Animal Nutrition Views
Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D., gives his views on poultry, pig and dairy nutrition based on his experience as a nutrition consultant with clients around the world.
Hens can deposit extra vitamins from their feed into their eggs, so why not pack up on vitamins while enjoying our eight-egg omelet?
Production of omega-3 enriched eggs is a niche market concept that has reached a dynamic that no longer grows. Perhaps we must enhance our efforts in educating consumers why these eggs are better (are they?) than normal eggs. Perhaps this is a problem that you cannot measure or quantify prevention as opposed to curing a specific problem. Nevertheless, it is a marketing problem.
Why not capitalize on something that is immensely easier and takes no great expense to do? How about vitamin-rich eggs? Let me explain, but first allow me to make clear I am not consulting with any vitamin supplier at the moment. In contrast, I am a well-known advocate of using minimal levels of vitamins (and trace minerals) in animal feeds — but that’s for production purposes of farm animals.
We humans take vitamin supplements on a frequent basis; at least I do. The reason is simple. Farm animals live but a short life, whereas we live “a bit” longer. I, for example, plan on reaching 150 years old, by year 2120 — shooting for the stars, but I digress. The point is that we believe in taking extra vitamins for one reason or the other. We are used to seeing them added in baby milk formulas, in breakfast cereals, in our milk and flour, and of course in the popular pills we all love taking as soon as we hit our forties.
Wouldn’t it be better to get an egg instead of an injection, if possible?
So, why not have them in a much tastier package? What parent would shy from a natural vitamin-enriched egg for their child? And, if you think this is just marketing, consider elderly people that receive a B12 injection as they become progressively unable to absorb what little B12 is there in the animal products they consume. Now that eggs have been declared cholesterol-innocent (not free), wouldn’t it be better to get an egg instead of an injection, if possible? And, for the rest of us, why not pack up on vitamins while enjoying our eight-egg omelet? The possibilities are endless…
That hens can deposit extra vitamins from their feed into their eggs is well known. That we can benefit from this to enrich our diets and health — and profitability of the egg industry — is something that remains to be seen.