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Starter PotsPrevious TaleTown Story: Eggs - Sunny Side Up

"Ma, did you know egg shells are good for the soil and they make great snail bait?" asked Hosh, as he was waiting for the eggs to cook.

"Very interesting," Isha laughed, "No. I didn't know that."

"Yea Ma," he said excitedly, "eggs have really clever packaging. A true engineering marvel, that is scientifically cool and technologically functional."

"If eggs didn't come in their own shell, we'd probably package them in some form of plastic which might be recyclable, but we would never have the multitude of reuses which we have with Mother Nature's own packaging."

"Like what?" she asked. She always threw them away.

"An egg shell contains 94 - 97% calcium carbonate," he answered, "The rest is organic matter and egg shell pigment. In my research, I came across many uses, but I made notes about 10 novel ones. Wanna see?"

She nodded, suddenly interested. He went to his room and fetched a paper. It read:

1. Free and Natural Soil Fertilizer

Eggshells quickly decompose in the compost pile and add valuable calcium and other minerals to the soil in the process.

2. Nontoxic Pest Control

Scatter crushed eggshell around your garden plants to deter plant-eating slugs, snails and cutworms. Eggshells have sharp edges which makes them very uncomfortable to crawl across for these pests. No eco-unfriendly pesticides may be needed.

3. Splendid Seedling Starters

Fill biodegradable eggshell halves with potting soil instead of using peat or plastic pots to start seedlings for your garden. And an egg carton on your sunny window sill is a great place for starting a dozen tomato seedlings in shells before transplanting them into your garden in spring.

4. Eco-friendly Household Abrasive

Shake crushed eggshells and a little soapy water to scour hard-to-clean items like thermoses and vases. Crushed eggshells can also be used as a nontoxic abrasive on pots and pans because of its scouring action.

5. Membrane Home Remedies

The thin membrane inside the eggshell has long been used as a home remedy for a wide range of ailments, said one blog post. Tear off small pieces of the egg membrane and put them wet side down on the peeling skin next to your fingernails or on ingrown toenails. Leave it on until it has dried and wash it off.

You can also put the damp side of the membrane on a small cut and leave it there until it dries. Another popular use of the membrane is to draw out splinters and blackheads. As it dries it will tend to draw the splinter or foreign matter out a little, enabling you to pull it out with tweezers.

6. Dr. Eggshell

A blog post noted that eggshells dissolve in a small jar of apple cider vinegar. It takes about two days, they said. This mixture could then be used to treat minor skin irritations, bug bites, dry, itchy or flaky skin, and even mild rashes.

7. Egg on Your Face

Other blog posts recommended pulverizing dried egg shells. One whisked this powder in with an egg white. Another whisked this powder in with egg yolk and honey. Doing this, both created face packs which they said could be used for a healthful, skin-tightening facial. Allow the face mask to dry before rinsing it off.

8. Feed your pets

A blogpost recommends drying eggshells, crushing them finely and adding them to dog's food as a calcium booster. Or spreading crushed eggshells on the bird feeder. Birds enjoy egg shells, and even use them to build nests. Female birds, particularly those who are laying eggs or have recently finished laying, need extra calcium.

9. Supplement Your Diet

Eggshells are a good source of calcium but people don't know how to consume them. Elizabeth Masaba, a nutritionist, says egg shell calcium presents healthy, balanced calcium due to other minerals it contains. It is the best natural source of calcium which is easier for our bodies to digest and absorb, she says.

Lydia Musinguzi, another nutritionist, says most people require a minimum of 400mg of calcium per day in addition to calcium from other food sources. But, 1 teaspoon of ground eggshells contains over 1500 mg of calcium! So you're taking too much if you're taking that much daily.

Lydia Musinguzi warns that one should not exceed more than 500mg at once because our bodies cannot process a lot of calcium at a go.

10. Fuelling Tomorrow?

Energy experts believe that hydrogen may become an important power source in the future, most notably in the form of fuel cells. Researchers at Ohio State University recently discovered that eggshells might be the key to producing affordable hydrogen fuel, as it proved to be the most effective carbon dioxide absorber ever tested.

"Eggs-travagantly amazing," said Isha, "and you haven't even talked of using them in various art and craft projects yet. When I was a child, we used to do a lot of craft projects with eggshells in schools."

Author Note: This information is provided for general purposes only. Seek professional advice before acting on it.

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