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 Post subject: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:32 am 
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Location: Vancouver
I love eggs, but have shied away from taking them on trips after hearing of a paddler who was flattened by a bad egg. That said, I know several excellent backcountry cooks who take eggs and claim they last for days into their trips with no problems whatsoever.

So I was interested in this Daily Mail article that claims there is really no difference in bacterial load between eggs stored in the fridge and those kept at room temperature. Of course, a kayak hatch is cooler than room temperature, especially agains the hull, so perhaps I will have to reconsider my anti-egg stance. Thoughts and experiences?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -best.html

Cheers,
Andrew


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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:43 am 
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
If we take whole eggs, we store them in a wide-mouth Nalgene and fill it with water. The water prevents the eggs from bashing about and cracking.

Depending on the outside temperature, we would normally consume the eggs within 3 days or so.

When we hiked the North Coast Trail earlier this year, we ended up taking powdered eggs. Normal eggs were too heavy to bring, and they probably wouldn't have lasted the 6 days of the hike. We were actually pleasantly surprised at how good the powdered eggs tasted, especially with a bit of hot sauce :big_thumb .

The brand that we used was called "Ovaeasy"

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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:46 am 
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Hi Andrew. I always take eggs on our trips. Longest time out for us has been 8 days. I just make sure that the eggs are fresh the day before we head out on the water. They are a real nice break from oatmeal and they are just as quick to prepare scrambled or soft boiled when you want to be on the water early. Quite often on a lazy morning I will make omelettes. Also, I will hard boil some up the night before and add them to our lunch bag.

Lila


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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:27 am 
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Location: Saskatoon, SK
Yes, eggs can last a long time even without refrigeration. Ideally, get eggs that have not already been refrigerated (e.g. from a friend with hens), but I never do that since I don't have easy access to them.

An egg comes packaged by nature within quite a good bacterial barrier (the inner membrane of the shell), so do not disturb that membrane and ensure the egg shells are not cracked to start with. Gently cleaning the eggs would also be a good idea, but I use store-bought eggs which are already cleaned so do not bother. I pack eggs into one of those cheap plastic cases, lining both sides with paper towel. Smaller eggs tend to have thicker shells so avoid buying the extra large eggs (an egg farmer told me the eggs have a similar amount of shell around each egg, but sometimes it's stretched farther around a larger egg). If an egg cracks on a trip, I use it that day.

I took 2 dozen eggs on a canoe trip 2 weeks ago. Despite some very rough handling of the food barrel over multiple portages, not a single egg was broken or cracked before it's time.

There are some myths out there about eggs and how to preserve them. Here are some things you should NOT do:
  • Do not crack the eggs from their shell and dump them into a bottle to take with you. This concoction that's created will certainly become contaminated with bacteria and will spoil quite quickly. If you want to go that route, buy the cartons of pasteurized eggs.
  • Do not dip the eggs into boiling water in an effort to sterilize them. This only destroys that living membrane that is the real bacterial shield you want to preserve.
  • Do not smother eggs in vaseline in a misguided effort to preserve them (not sure how that's supposed to work).

When space and weight are an issue, I use powdered eggs. The OvaEasy eggs previously mentioned get very good reviews and I've got them on my list of things to add to my kitchen kit.

Cheers,
Bryan

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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Location: Victoria, BC
Important tip.

Once you are out there with your eggs, do NOT trust a paddling friend to fry your eggs for you, in your brand new, fancy, Jetboil frypan. :doh:

That nonstick coating has never been the same. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Gary Jacek wrote:
Important tip.

... do NOT trust a paddling friend to fry ... in your brand new, fancy, ... frypan.

This is why I have two sets of pots/pans, one my paddling buddy Jay will never lay hands on. http://northstarexped.blogspot.ca/p/abo ... tions.html

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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:01 pm 
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Location: Nanaimo
We regularly bring eggs along on our trips, and have kept them close to two weeks with no problem. These will typically be farm gate eggs which generally have thicker shells, and are likely also fresher than typical store bought eggs. However, I am cautious to keep them out of the sun when they are not in a kayak. I can't say that this is definitely always going to be safe, but we haven't had a problem yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:44 pm 
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When I moved to New Zealand from Canada I was very surprised to discover that eggs here are typically not refrigerated prior to cooking since I'd always considered eggs fairly high risk. The following article is written about US vs British eggs, but my understanding is that Canadian eggs are similar. Personally, I'd be hesitant to keep Canadian eggs out of the fridge too long unless they are from a farm and not washed.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nadiaarumug ... ice-versa/


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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:07 pm 
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Location: Beautiful British Columbia
Very interesting link, Natasha. Thanks.

Whenever taking eggs for more than a few days to a couple weeks, I get them fresh from the farm -- unwashed and unrefrigerated (I've a friend who's a chicken farmer). For a two or three night trip I usually buy eggs at the local supermarket. I try to stay away from taking eggs of any variety for more than few days in the summer when temps are hot. Regardless of time of year, I store them in the bottom of the hull in the yellow plastic Couglan's egg holders -- never once had a broken egg. Couglan's have holders for 2, 6, or 12 eggs -- I always get large size eggs for the holders -- and then pick the ones that fit the snuggest. Too small and the eggs will rattle around, too large and they'll break when you close the lid. All this fussiness, it's no wonder I'm always packing into the wee hours the night before each trip.

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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:47 am 
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Location: Vancouver
Yes, Natasha's link is instructive and does find corroboration in Health Canada's advice:

http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nu ... fs-eng.php

Note the basic message: eggs must stay chilled. They even suggest throwing out eggs that have been at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

If you really want to geek out over this subject, try this report:

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/lhmr/pubs/se_c ... ms0910.pdf

Turns out we have lower cases of Salmonella than EU countries. But Canada remains a patchwork of regs that vary from province to province.

Where I'm at after reading all of the above: it seems that eggs are worth a try on my own trips, since the risk is low. But if I'm in a duty-to-care position, I'll stick with powdered eggs. No sense gambling with liability.

Cheers,
Andrew


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 Post subject: Re: Taking eggs
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Location: Astoria, Oregon, USA
Dont know what this might suggest about relying on eggs over a several day trip in the temperate zones, but I read an account from a couple who wintered over in a 40 foot sailing vessel, purposely stuck in the ice, in a cove on the coast of Antarctica.

Yup, they ate eggs, pretty much every day, for maybe 6 months IIRC. Stored in a compartment which had nominal heat, in cartons, probably below freezing most of the time but not continually. I believe the guy had relied on eggs before.

Pretty good read, if you are interested in expeditions to the land of ice: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Ice-Winter-V ... 0070063990

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