Have you ever pondered over your egg waste? We throw them away, into the trash or compost, but what if I told you that there’s more to these shells? They are a goldmine of a nutrient our bodies, our pets, and even our garden crave – Calcium. Yes, the humble eggshell can be transformed into a calcium-rich supplement.
Eggshells are primarily made up of calcium carbonate, which is also the main component in our bones, teeth, and nails. They are also loaded with nutritious compounds, including collagen protein, magnesium, selenium, and strontium that are beneficial for our bones and joints.
Numerous studies have shown that the calcium from eggshells is highly bioavailable, with an absorption rate of up to 64% compared to commercial calcium supplements.
Humans require a hefty amount of calcium every day to remain healthy—around 1000-1500mg. But if we’re not getting enough from our diet, the body starts pulling it from our teeth and bones, leading to health issues like tooth decay or osteoporosis.
Our pets and livestock require calcium too. Sadly, commercial feeds often fall short of providing the necessary amount of calcium required for healthy teeth, shiny coats, and strong eggshells.
Interestingly, the calcium in our food (and our pets’ food) originates from the soil. It’s one of the earth’s most abundant minerals but can become depleted over time in our gardens and farm fields, so our gardens sometimes need a calcium boost.
But how do we utilize these overlooked shells? You can either purchase ready-made eggshell calcium online, or you can make it yourself. Here’s how:
You’ll need a dozen empty eggshells, preferably from organically raised pasture hens, and 6 cups of filtered water. Rinse any remaining egg white out of your eggshells, leaving the nutritious membrane. When you’ve gathered enough, boil them for 10 minutes to eliminate any harmful pathogens. Drain and dry the eggshells overnight. The next morning, completely dry them in a 200-degree oven. Once dry, pulverize them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder. Store this in a tightly sealed jar.
One teaspoon of this homemade eggshell powder contains approximately 800-1,000mg of calcium. Divide this dose over three meals by stirring into water, smoothies or juice, or mix the powder into bread and baked goods, spaghetti, or breaded and fried meat.
You can sprinkle a bit of the powder over your pet’s food, beneficial for animals on raw diets to help balance excess phosphorus. Eggshell powder can also help chickens produce healthy eggs and prevent them from pecking at their own eggs, often a sign of calcium deficiency.
But it’s not just about us and our pets. Our gardens can benefit from this homemade calcium supplement too. Have your soil tested to assess your calcium levels and amend as indicated by the results. It can be a great early spring amendment to your garden soil, especially for preventing blossom end rot in tomatoes, peppers, and squash.
So, the next time you’re about to throw away those eggshells, remember that they hold a potential treasure of nutrients, ready to be tapped.