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Japan Is Developing Eggs with White Yolks

The eggs—known as kometsuya, or "rice luster"—come from a poultry farm in the town of Otofuke, Hokkaido. There, the hens feast on a feed made of 68 percent rice.
Foto von aidanmorgan via Flickr

The biggest weird news out of Japan this week is the opening of a museum dedicated to the history of the toilet seat, operated by none other than toilet giant Toto. Visitors there will be able to take in more than 900 porcelain thrones, from the company's first flush toilet to its latest models that incorporate heated seats and built-in speakers.

Yes, speakers. For a shitter.

Anyway, such momentous news surely eclipsed the announcement that some of the country's poultry farmers are hard at work producing all-white eggs—yolk included.


READ: Japan Is Making Eggs That Smell Like Fruit

Perhaps this doesn't come as too much of a surprise in a land where you can find eggs that intentionally smell and taste like citrus. In the case of those eggs, an producer in Kochi Prefecture began feeding his chickens yuzu rind, which ultimately perfumes the eggs.

In the case of the white-on-eggs, farmers are reportedly providing their hens with a diet composed largely of rice, rather than corn.

According to The Japan Times, this comes on the heels of the Japanese government's recent push for farmers to use rice as livestock feed in an effort to boost the country's rice production.

The white rice might not produce an entirely alabaster yolk, but rather "yolks that are close to white," the paper reports.

The eggs—known as kometsuya, or "rice luster"—were developed by the Takeuchi poultry farm in the town of Otofuke, Hokkaido. There, the hens feast on a feed made of 68 percent rice.

The kometsuya have been locally available for a couple of years, but demand is slowly increasing. One Tokyo-based shop specializing in Hokkaido products reported that it sold 51 six-packs of the eggs—each priced at 432 yen, or about US $3.50—in July.

Exactly why Japanese people would want ghostly eggs is a bit of a mystery, though; the Japan Times notes that the eggs are seeing a boost in popularity "amid growing public consciousness about food safety." Because most conventional chicken feed is comprised of imported corn, some Japanese apparently believe that locally grown rice makes for a healthier egg.

"In the not-too-distant future, white sunny-side ups will be part of the daily cuisine for Japanese," an official from the Tokiwa agricultural cooperative for poultry farming told the paper.

But what is a sunny-side up egg without a golden yolk? Maybe we should start calling those "snowy hellscape-side up" instead.