When Two-for-One Isn’t a Bargain

double-yolks Something very weird was going on the other night.  As I begun cracking eggs for a Spanish tortilla during one of my Tapas classes, I noticed something strange.  The first egg into the bowl was double yolked.  “Wow!” everyone exclaimed.  Second egg—another double yolk.  “What are the chances?” we all said.  The third egg was normal, and we laughed at how we almost anticipated a third (silly us!).  Well, turns out we were not so silly.  The fourth and fifth eggs….more double yolks.  The pregnant woman in the room started to wonder aloud if it was a sign she was having twins.  One person asked if the eggs were organic (they were not), and we all contemplated the use of hormones creating such an abnormality.   In the end, eight out of the dozen were doubles.  I couldn’t explain this phenomenon, but promised I’d Google the likelihood right after I went out and bought a lottery ticket!

It wasn’t that easy to find concrete statistics on such an occurrence.  According to Wikipedia, hens occasionally produce double-yolked eggs due to” unsynchronized production cycles”.   It went on to say that this is more frequent in young hens, but is rare.  A few websites cited a statistic of one double yolked egg per one thousand laid, however I could not find a primary source supporting that assertion.   Another undocumented source claimed that the bigger the egg, the greater the likelihood it would have double yolks.  Therefore, it is much more common in a carton of “extra large” eggs (however, the ones we were using were just “large”).  I also found a 1967 article published in The Journal of Theoretical and Applied Genetics that said double yolked eggs were the result of young hens that reached sexual maturity at an earlier age.   Could this be the result of hens being pumped full of hormones?  I’m not sure what was going on in 1967 when this article was written, but I know now that this is a very real possibility.

We’ve all been hearing about the widespread use of hormones in farming.  Producers use them to speed along the process when bringing animals to slaughter, creating bigger chicken breasts, bigger eggs, more milk, and goodness knows what else.  We’ve also been hearing that girls are reaching maturity at extremely early ages….and I think we’d be foolish to think there isn’t a connection.  The producers pump their animals full of hormones, and in turn, we ingest those hormones.  As the mother of two girls, this is extremely frightening to me.  I have always insisted on buying only hormone-free, organic milk, and along the way have begun also buying all-natural, hormone-free poultry, meat, dairy, and after this episode….will add eggs to that list!

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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3 Responses to “When Two-for-One Isn’t a Bargain”

  1. Debralee Says:

    I have had a whole dozen with double yokes..twice! what are the chances of that? I even when back to the grocery store to ask what happened. They didn’t have an answer either.

  2. kristin Says:

    I have to say that I don’t like organic eggs. I’ve bought them a couple of times and found most were bloody. Not a very pleasant sight!

  3. Tracy Says:

    Wow—a whole dozen of doubles! That is just crazy! As for organics, I usually buy them and have yet to find a bloody one. I agree that would be a pretty disgusting sight! I always get them from Trader Joe’s and haven’t had any problems. –Tracy

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