If you're buying pastured or organic eggs and throwing away the shells, you're throwing away an important part of your purchase.
Eggshells consist almost entirely of high-quality calcium. Dried and powdered, one medium-sized eggshell provides about 750 - 800 mg of elemental calcium (calcium carbonate) plus trace amounts of other micro-elements such as magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sulphur, silicon, and zinc.
In short -- the composition of an eggshell is very similar to that of our bones and teeth, and the minerals are in a highly absorbable form. This is not something you want to be throwing away.
(Caveat time! The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides clear recommendations regarding sources of dietary calcium, along with important precautions. I don't actually know what the USDA thinks of eating eggshells, but I'd be willing to bet they're not in favor. They're the experts. I'm not. Always follow USDA guidelines, no matter what you come across in other sources.)
How to Make Powdered Eggshells:
- Wash empty eggshells in warm water until all the egg white is removed, but don't remove the membrane. Research suggests that membrane is pretty powerful stuff that can, among other things, help arthritis. Stick the rinsed eggshells in a container in the freezer until you have enough to justify turning on the oven.
- Spread the shells on a cookie sheet, and place in a 180°F oven for at least 30 minutes, or until completely dry. This sterilizes them, and makes them easier to grind.
- Grind the shells into a fine powder in a clean coffee/spice grinder or Vitamix-type blender, or put them in a plastic bag and go to town with a rolling-pin. (A coffee grinder works best for small quantities, and a Vitamix for larger. Unless you've got some suppressed aggression that needs an outlet. In that case, go for the rolling-pin option.)
- Store the powdered eggshells in a covered container it in a dry place, like the kitchen cupboard.
Supplement at approx. 1/2 tsp. per day for people, assuming one's diet is a healthy one that provides other food sources of calcium. Check out our post on homemade pet food for one way to use it as a supplement for dogs, or for humans, learn how to turn it into capsule form.
What supplements do you make at home? Click that 'Reply' button and tell us about it.
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