The Real Reason People Are Eating More Eggs Than Ever Right Now

The incredible edible egg has been on quite the roller coaster ride when it comes to popularity over the years. While it was once demonized as a source of the dreaded dietary cholesterol, in recent years it was touted for its health benefits while its drawbacks were downplayed. In 2018, the American Heart Association was recommending an egg a day for a healthy heart, but a 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that eating eggs could lead to increased risk of heat disease, stroke, death, and eternal damnation. Okay, so maybe not that last one, but still, it seemed as if eggs were back to being VERY BAD. That is, until yet another study that appeared in 2020 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (via Reuters) said eating eggs may not be bad for your heart.

Whew, whiplash. Still, the reason why egg consumption went way up in the spring of 2020 probably had little to do with that latest study, since by then we all had a lot more to worry about than our cholesterol. During the long months of sheltering in place, the one thing that most of us seemed to be doing to cope with the mind-numbing boredom interspersed with intermittent bouts of newscast-fueled terror was heading to the kitchen to cook. And what did we want to cook? Eggs, it seems. Rather a lot of them.

Eggs are the ultimate comfort food

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Google Trends reports during the quarantine period that online recipe searching was at an all-time high. And the most searched-for recipes, unsurprisingly, were for what could best be described as "comfort foods." And when it comes to comfort, what fills the bill better than an egg? They are inexpensive (if a bit less so, during times of shortage), and un-fussy. And most of all, eggs make us feel happy.

In fact, an egg dish that seemed to make a big comeback during the great hunker-down is one that so many of us associate with childhood. In both Pennsylvania and Colorado, the most searched-for recipe was egg salad. While this may have had something to do with the fact that the Easter holiday fell right at the height of the pandemic, the WSJ also notes that this dish's "frugal charms" are well-suited toward a time when we're all looking to eat something simple and familiar (not to mention, a great source of cheap protein when meat prices go skyrocketing). The best part of experimenting with new egg dishes, or reverting to old favorites is that, no matter how you cook them, eggs are always going to offer a safe and satisfying taste of home.