I had a read of the Egg Organisation Committee Chairmans Report 2010 the other day.
It was presented to the annual bash/conference of all the people who produce eggs in South Africa.
I couldn’t help but be fascinated by some of the fun facts contained in it.
This is a sort of “Did you know”, or “Not a lot of people know this but” type article, but here goes.
* Did you know there are 24 million hens in South Africa?
* They produce 6.6 billion eggs annually.
* South Africans eat 132 eggs per head of population per year.
* The industry turns over 6.8 billion rand per annum, making it the 4th largest animal product sector in South Africa.
* It employs 10,000 people.
* The average farmgate price for eggs is R14 per kg, vs R20-24 for red meat, making it the cheapest form of animal protein in South Africa.
I’d love to do an egg recipe here, but I couldn’t face it as I know that 99.99999% of these eggs are produced by hens in factory style production methods.
I buy the best eggs I can afford, as I do all my food, and I do appreciate that price considerations make many people go for the cheapest options. However, as with all food, consumers should know the origin and content of what they are eating. Some don’t care, but increasingly many do.
An interesting aspect of the report was the acknowledgement that public awareness and opinion were now important factors in making sure the industry cleans up its act. How many people remember the awful spectacle of laying hen carcases (some still alive) being thrown by the thousand, into a dam a couple of years ago. Forgotten already huh?
The other big concern was disease control amongst the hens. Not surprising considering the conditions they live in.