Today, our anniversary, I’m remembering some of the novelties we encountered as we toured Scotland on our honeymoon.
For example, I found I really loved scotch eggs, having never had them before. I remember making them a few times in the deep-fat fryer when we got home. (FYI: they are hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage.)
Here’s a funny article by way of an environmentalist on twitter (@tveitdal) about a “scotch egg company” that “claims to have cracked the problem of eggshell waste.”
Sarah Shearman writes at inkl.com, “Leicester-based egg processing plant Just Egg hard boils and peels 1.5m eggs a week for snacks such as egg mayonnaise and Scotch eggs, creating mountains of shells to dispose of. It’s a dilemma the company’s owner, Pankaj Pancholi, has been keen to crack since he launched the business 14 years ago.
“At home, eggshells can easily be composted or sprinkled on flower beds as a slug deterrent or soil enhancer. But for industrial egg producers, shells have to be disposed of in landfill because the waste egg attached to them rots quickly, causing a smelly by-product.**
“It costs Pancholi around £50,000 a year to dispose of them, a significant sum for a company with [revenue] of £4.2m last year.
“In 2012, Pancholi teamed up with Prof Andy Abbott and scientists at Leicester University to find a cost-effective, sustainable way to recycle the shells.
“Eggshell is made of calcium carbonate, like chalk, with a hard-wearing, crystalline structure. Since chalk is often used as a filler to reinforce plastic, Abbott hatched a plan to do the same with eggshell powder.
“Abbott’s department set to work designing a plant to make this eggshell powder. Because Just Egg has to dispose of eggshells swiftly to avoid the rot, the eggshell processing plant was built as an extension to the existing factory, with the eggshells passing through on a conveyor belt to be processed.
“The eggshells are chopped up with blades and washed and treated with a water-based solution to remove any remaining egg protein. The egg membrane (the clear film lining the eggshell) is also retained, as the Leicester scientists are exploring potential uses for it, such as wound dressings. …
“Each egg produces about 15g of shell and the team has been stockpiling the powder, awaiting the first order. Abbott has been spreading the word about the product and says there has been interest from ‘hundreds’ of plastics companies.”
** Oh, my goodness. Here is where I remind you that in 7th grade I created an amazing egg-breaking machine with Joanna Pousette-Dart and left it in the science classroom, forgetting I needed to take it home. Rot was definitely an issue.
Photo: Dan Matthews