Food waste is a growing problem around the world. Up to 40% of all food grown goes uneaten. Much of that food is actually perfectly good for eating, such as those strawberries that went bad in your fridge, or a field of melons left in the field because harvesting isn’t profitable.
Although these things are a big problem, many of us are careful about our food waste. We eat all our food, or find a way to make use of it. Some particular scraps are a little bit trickier than simply adding it to a soup or using in some other way. Egg shells are one of these.
Egg shells are inedible, but you don’t have to throw them away. By baking them and grinding them, you can turn those eggshells into a useful product that can be used to make your own sidewalk chalk, supplement pets, or improve your garden. Here’s how to upcycle your eggshells.
Save Your Shells
It’s a little wasteful to turn your oven on just to bake one eggshell at a time, but you can leave them drying in a jar or other location until you have enough to bake a tray. Just rinse them before drying them so that there is no egg white residue left on them. Egg shells will dry out on their own, but baking makes the more brittle, so that they can be ground into a fine powder.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. This should be long enough to get them nice and brittle. The goal is merely to get them dry and brittle, so if you want to pop them in while you’re warming up the oven for something else it won’t cause any harm.
Crush and Grind Them
The next step is to make your eggs into a fine powder. First, break them up into smaller pieces (they should crunch easily) so they will fit easier into a grinder. You can use a mortor and pestle for the fine grinding, but the fastest way is to use a coffee grinder.
The result is a fine powder that smells a lot like burnt hair when you first grind it. The smell does dissipate, and you can use this powder as a calcium supplement for animals or the garden, or for a number of different crafts.