Eggs and Propylene Glycol – An Update

This is a follow-up to my initial post discussing the possible causes of chemical contamination, particularly with propylene glycol, in commercial eggs, especially North American eggs.

I mentioned in my first post about eggs that I wanted to try some unwashed eggs from free-range, organic birds to test to see whether the level of chemical contamination in commercial eggs was the reason for my severe egg intolerance. I have been intolerant of eggs in at least some form since my early teens, when eating egg-rich foods like pumpkin pie, homemade rice pudding/casserole, and omelettes caused me to get gassy and uncomfortable. It wasn’t until many years later that I stopped eating eggs entirely. Until this experiment, I had not intentionally eaten eggs or any foods containing eggs in about 10 years. The time I ate any form of food that had touched the residue of an egg was a year ago, when I cooked a pork chop in a cast iron pan that had been used to make pancakes, after scraping the pan with a spatula, scouring it with a piece of balled-up tinfoil, and wiping it out with a napkin. I was incredibly bloated for two days and spent a lot of time on the toilet.

Fast forward to now. On the last Saturday of March, I picked up six eggs from a friend who raises her birds free range and based on organic principles. They were not washed in any way, but a couple had been rinsed with city water. One was a duck egg, three were green chicken eggs, and two were brown chicken eggs. I was about seven hours away from home for the weekend, and developed mild to moderate stomach upset from what I had eaten.

Tuesday – I ate half of a completely unwashed and unrinsed green chicken egg, on its own, with a side of safe toast. I couldn’t believe that the inside of the shell was also green! Very cool. I started by eating a few small slivers of the egg, and when those seemed to not immediately cause problems, I ate the rest of the half egg (my daughter got the other half). That evening and early the next day I had some stomach discomfort due to gas, but it wasn’t increased from what I’d already had from the weekend, and by the next day I had detoxed from the weekend and was doing fine. No skin itching, no gas, no bloating, no GI issues of any kind.

Thursday – I decided to try a whole egg this time. It was another green one, but this one had been rinsed off, so a bit of chlorine may have made its way into the egg. Again, I had an egg and some toast. I had minor gurgles in my stomach this time, but no gas or stomach cramps, and no follow-up GI issues.

Friday – I ate some pasta that didn’t agree with me. It said it was 100% organic, with only chickpea flour and lentil flour, but some of it was produced in Canada and some of it from another country that probably has less strict controls on that designation. Throat closed up, stomach became heavily bloated, and I sat on the toilet for a long time the next day. I also had rashes pop up on my arms, my eyes start to swell, lymph node swelling, and itching on my scalp. I will not be eating that pasta again.

Sunday – I had waited to try another egg until the pasta mess subsided somewhat. This time I had a thoroughly unwashed and unrinsed brown egg. No stomach gurgling. No skin itching. No lymph node swelling. No increased body odour after I recovered from the pasta. I have, however, had a bit of constipation. No clue if it’s related, but it’s much less uncomfortable than the various other allergy symptoms. Then again, maybe it was the extra toast consumption that did that to me.

I definitely feel like I’ve confirmed that the chemical contamination of the eggs was what was causing a large portion, if not all, of my egg intolerance. I wonder if the first man-made-chemical-free egg I ate was when my body started to adapt to being able to digest them properly again, and thus why I was less comfortable the first time (maybe my discomfort wasn’t 100% carry-over from a weekend of travel). I didn’t experience that discomfort the second time.

I really have to wonder just how badly eggs must be contaminated, and how long I may have been suffering from these chemical allergies, if something that I’ve been experiencing for around 20 years and thought was food-related was actually chemical-related. It made me start to wonder about a sweater I had as a preschooler. It felt so soft and wonderful, but wearing it made me itch all over my upper body. My mom blamed the wool content, but maybe the problem was the polyester content, not the wool. I’ve been wearing wool shirts all winter, with no problems once I safely covered the synthetic seams. Maybe I have been suffering from this for almost my entire life.

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