Among the macrobiotic community, the question of whether eggs are a healthy part of a macrobiotic diet is quite common. The reason this is a frequent question is likely due to the fact that eggs have become such a staple of the modern diet and people are ultimately not sure if they are something that should be avoided or not. Eggs are also common even among some vegetarian diets. So, the question remains, are eggs considered macrobiotic? Let’s take a look!
Can Eggs Be a Part of a Macrobiotic Diet?
Eggs are not generally a part of the macrobiotic diet. However, for macrobiotic practitioners who desire to eat animal foods, they can be added. Macrobiotics is essentially a very complete and traditionally based whole food, plant-based diet. Most people prefer to practice vegan macrobiotics, or to include wild fish as opposed to other animal foods. Macrobiotics is about learning to make healthy choices for our diet and lifestyle. After fish, eggs are the next best choice in animal foods.
Cage-free, pasture-raised, and certified organic (which means that they are also fed organic feed and do not have antibiotics or growth hormones) eggs are the best. Additionally, if you can source them from small farms or local farmer’s markets you are more likely to ensure that the chickens get the care they should. You can even venture to the farm where they are raised in some cases!
Some people undergoing certain medical treatments, especially chemotherapy or prolonged antibiotic use, may require the additional nourishment that eggs provide together with a varied macrobiotic diet.
Is There a Potential Downside to Eating Eggs?
There is quite a bit of conflicting research on this topic. Some researchers say that eggs are very harmful, while others say they are healthy. So, although it may not be clear to the extent of any potential downsides, erring on the side of caution is generally best and limiting intake is likely a good idea. The quantity and quality of any food is a critical measurement in the macrobiotic diet, so like anything else, it is important not to forget that when it comes to eggs.
It’s clearly a bad idea to consume commercial eggs that are fed GMO corn and are given growth hormones and antibiotics. If you have seen a documentary on how commercial eggs are produced, you would understand the reason for completely avoiding them. Since eggs are the essence of a chicken, they have concentrated nutrition that reflects every aspect of their health (remember that chicken is on the top of my foods to avoid list, even more than red meat).
From a macrobiotic philosophy, eggs are most harmful to the reproductive organs like the prostate in men and the ovaries in women. For people with problems in those areas, or those with osteoporosis, they would want to avoid eggs completely. All animal foods are acidifying, and eggs are at the top of the list. So, we need calcium and other minerals from a broad macrobiotic diet to neutralize the acidity and help to eliminate any other toxic effects.
How to Replace Egg as an Ingredient
For the reasons mentioned above, most people choose to simply replace eggs with other healthy plant-based options. The two most common healthy egg substitutes are tofu scramble and boiled tempeh. For a tofu scramble, you simply add crumbled tofu to your favorite stir-fried vegetables and season it with turmeric. The tempeh is also a very dense protein, like egg, and can be cooked by boiling it in water, shoyu, ginger and kombu. Additionally, adding crumbled tofu to any dish that would usually include egg will preserve the essence of the dish without the need for using eggs. For example, egg-fried rice is very similar to tofu-fried rice and keeps the integrity of the appearance, texture and flavor. There are no healthy “egg substitutes” that would be recommended for a macrobiotic diet, other than whole-food plant-based ingredients.
Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes
1 Block of tofu, rinsed and blotted dry with a paper towel, then crumbled.
1/3 to 1/2 cup carrot, diced or coarsely grated
½ cup onion, diced
1/4 cup diced scallion
1/16 to ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon of umeboshi vinegar
¾ to 1 teaspoon shoyu
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup water
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Use thin slices of snow peas or edamame in place of the scallion.
Use only one vegetable, such as spring onions or scallions.
Add sliced mushrooms for a rich, earthy taste.
Diced fresh herbs or watercress
For spicy scramble add 1/3 cup of diced tomato an a dash of hot sauce or
For a sweet scramble add 1/4 cup fresh green peas
Black or red pepper may be used for additional seasoning.
Pour the oil in a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet and gently heat over a low flame.
Add the onion and begin sautéing. When the onions begin to glisten, add a tiny pinch of sea salt and continue to sauté.
Add a little water to moisten the skillet, then add the carrots.
*Note: if using grated carrot, add at the end of cooking and fold to mix with the other ingredients.
Continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes for an al dente texture. For a softer texture, cover and simmer the vegetables for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the scallions and combine with the other vegetables.
Season lightly with 3 to 4 drops of shoyu and gently fold the vegetable mixture over to blend the seasoning.
Reduce the flame, add a little more water to the bottom of the pan, then add the tofu.
Gently fold to blend the tofu with the vegetables.
Add the remaining seasonings and fold to blend together.
Lightly season with the remainder of the shoyu and blend well with the rice and vegetables. At the very end of cooking, add the fresh grated ginger juice or pepper.
Boil the tempeh in a mixture of 9 parts water to 1 part shoyu, a small piece of kombu, and a few slices of ginger. The tempeh will keep in the cooking liquid for up to 1 week.