Can You Eat Egg Shells?

Many of us are guilty of tossing eggshells into bins because we feel they’re of no use to us.

If only we’re aware of the nutritional value we’re leaving on the table whenever we do that! I’m pretty sure we’d treat eggshells with much care and attention the same way we treat the whites and yolks they encase.

Egg shells are perfectly safe to consume when boiled and ground into fine powder. One small chicken egg (at 42 g) yields about 1.5 grams of calcium from its egg shells which has a bioavailability comparable to that of calcium carbonate. In other words, one small chicken egg is capable of providing more than enough calcium to meet the daily requirements for both adults and children, from its eggshell.

For people battling to keep up with their daily recommended calcium intake, i.e. those with diets that restrict them from getting enough calcium, eggshells are one perfect and cheap source to bridge that gap.

Eggshells, when treated and ground into fine powder, can be sprinkled into drinks and smoothies or mixed into spices to form seasoning, or better still, added to soups or dishes like pasta and pizza.

To be on the safer side when consuming egg shells, ensure to boil them first to eliminate any harmful microorganisms that might be on the surface, and make sure to grind them finely to ensure they pass through your throat without inflicting any cuts or getting stuck along the passage.

How to add eggshells to your diet

There are so many ways to use the leftover eggshells from your baking experiment. To use them safely however, ensure to cook them first in boiling water.

Wash your hands properly and ensure the surface you’re placing the egg shells is clean and sanitized.

If hard boiled eggs were what you made in the first place, then great, rinse the shells under warm water and you’re good to go with regards to the next step.

If not however, rinse them under warm running water, crush them into small fragments, place them in a pot containing boiling water and cook for at least 10 minutes to destroy the bacteria.

There’s no need to remove the membrane (that leather like stuff you see when you boil eggs), from the shells. Consuming them has been linked to a better and healthy joint system.

Next, bake them under low oven heat (200°F) to completely dry them (this applies for eggshells you boiled too), or you can place them on clean trays and dry under the sun in places where animals cannot reach.

After they’ve dried completely, put them inside a mortar and ground into fine powder using a pestle. Avoid the blender as much as possible because you might end up creating a mess. Store in an airtight container, or use the powder in any of the following ways.

How to eat egg shells

Take out the ground egg shells and add half a teaspoon to your juice, smoothies or water.

Feel free to use it as a texturizer and nutrient booster in soups, pasta and other meals, baked goods like pizza and pies etc.

You would run into textural changes when you use eggshells for these purposes, but for the extra nutrients it adds, I think it’s a fair trade.

Other uses of eggshells around the house

If you find eggshells a bit difficult to incorporate into your diets, you can always use them in other ways. Here are foolproof ways to make sure you’re not wasting any eggshells in your household.

Use eggshells to help grow seedlings:

Use egg cartons as an option to plant small seedlings like squash and cucumber, and when you run out of them, purpose the shells themselves! Shells stuffed with potting mix and placed inside eggs cartons are even better!

Eggshells are so good for your new plants because they help hold it in place, are very portable, and are easy to transplant i.e. you only have to dig a bit and transfer the whole package into the soil, and then wait for mother nature to breakdown the shells and release the minerals contained inside of them.

Going this route is not a must however, and if you must remove the shells around your plant, just hit them gently with your fingers to crack them open for the roots to have breathing space!

Use eggshells to improve compost

Eggshells are made up of calcium, and when you add them to your compost, they help improve it in this respect. And in case you didn’t know, calcium is an essential mineral for plants because it helps to build cell walls.

When adding eggshells in compost, ensure to wash them under cold running water with soapy to eliminate any eggy smell that can invite pests. Also, crush them to smaller fragments to speed up their decomposition so the nutrients are absorbed faster.

Use eggshells are fertilizers

Add eggshells into soils so they break down and eventually supply calcium for the plants to absorb.

Deter plant pests like slugs and rodents.

Eggshells have the natural tendency to acquire sharp edges when broken into fragments. And this is exactly what pests like slugs and rodents like when they walk over areas covered by sharp eggshells.

So break down so eggshells into fragments and sprinkle them around your growing plants like borage to deter pests from them.

Use as calcium supplements for pets

Prepare them the same way as you would for yourself (as mentioned above), then use them to supplement your pets with calcium. You want to check with your veterinarian regarding the dosage and how best to serve the supplement for your pet.

Final thoughts

Eggshells are widely regarded as waste products in households, but they constitute really beneficial ingredients in some products we consume nowadays.

Eggshells are perfectly safe to consume at home and are a good source of minerals especially calcium. It is expected that half an eggshell would provide the daily recommended calcium intake for the average adult.

Eggshells are best consumed when crushed and ground into powder. This way, they can be added to soups, meals, smoothies or even water as calcium boost, especially for people that have trouble obtaining the daily requirements of calcium for their bodies.