Eggs: One of the Perfect Survival Foods

One of the basic criteria for perfection in the prepping world is multipurpose utility. For foodstuff, the product also needs to keep well, be nutritious and be easy to acquire or stockpile.

Very few fresh items meet these criteria, but one most certainly does: the egg. Having a source of eggs for survival is just an example of good preparation if you can manage it. In addition to being extremely nutritious, eggs purportedly have more than 100 uses. We tend to think that’s a lowball estimate.

In addition to being delicious to eat in its natural form, it’s used for various purposes in cooking. The shells also have several uses, as do the membranes. The entire egg is completely functional; it’s perfect.

We understand that not everybody can keep chickens but if you can, you really should consider it. Here are just a few reasons why eggs should make your list of foods to keep on hand.

They’re Nutritious

In order to survive and thrive, you need to eat a balanced portion of protein, carbs and fat. Carbs and fat aren’t likely going to be as hard to come by as protein. You also need vitamins and minerals in order for your body to continue to function properly.

Eggs are a great source of several vitamins and minerals as well as healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats and protein. Here’s a rundown of what you can get from 1 medium egg:

  • 63 calories
  • 5.5g of protein (11% of your RDA, though most sources active people need more)
  • Vitamins A and D – 4% of your RDA
  • Vitamin E and thiamin – 2% of your RDA
  • Riboflavin (a B-vitamin) – 12% of your RDA
  • Vitamin B6 – 3% RDA
  • Folate – 5% RDA
  • Vitamin B12 – 9% RDA
  • Pantothenic Acid – 6% RDA

A medium egg yolk also has several minerals including 20% of your RDA of selenium along with trace amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper and manganese. Finally, you get 32.6mg of omega-3’s and 505mg of omega-6’s that your body needs for numerous functions, including keeping your central nervous system functioning properly.

Eggs do have high amounts of cholesterol (62% of your RDA, to be exact) though that’s in the yellow. You can always skip the yolk and eat the white. You lose nearly all of the nutrients except for the protein at that point, though. Still, protein is necessary and egg white protein is fairly easy for your body to use.

Food Fatigue Isn’t Such an Issue

Food fatigue is a problem that arises when you eat too much of the same food repeatedly. Your body actually refuses to allow you to eat it anymore and you’ll become sick just looking at it. There are cases of entire villages starving to death when they had a plentiful supply of food (namely potatoes or rice) but food fatigue kept them from being able to consume it. This is a very real concern in a survival situation.

Fortunately, because eggs can be prepared in so many ways, food fatigue isn’t as likely to occur. Since you can also use them in recipes, you can get the nutritional benefits without thinking about eating an egg.

They’re Useful in Different Recipes

Eggs are used to leaven, thicken, bind and emulsify different foods. For instance, in cakes and biscuits, the yellows act as a binding agent and the whites help add lightness and cohesion. You put eggs in meatloaf to hold it together and you use it in custards to emulsify and thicken the final product.

We don’t even need to mention the value of white, fluffy meringue! Don’t think that just because you’re in a survival situation that you won’t be eating pies; sometimes you need to do things like that just to keep morale up if you can. Having a ready supply of eggs will help bring just a little extra happiness to your plight.

Video first sen on Handimania.

They Keep Well Without Spoiling

OK, here’s the thing – eggs that have never been washed or refrigerated will keep for up to 3 weeks without refrigeration.

As a matter of fact, the US is one of the few countries that actually refrigerate eggs. This is because we have a higher risk of salmonella from commercial products because the chickens may be infected and because manufacturers wash and oil the eggs during packaging. If the eggs have been refrigerated, they need to stay that way.

However, if you have your own disease-free chickens, you don’t need to ever refrigerate them. They’re freshest in the first week but may last as long as 21 days. This makes an egg an excellent survival food because chances are good that refrigeration is going to be an issue. To test to see if an egg is bad, put it in water. If it floats, toss it. If one end is starting to float, it’s going bad. Of course, if you have refrigeration, eggs will last for a couple of months or longer!

Egg Shells Have Several Uses

Egg shells are an excellent source of calcium, which makes them good for fertilizer. Many plant diseases occur because of a lack of calcium in the soil. Toss your egg shells onto your compost pile to add that extra mineral.

If you have a slug or snail problem in your garden, putting some crushed egg shells around the perimeter of your plants will help keep them off. They don’t like crawling across the jagged pieces of shell.

You can also use egg shells to start seeds in. Just break your egg in half like you usually do and set the halves aside to put some dirt and seeds in. Don’t clean them out.

Finally, you can crush egg shells up and feed them to your chickens as a source of calcium so that the chickens can produce more eggs.

