Sunday, 1 February 2015

On The Egg As The Sun's Light Refracted Into Life

A fine bit of writing on the humble egg, from the excellent book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee:
"...modern science has only deepened the egg's aptness as an emblem of creation. The yolk is a stockpile of fuel obtained by the hen from seeds and leaves, which are in turn stockpiles of the sun's radiant energy. The yellow pigments [of the yolk] also come directly from plants, where they protect the chemical machinery of photosynthesis from being overwhelmed by the sun. So the egg does embody the chain of creation, from the development of the chick back through the hen to the plants that fed her, and then to the ultimate source of life's fire, the yellow sphere of the sky. An egg is the sun's light refracted into life." (p. 69; Emphasis added)
[Image: Altered detail from Plate 1 + scanning-artifact hands from John Ellard Gore (1893) The Visible Universe: Chapters on the Origin and Construction of the Heavens]

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