There are some Hindus who believe that an egg only becomes a living being, and thus forbidden to eat, if it's been fertilized. So my question is, how can you tell if an egg is fertilized or not?

Are there indications on the packaging you can refer to? Can you tell by inspecting the egg itself, preferably without breaking it since that would defeat the purpose? Are there specially sold unfertilized eggs you can buy?

  • 1
    In the U.S., all eggs sold in grocery stores are unfertilized. Unsure about other countries
    – C_Z_
    Feb 1 '17 at 3:06

Know if a egg is fertilized before opening it:

  • If it comes from a industrial chicken farm, there are no cocks, so no chance a chicken get fertilized
  • If it comes from a rural chicken farm, it is possible the egg is fertilized
  • you should check if the egg comes from a little farm or not
  • In italy in example you can take eggs directly from farmers, there is a slightly chance to see fertilized eggs from time to time.
  • new European union directives forbids feritilized eggs in stores.
  • probably there is a laboratory non destructive test to see that, but I think that would be too expensive to do just for a egg (I'm not aware of any Egg pregnancy test by the way).

Know if a egg is fertilized after opening it:

  • You will see a small black dot inside the egg
  • However opening the egg defeat the purpose of saving a living being.

With balut (fertilized duck eggs), popular in Southeast Asia, a bright light is held up to the egg to determine how far along the growth is.

As a warning, if you’re at an Asian Market and see “duck eggs,” there’s a good chance they’re balut. (I learned that one the hard way.)

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