I lived about half of my childhood with my grandparents. I have been incredibly blessed to know and have a close relationship with my grandparents. In fact, my great-grandmother, who is one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known, just turned 101 in February. And, she is still amazing, living on her own, in her own home.
Anyway, one of my grandmothers loved ducks and for years she had several as pets. She had a little pond and duck house for them. They were so cute and since she always had females, they laid eggs. Well, being one who believed we shouldn’t let things go to waste, we ate the eggs. She didn’t have the ducks for the purpose of having eggs; it was just something that kind of happened. So, rather than eating chicken eggs, we often ate duck eggs. I never noticed a difference in taste as a child. I just remember they were a bit bigger than chicken eggs.
As I grew up and moved on to having my own home, we just ate regular, store-bought eggs, which of course are chicken eggs. I think we take eating eggs for granted. They are in so much of what we eat. I never really paid attention to how often we eat eggs until I found out my son was extremely allergic to eggs a several years ago. And, as you know if you read this blog, several months ago, we found out that the baby is also allergic to eggs…VERY allergic. This was confirmed with additional allergy testing about 5 weeks ago. So, I stopped eating eggs as well since she is breastfeeding.
A couple of months ago, the man I get our raw milk from started selling duck eggs. I noticed them and commented that I grew up eating duck eggs. I didn’t really think much about it or consider buying them. It just made me think about Grandma.
Then, one weekend he mentioned that one of his customers is allergic to chicken eggs but can safely eat duck eggs. Well, with two children very allergic to eggs, I was instantly intrigued. So, what did I do when I got home? You guessed it…I researched it for myself.
A simple Google search quickly confirmed what he said. It’s not uncommon for people with chicken egg allergies to safely eat duck eggs. The reason being that chicken eggs and duck eggs have a totally different protein make-up, which is what causes the allergy. And, not only are duck eggs nutritionally far superior to chicken eggs, they have an alkaline producing effect on the body, where chicken eggs are highly acid producing. What??? This is even better news. If you are one who pays attention to what you put into your body, you know it’s important for our bodies to maintain a proper balance of acid and alkaline to function properly and prevent disease. The problem is that too many of the foods we eat in our culture are very acidic. Many health professionals believe our high acidic diets are the root cause of many diseases, including many cancers, taxing the liver, skin, kidneys and other major organs. If you are interested in this, I suggest you research it further. Acidic foods don’t necessarily have an acidic effect in our bodies so do your research on acid causing foods vs. alkaline causing foods. I would love to write about his, but I think I should just stick to eggs for now. I’ve probably already written too much:)
Well, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, the next week we bought two dozen duck eggs and began our own experimentation. My son was nearing his 5th birthday and I loved the idea of actually being able to make him a really yummy cake with these eggs. So, we had a little preview. I baked some cupcakes. And I made a really rich recipe calling for 6 eggs (I actually only used 4 since duck eggs are bigger than chicken eggs). He ate cupcake after cupcake without one sign of allergy. This was great, but the eggs were cooked, which does destroy the protein a bit. So, a few days later, I made straight up scrambled duck eggs. Very carefully, I fed him one bite and waited for a while…fed him another bite and waited a while. After a while, it was apparent he wasn’t having a reaction. He kept begging us to let him eat all the eggs on his plate because they tasted so good. So, with the EpiPen close by, we let him go for it. He ate an entire plate of duck eggs and never experienced one problem.
So, now it was my turn. Typically, if I eat chicken eggs, the baby’s skin will show it within hours of breastfeeding afterword. I ate a small helping of the scrambled duck eggs and after 24 hours, no problems with baby’s skin. A couple of days later, I ate them again, and again, no problems with baby’s skin. Last week, I allowed the baby (10 months old) to eat a few very small bites of scrambled duck eggs. She absolutely loved them and showed no signs of an allergic reaction.
I’m so excited. Every time I find a solution to one of our many allergies, I get so happy. And this is a big one. It’s incredibly difficult to find good alternatives for eggs. Sure, there are quite a few options out there, but they really aren’t all that great. And, the best part (if you like to bake like I do) is your baked goods will turn out lighter and fluffier when using duck eggs. Not only can my kids eat them, but they provide a healthy, alkaline producing food for our bodies and because they are bigger than chicken eggs, you get more bang for your buck. We pay the same price per one dozen duck eggs as we did for chicken eggs.
Oh, and if you are wondering about the taste, they pretty much taste the same as chicken eggs. Actually, I think they taste better, but that could just be the fact that they are farm fresh because I think farm fresh chicken eggs taste much better than store bought eggs.
So, if you are dealing with egg allergies in your home, you should look into duck eggs. I recommend talking to your allergist about it first and using extreme caution, but since duck eggs are totally different from chicken eggs, I think this could be a solution for a lot of families. Yea!!
One more thing…I recently read a study about people with both gluten and egg allergy. It suggested that these people may not actually be allergic to eggs. Those with gluten allergies should try to get their eggs from a farmer that uses gluten-free food or low-gluten content food for the chickens or ducks. Apparently, a high gluten diet can produce some trace amounts of gluten in eggs. Most commercial egg producing chickens are given a high gluten diet because it’s cheap. So, you want to stop buying your eggs at the grocery store if at all possible. I don’t really know a lot about this, but thought someone out there might be interested and want to contemplate and research this further.
More info on duck eggs:
More info on acid causing foods vs. alkaline causing foods: