The Importance of Beer in American Society

How would any one society, such as America, measure the importance of beer? Or probably, it is more correct to say Malt Beverages, now.

The obvious answer is the money generated by the taxes paid by the brewers, the stores and bars that sell beer, and the sales taxes that are placed on the beverage. I don’t think anyone would disagree that this is a lot of money. Beer manufacturing is a multi billion dollar industry. That’s a lot of tax dollars.

Let’s not forget, then, the rest of the benefits of this industry. Employment opportunities. From those that work in the manufacturing plants, through the many that work for distributors and on down to all those that work in the stores and bars that sell beer to the public, it’s obvious that the industry provides an uncountable number of jobs to citizens in America.

Is there any other way to measure the benefits of beer to American Society? I think so. However, I think the rest of the benefits have to be measured against the pitfalls of the beverage. I mean, when you get right down to it, beer is an alcoholic substance. And we know, from years of experience, that there are many problems with alcohol. Addiction just being the worst of these.

We’ve all seen, or experienced for ourselves, some of the less dangerous effects of the drunkenness for which beer is responsible. The sickness and hangovers, the enhancement of not necessarily good emotions, such as anger, and the deaths and injuries from drunk driving. Just to name a few of the most obvious.

Of course, we have been making strides to correcting one of those problems. With MADD, and other such groups, laws have been enacted to punish those who drive while inebriated. All to the good, of course. And, hopefully, will eventually eliminate the practice of drunk driving. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though. I think we all realize that there will always be those who will disobey those laws.

That brings us to the mess that beer makes of those who drink it, both physically and mentally. Let’s gloss over the mess that puking makes and that someone must inevitably clean up. We all know it happens, and none of wants to be the one cleaning it up. Let’s just leave it at that.

Which leaves, of course, the rage, sadness and other emotions that drunkenness seems to bring out in those who are angry, depressed or…whatever. The best way to fight these is to just to keep an eye on those who are drinking and try to make sure they do not lose control. Not an easy thing to do when so many are drinking, though. But, admittedly, this is a rather minor problem with the beverage.

But, the benefits, and the importance to society, stems from the personal interactions that occur while people are enjoying the tasty beverage. All those who drink have probably spent many hours of interaction in one place or another with old friends and new friends sharing innocent companionship and, for some, hopefully more personal interaction, and not necessarily innocent, companionship. The relaxation that each individual experiences during this time is a rather personal thing, but the effects on society as a whole cannot be denied. Simply put, it makes the world a friendlier place, despite the drawbacks previously mentioned.

There are other benefits, I’m sure, I don’t think any of them are as worthy of our notice as the ones I’ve already discussed. One thing that cannot be denied, though, is that beer does hold importance in American society. So, raise a cold, frosty one and enjoy!

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The History of Tea

The tea plant, camellia sinensis, is thought to have originated in South East Asia, in the area that China, India, Burma and Tibet conjunct, although some studies, based on the genetics of the tea plant suggest that the plant has an entirely China origin, various parts of China, e.g. the Yunnan Province, being nominated for the honour. Certainly, Yunnan Province believes in its primacy, and we are informed that it was here that it was first discovered that tea is a pleasant drink for human consumption. In any event, this province prides itself as the abode of the oldest surviving cultivated tea plant on the planet, one in Fenqing County, said to be more than 3200 years old. Since then, the plant is now cultivated worldwide, from China to Kenya, and from the United Kingdom to the United States.

Certain morphological differences between the Chinese plant, camellia sinensis sinensis, and the Indian (Assamese) variety, camellia sinensis assamica, have caused some botanists to postulate that the varieties developed independently of each other; yet, chromosomal and other affinities between both varieties, coupled with the ease with which hybridization occurs suggests a common origin. Whatever the case, the tea drinking culture is something that has come to the world at large from China.

We are informed from Chinese records, that tea was first discovered by Shennong (around 2737 BC), the legendary emperor who is also credited with the invention of agriculture and medicine (Chinese). As the story has come down to us, the emperor was enjoying a bowl of hot water when some leaves from a nearby tea plant dropped into his bowl of hot water, carried by the breeze. Discovering that the resultant brew was extremely pleasant, as well as having positive healthful effects, he instituted tea drinking, and the world has never been the same since then.

Tea consumption spread, albeit fairly slowly, to the rest of the world. During the short-lived Sui Dynasty (China, 589-618 AD), tea was introduced into Japan by proselytising Buddhist monks. Initially a drink enjoyed by the new (Buddhist) religious order, by the reign of Emperor Saga (746-842 AD), the royal family had adopted the drink and Japan had become another tea addict. It was during Saga’s reign that two Buddhist monks, Saicho (776-822) and Kukai (774-835), brought tea seedlings from China to Japan and a tea growing culture developed.

Roughly around the time that tea was being introduced into Japan, it also made its way into Korea. The earliest references to tea in Korean documents date back to around 660AD, and, as in Japan, the brew and plant was introduced by proselytising Buddhists. By the time of the Goreyo Dynasty (918-1392), tea was commonly used as a part of religious practice in the Buddhist temples.

Although the English are widely believed to have brought the tea addiction to the west, the Arabs, and subsequently the Portuguese must take the credit. As early as 879, Arab records show that tea and salt were the main revenue earners at the port of Canton (Guangzhou), and, certainly, the tea culture amongst Arabs is extremely old, probably dating from around this time. Moving further west, tea was introduced into Europe by the Portuguese, following the establishment of their trading post on the island of Macau in 1557. Tea became an English thing, so to speak, when, in 1660, Charles II married the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza, and the tea habit was introduced into England. From England, the habit has spread to all of the Commonwealth and the United States, where, although coffee is a much more popular beverage, tea is consumed in immense quantities. One wonders whether the relative unpopularity of tea in the US, (given that tea is second only to plain water amongst the liquids that all humans consume), has anything to do with the events at Boston Harbour, December 1773, when over 300 tea chests were thrown into the waters of harbour off three British ships by protesting colonists, and, incidentally, leading to the birth of a great nation.

Of course, no history of tea, however set, can be considered to be complete without a consideration of the Indian subcontinent. Whether or not the Assamese variety of the plant evolved independently, India, today, is not only one of the greatest tea producers, it is also one of the greatest consumers of the product, and the credit for this must be given to the British colonial authorities in that country. Although tea has been present in India from time immemorial, it was the determination of the British, i.e. the British East India Company, to reduce Britain’s dependence on Chinese tea that led to the purposeful and intensive cultivation of the plant. Tea had always been a major ingredient in ayurvedic medicine (India’s indigenous medical tradition), but it was not a product that had been commonly used for recreational purposes. The determined efforts of British tea planters to inculcate a general tea drinking habit was extremely successful; so, today, chai, the spiced tea invented in India, is a worldwide phenomenon.

On a parting note, it is well to keep in mind that quite a number of tisanes (beverages made by the infusion of herbs in water or some other liquid) are quite popular in various parts of the world, and are often described as teas. Real tea, however, is queen; long live her majesty.

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Thailand Korea Singapore Fried Rice Stir Fry Sweet and Sour

Gin-seng is famous throughout Asia for its amazing flavour in food.

Try some ‘Ginger Juice’ with your meal by boiling up some fresh ginger in a pan, stir in some sugar and serve in a mug. You will devise your own proportions according the strength of flavour/sweetness you want.

My favourite starter in Macau was sesame prawn toast with fresh lime juice. Pulse the prawns with a teaspoon of flour in a food mixer with some spring onions, an egg, garlic, ginger and chilli. Paste the mixture on to a slice of white bread and press the sesame seeds into the prawn spread. Cut each slice into four triangles and when your pan is smoking, add a few drops of oil and fry both sides of each slice one by one, adding a few more drops of oil as and when necessary. Serve with some fresh lime wedges.

My favourite main course in Singapore was sweet and sour pork steaks. This amazing dish is slightly different from the take-away equivalent. You need some dry roasted peanuts, pork loin steaks, canned pineapple in natural juice and some freshly squeezed lime juice.    For the sweet and sour sauce, place all of the pineapple and juice into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Pour the sweet and sour sauce into the wok and leave to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a thick consistency. Put this on the table in a mug with a spoon in and stir in some soy sauce and black pepper before spooning over the pork, later on.    Blend the dry roasted peanuts in a food processor until finely ground and transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside. Do this the day before if you like. It needs to be dry and powdery otherwise it becomes like peanut butter if it is moist and too thick to go on the pork steaks. A light coating is all the pork steaks need.    Using a rolling pin, bash the pork steaks until halved in thickness and cut all the fat off. Roll the steaks in the blended peanut mixture until well-coated, then pat lightly or press in the powdered peanut to secure the mixture to the meat. Fry the pork steaks on both sides and put them on a plate in the oven on a hundred to keep warm for ten minutes.

My alternative favourite main in Thailand was steak in black bean sauce. You need rump steak, black beans rinsed and chopped (fermented/salted), some garlic, spring onion, ginger, green chillis and caster sugar. Blend the black beans, garlic, onion, ginger and chilli with enough water to make a paste. Add salt and pepper and sugar, pinch by pinch when you pulse the mixture until you get it just right.    Bash the steak with a rolling pin and cut all the fat off. Cut it into strips and marinade lightly in the black bean sauce. Do this the day before if you like. Fry the steak in black bean sauce for a couple of minutes, turning occasionally. Serve this with the stir fried vegetables.

Fried rice is a must in Asia and having lived in Korea for five years you’ll find the best egg fried rice in the far east. You need 3 eggs beaten and scrambled, cooked rice, chilled until completely cold 3 tomatoes sliced, 1 large spring onion finely sliced, some finely chopped carrot and peas. Heat a wok until smoking and add a little oil, then add the carrot and fry until it’s softened and then add the onion followed by the peas then the egg and finally the tomato. Set aside this lot. Add splashes of oil as an when so that it cooks but doesn’t stick. Add some more oil and lob in the rice. For this recipe use less rice than normal because all the vegetables add up and make it a much bigger dish than you would expect. Keep turning the lot with a metal thingy continuously so it is kept moving but not stir frying because I find that pushes the rice into the pan and squashes it down. Remember this is not noodles or bean sprouts! Keep shaking the pan and moving the rice around. You will have to add splashes of oil here and there too to stop it sticking. When all the rice is sizzling add the dish set aside and mix it all in evenly with a little more oil, still cooking and frying and moving it around continuously.

My favourite vegetarian dish in Beijing was stir fried water chestnuts. You need bean shoots, spring onions, water chestnuts, fresh coriander, mange tout, red pepper, green chilli, cashew nuts and baby sweets. Chop all of the above into thin slices and stir fry in a wok. Do the bean shoots and coriander first so the volume reduces and the pan isn’t over filled with ’stuff’. Then add every thing else and it should be easier to stir it all around.

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Soda is Harmful

Soft drinks: The effect of soda on our teeth and bones.

Many People Have a tendency to quench there thirst with a soda or your local 7-11s big gulps-

Drinking a Soda does not quench your thirst in fact soda has chemicals that can result in the lack of moisture in your body.

Most people just grab there favorite soda cans or bottles without even thinking to read the back to check to see what they are putting in there body.

Did you Know : that most soda contains phosphoric, citric, tartaric/ and or carbonic acids these acids are the link to the breakdown of enamel on our teeth.

As most of us know enamel protects the teeth but if the enamel deteriorates, it comes with a range of dental problems, for example: tooth decay, sensitive teeth, cavities.

The Patients that have these Dental Problems from The High sugar in soda, undergo extensive and expensive treatment at there expense which wasted there time and money.

Did you Know: a 12 oz. can of soda contains approximately 40 grams of sugar or a 20 oz. bottle contains about 17 teaspoons of sugar.

The acids in soda Limit our Calcium intake and by all means humans need calcium to develop strong, healthy bones.

This has a direct effect on our bone density, this effect can result in many bone and health issues such as osteoporosis and easy bone breakage.

People of all ages drink soda- a known fact is that soda has a chemical called caffeine, too much caffeine or an excessive amount is shown to suck out the calcium of our bones.

Soda has virtually no calcium or nutrients that our body and bones need to be healthy and grow strong.

When I was younger I drank soda, We all have had a taste or two of our favorite flavor, this is how they sell out on the market. If you think about it think of your favorite flavor… More than Likely you will find it as a soda. Growing up as a child I had cavities and tooth pains, sensitivity to cold foods or sugars.

As I grew I learned That soda contains excessive amounts of sugar and acids and does not have any nutritional value, So I stopped drinking it. Though I may still have a craving here in there for this Highly carbonated beverage, I care about my self enough to say no to soda to say no to the wasted money and to say no to hurting my body in multiple ways.

All of humanity should stray from excessive sugar, acid, carbonated beverages like soda.

There are harmful consequences to your actions.

Though all of this has been said there is good in all of this by always knowing you can stop hurting yourself, time, and wallet, by bettering your health,stopping yourselves and helping others stop drinking soda.

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Simple Southern Buffalo Sauce

Simple Southern Buffalo Sauce

     Buffalo Sauce is best known as a dipping sauce for chicken wings. Here in the south however, it is used for many different things. It can be used as a dipping sauce for any type of meat, as a marinade and even as a sandwich topping. This recipe for Simple Southern Buffalo Sauce was taught to me by my Grandmother and has been a family favorite for many years.  What’s great about this recipe is that it has only 5 ingredients, and it takes only twenty minutes to prepare. It’s absolutely delicious, it’s perfect for parties, and it’s a surefire crowd pleaser. I have serve it at all of my barbecues and Superbowl parties for as long as I can remember, and people always ask me for the recipe, so here it is.


1 – stick of unsalted butter, cubed

1 – 32 ounce jar of Texas Pete brand hot sauce

1 – 6 ounce can of Hunt’s brand tomato paste

3 – Tsp sea salt ( optional )

1 – pinch garlic powder ( optional )

     In a large saucepan, melt cubed butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, slowly pour in the Texas Pete brand hot sauce, and raise the heat to medium high. Next, add the Hunts brand tomato paste. Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally until the tomato paste melts down and incorporates, approximately twenty minutes. Add salt and garlic powder to taste.

Suggested use: Serve as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or strips, alongside celery and carrot sticks, accompanied by ranch or bleu cheese dressing.

Serves approximately 16 – 20 people, depending on what you use it for (chicken wings, sandwiches, marinade,etc.)

Any leftover sauce may be kept in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

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The best beverage is tea

There is nothing like a nice cup of tea. I never developed a taste for coffee. My mother gave me hot tea with sugar and milk when I was a child. Now, I prefer unsweetened ice tea, even in the winter.

There are many teas to choose from. You can make tea from all sorts of plants. My husband makes red tea, that is loaded with vitamin C, from the rose hips of our California native roses. He chops up the rose hips and boils them in water. Then, we pour the red tea over ice. The rose hip tea has a mild refreshing taste.

Sun tea is my favorite. I fill a gallon glass jar with water and tea bags. Then, I place the jar in the sun. In a few hours, I have delicious tea to pour over ice cubes. On days when the sun does not shine, I brew my tea in the refrigerator. The tea takes longer to brew, but it still tastes great.

Tea is good for your body. The flavonoid antioxidants found in tea protect your body from free radicals that damage cells. Antioxidants in tea appear to lower cholesterol, improve cardiovascular health, and help guard against some cancers.

The flavonoids in tea may reduce the risk of having a stroke by making blood cells less likely to form clots. A study done by the University of British Colombia concluded that the low incidence of cancer in Japan, even among smokers, is related to the large amount of tea consumed by the Japanese.

Drinking tea gives you fresh breath and a healthy smile. Tea does not leave an after taste in your mouth like coffee. According to researchers at Tokyo Dental College, tea can kill bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Tea stains on your teeth can be easily removed by your dentist during your routine teeth cleanings.

In 1995, the New York Academy of Medicine concluded that tea does not cause nervousness, insomnia, or stomach irritation, the way coffee can, when consumed in large quantities. The researchers found that tea relieves fatigue, clears the mind, and does not cause the body to experience a burned out feeling later on.

My family drinks sun tea almost every day. We do not have insomnia or feel nervous. When we go a day without tea, we do not experience fatigue or headaches. Some of my coffee drinking friends report that they feel tired and have headaches if they miss their daily coffee.

Tea is a better choice than coffee, because tea is easy to make, tastes great, and is good for you.

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The risks of coffee to one’s health

Coffee is a stimulant in wide use around the globe and especially in the United States. Before one can analyze the relative risks and benefits of coffee, one must be aware of its effects and components.

The central ingredient of coffee – when used as a stimulant – is caffeine, a relatively mild psychoactive stimulant. It is consumed by over 90% of North American adults daily, and is considered addictive.

As with any stimulant, there are inherent risks in use and abuse. Lack of sleep has proven derogatory effects, and can even lead to hallucination and paranoia in severe cases. Especially when coupled with the increased anxiety commonly tied to the use of stimulants. This can make driving, or other high risk activities, dramatically more dangerous. There are few safeguards in place to prevent the use of caffeine in conjunction with these high risk activities.

In addition to the problems tied to the use of any stimulant, caffeine has specific dangers of its own. It increases production of stomach acid and can create or exacerbate ulcers or acid reflux. It has been linked to miscarriages in pregnant women; and it not only rapidly creates a tolerance, it also generates an addictive withdrawal effect in those who use it regularly and then attempt to cease.

As with any stimulant, there are perceived benefits which may, to some minds, counterbalance the genuine risks of caffeine (and, consequently, coffee) use. These benefits tend to be purely subjective in nature and perception, although there may be links between caffeine and reduced rates of Parkinson’s Disease, and caffeine has long been used as a headache treatment because of it’s ability to dilate the blood vessels. Still, the benefits do not appear to outweigh the risks by any objective measurement.

However – although caffeine is a natural component of coffee, decaffeination can be used to create a beverage that is strictly flavour, without a stimulant effect. This “de-caf” coffee poses few significant health risks and, for those with a taste for the relatively bitter bean, can provide a healthful alternative.

It is clear that in terms of health risk, coffee is a relatively minor culprit when compared to the parasite within – the caffeine that can cause addiction and damage to the unaware user.

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There is some Thing about Macaroni Cheese

I do not know why but this dish is a hit very time. No matter if you are young or old there is some thing about Macaroni cheese that is so satisfying that you always come back for more. There are many versions of this and all of them are more or less the same but this is the one that I recommend to you.

You will need

250g/9oz short cut macaroni

50g/2oz butter

50g/20z plane flour

600ml/1pt full fat milk

100ml/3½floz double cream

100ml/3½floz dry white wine

50g/2oz strong farm house cheddar cheese

75g/2½oz mozzarella cheese

75g/2½oz parmesan cheese

Salt, fresh ground pepper and pinch of nutmeg to taste

10 to 12 cherry tomatoes

1 small onion

1 bay leaf

1 pepper corn

Take your pasta and blanch in a pan of boiling salted water. Do not cook all the way threw. What you are looking for in this pasta is a fine white line threw the middle of the pasta where it has not cooked. Do not worry you will cook the pasta more as you bake it but if you cook it all the way now it will be over cooked latter. Once it is cooked get it in to some cold running water and stop it from cooking any more. Then drain of the water and allow to cool on the side as you make the sauce.

The sauce is just a simple mornay  or cheese sauce. Take you milk and place that on a low heat and in to the milk add the small onion cut in half the bay leaf and pepper corn. Allow the flavors of infuse in to the milk as it heat up and then take of the heat and place to one side.

Now take a thick bottomed pan and put that on a low heat and add the butter. Allow the butter to melt slowly and then add the flour a little at a time. Working the flour and the butter together in to a nice golden paste. Now a little at a time add the milk through a sieve, you do not want the onion bay leaf or pepper corn to get in to the sauce. As you add the milk use a whisk to incorporate the milk and the paste together till you end up with a good thick sauce.

Now add you white wine cheddar cheese and mozzarella and cook till the cheese has melted in to the sauce and finally finish with the cream. Season with salt pepper and a little nutmeg to you taste.

Now take your pasta and place that in a deep sided oven proof dish. Take to sauce wile it is still hot and pour that over the pasta making sure that it all gets covered. Now sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and just work it in to the pasta with a spoon, you do not want it all on the top as it will form a crust. Finley scatter your cherry tomatoes over the top and bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. If you do not like tomatoes you can leave them off. But they do add a little sharp notes to the rich creamy texture of the macaroni cheese.

Remove from the oven when the top is going golden and the tomatoes have all cooked in to the sauce. And then eat hot with a side salad and some garlic bread, no matter what time of year always a winner.

