May is "Egg Month" and Iowa's egg farmers lead the nation in producing eggs. This year, approximately 15 billion eggs will be produced in Iowa. That is almost one of every five eggs produced in the United States each year. But just how many people could that feed?
Iowa egg production could give everyone in the world an egg for two days. Iowa could provide everyone in China, the world's most populated country, an egg a day for 11 days. Iowa can provide an egg a day for every US citizen for about 48 days. World egg production is led by China and the United States. However, if Iowa were a country instead of a state, it would rank just outside the top 10 in the world among countries producing eggs.
Iowa produces more eggs than any other state, and most countries
"Iowa produces more eggs than any other state and most other countries," says Iowa Egg Council executive director Kevin Vinchattle. "There are more mouths to feed everyday both here and abroad. Iowa is well-positioned to feed people locally, nationally and internationally. We should be a food basket for the world. This is especially true for protein."
"Iowans can take pride in the fact that our egg farmers provide such a good food for a hungry world. One egg has 13 essential nutrients in varying amounts - including high-quality protein, choline, folate, iron and zinc - for only 70 calories. Eggs also play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function, eye health and more."
"And we now have even more good news about the egg," Vinchattle adds. "USDA recently determined that eggs have 14% less cholesterol than previously thought. Plus, there is a 64% increase in the amount of vitamin D. Eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D. This means the egg is a naturally good source of vitamin D, which is important in calcium absorption, helping to form and maintain strong bones."
Iowa egg farms are providing necessary care for their hens
Iowa's egg industry suffered a black eye last year when a salmonella outbreak in one of the state's largest egg-laying operations generated national publicity. However, since that incident occurred, steps have been taken to clean up and prevent that particular producer's problems.
Vinchattle emphasizes, "It is very important for people to understand that Iowa's egg farmers provide the utmost in care for their hens. This is the only way we can get the benefits of such good nutrition and such abundant production. We know farmers are doing things right when you see these kinds of results."
According to the Iowa Egg Council, Iowa is the nation's leading egg producing and processing state. For more information on eggs visit www.iowaegg.org.
Eggs are great food, and are great benefit for Iowa's economy
The incredible edible egg is a great food for Iowans, but did you know Iowa's egg farmers also feed the Iowa economy in a significant way?
An Iowa State University report titled, "Economic Importance of the Iowa Egg Industry" shows the following economic contributions to Iowa's economy made by Iowa's egg farmers:
* More than $1.8 billion in total sales (all economic activity associated with egg production and processing)
* More than $475 Million in Value Added Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
* More than $281 million in personal income
* Nearly 7,600 direct and indirect jobs
* An $18.3 million contribution to state general tax revenues each year
Kevin Vinchattle of the Iowa Egg Council says the report shows the positive value-added impact of eggs. "Egg farmers and processors are making a tremendous contribution to the Iowa economy. Their conversion of Iowa corn and soybeans to eggs provides jobs, income and revenue to the state."
Eggs provide good nutrition for people, at an economical price
Also, "Egg production provides great nutrition at an economical price," he points out. "The latest USDA numbers show eggs at 14 cents-per-serving. That is the least cost, high-quality protein you can buy."
Vinchattle says the combination of good food and economic contributions by Iowa's egg farmers underscores why value-added livestock is still so crucial to Iowa. "Iowa is one of the best places on the planet for food production. With a growing world population, we know we will need more food tomorrow than we do today. As Iowans, we have a choice; we can be leaders in producing food or we can be followers. If we choose to lead, our state stands to reap the benefits."
He sums it all up: "The reason we see these benefits is because Iowa's egg farmers provide the utmost in care for their hens. Food production doesn't happen by chance. Egg farmers do a great job to support us in many ways."