The Membrane Is Rich in Protein and Antimicrobials

The membrane of an egg can be used as a bandage or a poultice on wounds. It will help it heal faster. It’s also good to help stop bleeding. Just remove it from the inside of the egg and apply it straight to the wound. It works well as a drawing agent for splinters or blackheads, too.

They’d Make Excellent Barter

In a situation where protein and just food in general are scarce, eggs will make excellent barter. Though some say that bartering will just show people what you have so that they can steal it, there is also the argument that communities are going to re-form quickly.

If so, then eggs will be an excellent barter tool. Since you’ll have a regular supply of them, they’ll be a renewable resource that you won’t have to worry about running out of as long as you keep your chickens healthy and happy.

You’ll be able to trade without worrying that you’re giving up something that you or your family may eventually need.

Eggs are a versatile product that can be used completely with no waste whatsoever. They’re also sustainable so that in an emergency situation, you’ll have a reliable source of nutrition as long as you keep your chickens healthy.

Though we do realize that many people can’t keep chickens, please consider adding a few if you’re able to do so. That way, if SHTF, you’ll have eggs: a perfect survivor food. If you’d like to learn more, we have an article right here on the site about how to choose good chickens.

If you can think of other ways that eggs make a great survival food or if you can think of other foods as awesome as the egg, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.


Written by

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.

Latest comments
  • Hi Theresa,
    we don’t compost the egg shells. bInstead we will dry and crush tehm and give them back to the chickens that they can use them for new shells.

    Sincerely yours


    • FYI…. cholesterol mania is a hoax created by Big Pharma to generate a multi-billion dollar revenue stream from selling useless and very dangerous Statin drugs. Moreover, dietary cholesterol is irrelevant, SO EAT THE NUTRICIOUS EGG YOLKS.
      There is no CAUSAL link between cholesterol and heart disease. Cholesterol may be present not causal. Top cardiologists have been declaring this now for decades but Big Pharma bribes Gov reps with lobbying feed and the media through advertising dollars. Google “cholesterol hoax” and start following links.

  • Use egg whites for glue.

    Years ago I was with friends at a restaurant where we used to “hang out” now and then. While there late one afternoon I met a man who had immigrated years earlier to the US from Hungary, and we sat down to chat and have dinner. When my salad arrived, I took my fork and began carefully removing those slices of that awful, toxic cucumber I had forgotten to tell the waitress to omit from my salad – you know, that stuff that makes you burp toxic cucumber gas for hours after you swallow even the smallest piece…like the same kind of effect you can have with pimentos and bell peppers as well. I’m sure any normal human life-form would know what I’m talking about here.
    Anyhow, this fellow looked at what I was doing and asked, “What are you doing?” Well, he being originally a foreigner, I could understand his ignorance, so I began to explain the above-described toxic poisoning effects (the kind of stuff Big Pharma plays down about their patented, chemical drugs by saying those are merely “side effects” so you don’t need to worry – even though those “side effects” may cause something as attention-getting as, say, “DEATH”, they’re still merely “side-effects”…uh…FDA approved, of course!). Anyway, he looked at me for a moment, sort of like he hadn’t understood my English exactly, and I thought I might have to be more patient with this man and explain what I had said in simpler English, as I didn’t speak a word of Hungarian.
    And then he just started in explaining, slowly and carefully and to the point, so I could get it, the realities of cucumbers, and in pretty good English that any kinder-garden student (like myself, obviously…) could understand. He explained that cucumbers were the very best survival food you can find. He said that cucumber seeds are small and that they grow in almost any soil, and that they grow quickly and produce lots of cucumbers from very few seeds. He went on to explain that cucumbers contain practically every nutrient the human body requires, that they are like a complete, all-in-one food – a true gift, a blessing, from nature. They depended on them constantly when times were so bad during the Hungarian Revolution. And he also told me that, along with the seeds, you need to keep a supply of salt, and when you pick a cucumber to eat it, you should first slice it into thin slices and smear a thin layer of salt over the surfaces and let it sit for a while to marinate. He said that the salt will neutralize the chemical in a cucumber that many people react to.
    Now, years ago, I decided to take a position with myself, that everything I “believe”, even my most fundamental beliefs in God and in Life, etc., which are pretty strong, and I think with substantial evidence of their veracity, were on the table for all challenges, because, if I were willing to set my opinions aside, and the emotions we all have that guard our opinions so readily (you know, the stuff that makes people run off and form lynch mobs), and listen to a clear, logical explanation that could disprove something I “believed” in, then that belief, possibly, was merely a false belief, not a fact. I “knew” how toxic cucumbers were, and how awful it was to eat one, but I didn’t know but a fraction of the truth and nothing of the good aspects of cucumbers. I love learning new things, and I’m glad I listened to this man’s wisdom.
    He told me another interesting story that evening. During the Revolution, Russia sent a lot of tanks into Hungary to fight the Hungarian Patriots. One day, just outside their town, one line of Russian tanks approached a cross-road slightly ahead of another line of their tanks on the other road, so the second line of tanks stopped short of the cross-road to allow the first line to pass. One of the Hungarian Patriots ran out of hiding as the last of the first line of tanks passed him some ways back from the cross-road, and he stuck up a pole on the back of the last tank that had a Hungarian national flag on it. As that last tank of the first column passed through the intersection, the commander of the second column, upon seeing the Hungarian flag, ordered his men to fire on the first column. The ensuing battle lasted most of the afternoon, and ended up destroying from both columns 28 Russian tanks. So, apparently, cucumbers are extra good in survival situations, because they stimulate bravery and make people, at least some people, more clever, energetic, and resourceful…probably the ones who need to use the salt.

