
Celebrate egg month with a new recipe
May is egg month, and you can celebrate by adding an egg or two to your diet. Here's one recipe that the Iowa Egg Council recommends:
3/4 Cups plain yogurt
1/2 Tablespoon basil
1/2 Tablespoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1 zucchini, small, diced
1 yellow squash, small, diced
1 onion, small, diced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, herbs, black pepper and parmesan cheese. Beat well. Add the onion, squash and tomatoes and stir. Pour the mixture into the pie shell, and bake for 35-45 minutes or until cooked (the quiche should be firm to the touch). Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
For more egg recipes and tips, visit the Iowa Egg Council website, or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.