Ever heard of the Julian code?
No. It’s not The Da Vinci Code‘s lesser known sequel.
Rather, the Julian code is a three digit number that tells you the exact date any egg was laid.
Prefer your eggs in chicken form? Matt Moran shares his secret for roasting the perfect one, on Can’t Live Without. Post continues after audio.
According to eggs.org.au (best domain name ever), the cartons we see on the shelves of Australian supermarkets contain eggs that were laid up to 42 days ago.
That’s six weeks.
All we have to go by, traditionally, is the ‘use-by’ date. Or the even more confusing ‘best before’.
But there’s a better way. And that’s where the Julian code comes in…
The Julian code is a three-digit number that appears either above or below the 'best before' date on egg cartons. And rather than giving you an arbitrary expiration date, it tells you the EXACT date those very eggs were laid.
Instead of suggesting the date by which they should be consumed, it gives you all the information to make an informed decision yourself.
Here's how it works:
The three-digit number - anywhere between 000 and 365 - corresponds to a day of the calendar year.
001 would be January 1st. 365 would be December 31st. That's the day the eggs were laid.
In the photo above? The Julian code is 233. So the eggs were laid on August 21.
It's that simple.
What does this mean?
Well, it's a way to cut through the profit-grabbing egg companies who try and lengthen the shelf-life of their eggs.
And for families around Australia who pride themselves on buying 'farm-fresh' eggs? You might want to reconsider how you go about monitoring that.
You can learn more about the best way to store eggs, here.