    • I think you are full of it.
      I can eat a cucumber like eating an apple with no issues.
      Toxic cucumbers? Lies. All lies.

  • egg whits will help rapidly heal burns

  • Perhaps a bit on the suitability of powdered eggs as a viable alternative or not, would round out the discussion. Just a thought.

  • My doctor says, eat the yolks and discard the white….. seems a new egg study suggests that eating 1 1/2 yolks a day lowers your bad cholesterol. I just about hugged my doctor at that point!! I was raised on eggs and garden food… soooo happy!!

    • Violet…your comment brought to mind; even my little dog will only eat cooked yolk and not touch the white

  • I’m not good at raising chickens, so I grow rabbits. Trading meat and fur for eggs and feathers works great in a community. 🙂 O and I DO use my egg shells on top of the ground since slug and snails don’t like them.

  • Is there such a thing as powdered and/or dried eggs that will keep for a longer time?

  • Having been raised on a chicken farm we had plenty to do with eggs. When the hens laid before they went to special farms for that we would have to pick eggs by hand and often had cases of eggs a day. Did you know you can freeze eggs? Minus the shell of course! My Mom would scrabble up a dozen or so and put them in a “ziplock” bag and freeze them laid out flat. When she needed some for a receipt she would measure out a quarter of a cup for one egg. If we were short on eggs it would all get defrosted for breakfast. She did often add it to the powdered eggs she traded vegetables for with a relative.

  • Hi Theresa
    Thank you so much for your advice and hope to keep in in Kenya Africa and i have started to keep chickens.for now i have 18 laying hens and two cocks.

    kindly help me with the tips for a successful poultry farming.i envisage to have 500 chickens.


  • One bit of advise, be careful feeding egg shells back to your chickens, as they may start to eat their eggs after laying them. I have had this happen. I had to stop giving the hens the shells.
    Also, floating eggs is one way of testing eggs. Just because an egg floats doesn’t mean it is bad, it means over 3 weeks old. If you candle an egg, you can see the yolk and you’ll know if it is bad. Of course you can always crack the egg into a bowl and look at it. Most bad eggs are easy to find because they smell awful. Trust me! You probably will not need to float, candle, or crack it!

  • I am not sure if this is true or not, but just recently read that you can use the egg shells as a source of calcium for humans, if needed, such as nursing mothers in a survival situation. You need to boil the shells for 10 minutes, dry and powder. The powder then can be ingested in whatever means you can tolerate, such as mixed in a spoon of jam.

  • Pretty good article. Keep in mind that a natural conditions and depending on the climate chickens will stop laying over winter for a while. Also, floating is not a good way to determine if an egg is bad. Most supermarket eggs will float. When storing eggs without refrigeration flip over their container every day. That keeps the yolks from settling and the eggs stay edible for a long time. How to know they’ve gone bad? Simply crack one open and you’ll know right away

  • Ducks are much better and they taste the same (the eggs) as well as some breeds lay for much longer and produce larger eggs yum

  • In a survival situation, feeding your dog(s) will be an issue. Dogs serve many useful purposes and keeping them healthy is important as well as treating them as members of the family. (people who leave dogs outside, on chains or ropes, in dog houses, etc. are despicable. Anyway, dogs love eggs, hard soft scrambled and its a good easy food for them when there isn’t a local grocery with dog food. Also eggs are great for people like me who do not like eating the flesh of other people, whether 2 feet or 4.

  • When I started eating eggs, my life changes. All the chicks wanted me and I could lift a refrigerator over my head.