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The Feathers Inn Dersingham

The Feather Inn in Dersingham, Norfolk is a large pub catering for drinks, meals and functions. It is a typical large, rambling village pub with a very large beer garden.

We visited the Feathers twice during our recent stay at nearby Sandringham, once for an afternoon drink and once for a meal. On our first visit, for an afternoon drink, we sat in the large beer garden. The tables were widely spaced apart, but there were a lot of noisy families, and the sound carried between tables – the garden has a large number of toys, so it is popular with children. I had a pint of lemonade, my mum had a ginger beer (it would have been a ginger beer and lime but they had run out of lime cordial) and my dad had a pint of Aspalls cider. My lemonade was delicious, exactly what I wanted, but I was shocked at the price – £8.30 for the three drinks! Bearing in mind that only one was alcoholic, this seemed very high to me. My dad’s pint of cider was only 10p more expensive than my lemonade, at £2.80 and £2.70 respectively. I just don’t understand how pubs get away with making soft drinks so expensive.

We returned the following evening for a meal however. This time I also had a pint of Aspalls, which at least made the price of the drinks seem normal. We sat inside, in the bar, which was a nice place to eat. It was pleasantly cool, and there were a number of other customers having a meal too.

I chose scampi and chips, but unfortunately they were out of scampi, so I went for my second choice of beer battered haddock and chips. Having once had a beer batter that tasted of stale pub, I’m always unsure about it, but this one tasted fine. It was, however, rather dry, which was not great, but it wasn’t so bad as to ruin the meal. My dad chose line caught cod and chips, one of the specials, and the batter on that looked better. My mum’s goat cheese tart looked so good that I wished I’d had it too! I didn’t think her potatoes looked that good but she said they were very nice.

The service was fine, no complaints there – average time for the food to arrive, and efficient staff who didn’t hover or continually ask if everything was ok.

The Feathers Inn was nice, but out of the two village pubs, I’d be more inclined to recommend the Coach & Horses. The garden at the Feathers didn’t really suit us, and I wasn’t impressed with my fish or the lack of lime cordial on our first visit – although we didn’t swelter in the bar like we did at the Coach & Horses. That said, these are just small points which give the Coach & Horses a slight edge over the Feathers, and not major reasons to stay away – I’d have no problem going back.

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Testing Eggs for Freshness

Egg Testing

Eggs are a staple in most refrigerators and when we bring them home from the grocery store, we might not actually know the freshness. The stores have a buy by date, but this might not actually be helpful. After you examine the eggs in the store for breakage, you probably will want to test them for freshness at the grocer and at home. In addition, there are means to determine whether the eggs are raw or cooked.

From the Ranch to the Home

In the state of Washington, the egg producers advertise that you should purchase Washington State produced eggs. The choice options available in stores are limited but limiting choice of brand by distance from farm minimizes time in storage or on transportation.

The best means in the grocery store to determine freshness to pick up each eggs. If the eggs feel light, the egg is probably not fresh. The egg should feel heavy. Once you get home, you can do a simple test to determine whether your eggs are fresh.


After bringing your eggs home from the grocery store, you can determine whether they are fresh enough to keep. You will want the facts if you want to return the eggs to the store if they pass the swimming test. Eggs take in air as they age, so they will float easier as they age. Fill a bowl with water and drop eggs into the bowl. Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom of the bowl and are safe to place in your refrigerator. If they are lying on their side, they are a week old. If they stand on end, they are two weeks old. As they age the air creeping in will give them buoyancy and the eggs will begin to float. You might want to make a notation on the container about the possible age. If they all float, you might want to return them to the store or discard.

As the eggs sit in the refrigerator, you might forget when you purchased the eggs a cracked egg on a plate can offer a clue on whether they are fresh. A fresh egg will make a perfect circle and the yoke and egg white will remain close to each other.

If you share a refrigerator, you might need to know whether the eggs are raw or hard-boiled. You can spin the eggs on the counter. A hard-boiled egg has a solid interior so the egg will spin. Raw eggs will wobble as the contents of the eggs moves around inside.

Eggs are a staple in the American diet as an entre and as an ingredient. Consumers can gain knowledge to use them responsibly.


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