The discarding of egg yolks in some African nations is a prime example of why recommendations concerning health and nutrition need to be specifically targeted and well-defined, said Grainne Moloney, UNICEF’s senior adviser for early childhood nutrition.

Speaking webinar, “Launch of the U.N. Nutrition discussion paper on livestock-derived foods and sustainable health diets,” Moloney said some public health campaigns have been initiated that speak about the potential risks some people may face as a result of the consumption of egg yolks.

As a result, in some parts of Africa, including the areas that are food insecure, people are discarding egg yolks. Better communication is needed, she said, because many of those who are discarding them are not in the group that needs to be cautious about egg consumption.


“This is the worry about targeted public health promotions (aimed for) certain populations and certain risks, and being applied to everybody,” Moloney said.

“Obviously, in the case of prevention of all forms of malnutrition, eggs are a vital source of nutrition for young children, providing essential micronutrients and proteins, so certainly we would not be encouraging any discarding of the yolks. I think it’s up to us as the public health community, to make sure that when these messages are going out, that they are targeted to the population that it’s intended for, and those who are at risk, and not to everybody,” said Moloney.

Other panelists to speak at the webinar, held on June 9, included Lora Iannotti, associate professor, Washington University; Joyce Njoro, lead technical nutrition specialist, IFAD, and a member of the United Nations Nutrition Steering Committee; Emma Naluyima Mugerwa, innovative farmer, One Acre Limited; Lana Weidgenant, AT2 Youth vice chair; and Martina Otto, head of cities and lifestyle, U.N, Environment and member of the U.N. Nutrition Steering Committee.