“I did toy with the idea of doing a cook-book……I think a lot of people who hate literature but love fried eggs would buy it if the price was right.”  – Groucho Marx, American comedian

A Strange Eggs Story


Brown or white?

Brown or white?

Some years ago a famous British celebrity chef publicly announced that from then on for her eggs recipes she would only use the white ones.

As she was held in the highest regard by the media and the public the result of her pronouncement was astonishing. So much so that the next day you couldn’t find a single white egg in any British supermarkets or food shops even if you paid its weight in gold, while piles of brown eggs cardboard boxes laid stacked up on the shelves unsold.

Confronted with such dramatic change in consumers’ choice many eggs producing firms nationwide in order to maximize on the new fad pinned notices on the cages of their working hens instructing all of them that from that day if they wanted to continue to work for their firms that they had to lay only perfectly white shell eggs, if not they had to bear the consequences.

Since the colour of the eggs shells is due to a genetic factor the hens that laid brown eggs couldn’t lay white eggs for as much as they tried. At that point considering that their brown eggs laying hens from a marketing viewpoint were unproductive, without giving them a chance to appeal sent them to poultry abattoirs where they were slaughtered, plucked naked of their plumage, cleaned of their guts, wrapped up and packaged into plastic bags and sold frozen to supermarkets and food shops all over the country as chickens for cooking purposes.


So that was what happened behind the scenes, the brown eggs laying hens lives were unceremoniously ended and not even obituary stones of thankfulness were put in the firms courtyards as a memento and form of thankfulness for their unselfish services that said:

“Dear Dolly, Pam, Dorothy, May, Tina, Gertrude, Suzy, Camilla, Betty, Sally, Amelia etcetera….  We, the management, are very sorry that we had to put an end to your dear lives, but you must understand that business is business and that as you couldn’t lay white eggs we couldn’t keep wasting money in feeding you any longer as you were not profitable anymore to us. Please when you will reach the other world don’t blame us for it. Blame the celebrity chef who one day out of the blue decided that brown eggs for culinary purposes are inferior to white eggs.”

While the first part of the story is well recorded and remembered by many people, you may think that I’ve made up the second part. Maybe, but considering they way that humans think when it comes to money and business and the way that animals used in the farming industry are treated I wouldn’t be surprised if such scenario has some grains of truth in it. In fact a similar scenario of large commercial firms getting rid of a part of the workforce happens periodically whenever there is a mild economic crisis. Oddly enough whenever it happens the pays and the bonuses of the top executive seem to shoot up considerably. In other words the ordinary workers are kicked out while the top executives laugh all the way to the bank. It’s a business absurdity one that makes no sense at all.


Anyway, returning to the white eggs when that I read it in the media I dismissed her claim. “For thousands of years,” I reflected, “great chefs and cooks from all over the world have used white and brown eggs without seeing any difference producing fantastic food and now this new culinary debuttante has suddenly decided to downgrade brown eggs? No way madam!”

Happy, healthy eggs

Happy, healthy eggs

I remember that at the time I was working in a luxurious casino. It was a place where super-rich came to gamble huge sums of money. It had a restaurant that served for free the best food that money can buy. One of the croupiers who had an allotment asked me if I could give him some of the surplus food that was daily thrown away for his hens that I gladly gave him every day because few things sadden me more than seeing wasted food. At the end of the week he always brought me a box or two of his hens’ eggs as a gift. Whether they were brown or white they were the finest eggs that I have ever tasted in my life, an opinion that was fully shared by people to whom I sometimes gave some of the eggs as often they were too many for me.

To sum it up the quality of eggs doesn’t depend on whether they are white brown or blue, as there are also bluish ones if you didn’t know, but on the way that the hens are treated and on the quality of food that they eat.

If they have enough open air space to roam about, instead of being crammed in tiny cages without sunlight (often cruelly de-beaked and de-clawed too), and if they are given good food you will have happy hens. Happy hens lay happy eggs; people eating happy eggs will be happy people; happy people will make up a happy society; a happy society will make a happy world.

So this is the secret of happiness, in a nutshell the key for universal happiness is a simple matter of hens and eggs.

Politicians, philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, educationalists and people of all walks of life, please take note of this simple but vitally important concept…

“When eating milk and eggs think of the cow and the hens.” Chinese saying—–snal isolata

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