Recent revelation: eggs suck.
Maybe this opinion is not so unpopular given the contention with which the discussion of their health benefits has been handled. I haven’t consulted a specialist on whether they’re objectively good for you because I am fairly certain the response will be met with a resounding, “Everything in moderation!” But we are Americans, dammit, and Americans do not wish to understand the concept of moderation, so it’s either all or nothing. Bathe in a sea of yolk, or relinquish it altogether.
As far as their reputation goes: They are certainly touted as a beacon of nutritious eating among the coastal city restaurants that maintain a sheen of health courtesy of the turmeric lattes and butters made from varying seeds and nuts that garnish their menus. But I invite you to analyze this recent quote, plucked directly from The New York Times: “No matter how heart-healthy the rest of a person’s diet, the more eggs consumed, the greater the risk for cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure and premature death.”
In sum, the more eggs you eat, the more likely you are to die. So if eggs aren’t good for you, what good are they at all?
Let me backtrack one moment. You must be wondering how we got here. Or maybe you’re not wondering that at all! I can’t be sure, but I will share with you an anecdote that might serve as an apt metaphor. During a recent editorial meeting, our social media manager, Amalie, who routinely fields private messages on Instagram, brought to our attention that the ~community~ is looking for some shorts-centric content. One person asked whether you can wear shorts once you have reached the age of 30 (I have reached that age and can answer with the conviction of a constipated 13-month old that you can. Such is the joy of having agency), to which Haley replied, “People always have a hard time with shorts.”
It got me thinking that this is probably because shorts have so much pressure put on them to be the summer clothing staple. They’re like the ultimate talisman of everyone’s favorite season. So if you hate shorts, you get shit for it — it’s like hating an ice cream cone. But they are not one-size-fits-all. They’re basically all-sizes-fit-some. And that is a select some. If you want to talk about a summer clothing staple, we should venture into caftan territory, but I digress. Shorts are particular. You want to like them, because seemingly everyone else does but when you put them on, they give you Lion King ass (that thing when the butt of the shorts is so droopy the sagging creates a vague semblance of the face of Simba). If they don’t do that, they put your thighs in a vice. If they don’t do that, they ruin your favorite tops. And if they don’t do — you get the point.
And guess what? Eggs are the same! They’re lauded as an end-all, be-all American breakfast staple, present on every menu that boasts a pre-noon meal. They are a mascot of Sunday brunch, a surefire way to accrue Instagram followers by photo, but I can’t remember the last time I ate a group of them as the main event and thought to myself, Man, that was satisfying. I don’t want anything sweet or another sip of coffee to cleanse my palette at all!
Then there are the ways we eat them: Poached, scrambled, sunny side up, over easy, over Yeezy (that thing where you fry them on Kanye West’s face), florentine, hard-boiled. We add ketchup, or hollandaise sauce, or avocado, or toast, or avocado on toast — and without any of these edible adornments, they’re objectively not as good. Boring food. Chewable fuel. We’ve become so creative about how we consume them, but if it is true what they say — that necessity is the mother of invention — then perhaps by this logic, the necessity is coming to terms with the truth: that when they’re not absorbed as the sidekick, eggs stink. They’re like the modern-day equivalent of the allegorical biblical sustenance that God provided to the Israelites when they were in the desert following Exodus.
But we don’t live in an allegory, or a desert (although we may well reside in an allegorical desert), so I ask you: Do we eat eggs because we like them or because we think we’re supposed to like them? Here we’ve assumed them as a diet staple when in effect it appears they’re more like a diet garnish — the goo that makes cake batter sticky (check), the gloss that makes challah shiny (check, check), the vessel that enables ketchup expenditure (nom!). Are they the nourishment equivalent of an ill-fit pair of shorts? Are they even good for you at all?
Am I simply projecting? I might be projecting. But from here on out, it’s:
Granola and yogurt
Cinnamon raisin bread with cream cheese
Flax crackers dipped in almond butter
AND VEGAN WAFFLES, for me.
Photos by Micheline Pelletier/Sygma and GraphicaArtis via Getty Images; collage by Emily Zirimis.