U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: eggs for albumen printing/ was "Apis or not Apis)

RE: eggs for albumen printing/ was "Apis or not Apis)

On Fri, 8 May 2009, Don Bryant wrote:

My question to Ms. Zimmerman was serious as I thought her answer was, even
though there were quite a few giggles and quips from the audience. If her
answer wasn't made in jest then she uses eggs laid by free range chickens.
She lives out in Taos and I can see where she could have enough room to
raise her own chickens with a steady egg supply except during the winter
when production will naturally decrease. Perhaps she was being polite and
humoring me. And by winter she probably has a nice stockpile of albumen
salted away.

I don't eat store bought eggs whole or dry. I have no evidence to the
contrary but it just seems to me using a product with all natural
ingredients would be better for albumen coating rather than eggs produced by
chickens that receive hormones in their feed to make them lay eggs.
My hunch, from having watched the process, was that the dried egg white worked fine, in fact possibly better, since you buy a tin of it, and once it's tested the rest will be the same, while each egg (especially of free range) is likely to be different....

Another hunch, for what it's worth, from what I've read, is that these farming, animal-raising practices are more harmful to the environment than to us personally. Or at least to me, since I don't eat that many eggs, or that much of any particular meat source so treated -- but the runoff into our water sources, and the probable rise of resistant bacteria from all those antibiotics, etc., etc., are ominous. I figure also that living so close to New Jersey (heh heh) with the prevailing winds carrying all that pollution, not to mention the exhaust from traffic right outside our windows, makes a little something in the eggs seem de minimus.

Free range eggs taste better, cook better, look better, have thicker shells,
and have a greater economic value to their producers (not the chickens of
course.) Our local Korean, Chinese, and Russian communities prize free range
eggs and are willing to pay a premium price for them.
I believe you... but if I have to go outside the neighborhood to buy a dozen eggs (etc.) -- well, it's tough enough to get into the studio as it is.

Local jurisdictions all over the country have had to enact new laws to
prevent city dwellers from raising their own fowl. This is in part due to
growing ethnic populations that prefer their own chicken and eggs than what
one can purchase through grocers.
Actually, I believe it's legal in much of NYC to have as many as 6 chickens... tho the noise from a rooster might bring neighbor retaliation.

I don't know if you eat chicken Judy but free range chickens have much
better flavor and texture. Same for other fowl, even quail. Just ask any
black snake, raccoon, fox, or opossum, they all prefer free range eggs!
Again, I believe you, but the time and trouble to buy what I have to travel for, is what's too costly. As for eating chicken, I doubt it has any more hormones, antibiotics, etc. than beef or for that matter pork, and at this point in time, the "experts" tell us, chicken is much healthier than beef -- less saturated fat, especially if you remove the skin.

Which is to say, life is full of choices... the greater evil in my life would be spending yet more time and energy to feed my face. I need to feed my art.

Perhaps albumen made from quail eggs would work better than chicken albumen.
But I confess, I'm not an albumen printer so my thinking is just conjecture.
Quail eggs are small, and the dried eggwhites worked fine... But there are chemicals, pollutants, all over the place in all of photography. I'd say that whatever they put in chicken feed is the least of it....