Culture Shock of the Day #6


NOTE: These “daily” Culture Shock posts have been much less frequent than I’d hoped they’d be, mainly because I feel really uncomfortable busting out my camera or even my phone (which I can’t even find the transfer cable for, so that’s another stumbling block) in a lot of the places I encounter culture shocks.  I could just describe them with words, but I’m not sure that has any value to my readers.  If you have any thoughts on this problem, please leave a comment.


I have never seen this before. I don’t know if that is because I always just buy the cheap pasteurized white jumbo eggs back home and these are more tenderly cared for, or if this is an example of South African farming being even more mechanized and scary than what we have back home.

[Also, don't worry that the use-by date has passed, Collin took this picture last weekend.]



  1. Yes! We have this here, on all eggs, even free-range ones. I think it’s in case you store them out of the box or something (although why you would do that, I don’t know).

    Side note: you can’t get white-shelled eggs here at all. They kind of freak me out when I go to America. I’m told it’s the breed of chicken that changes the colour of shell, but they look freakishly white to me…

    • It is the breed. Actually chickens that lay brown eggs are larger than the chickens that lay white eggs. American farmers prefer the smaller, white egg-laying chickens because they eat less and take up less space. Also, I’m sure American consumers probably prefer them because they are obsessed with cleanliness and white looks cleaner than brown.

    • I live on a ranch and we have chickens, both white and brown egg laying hens.

      It does vary by breed, and the interesting way you can tell what kind of eggs they lay is by earlobe color. White laying chickens have white earlobes, brown laying hens have red ones (there are some exceptions, but that’s the standard).

  2. They just started doing this recently in Canada, or at least my part of Canada. I thought it was weird too.

  3. I think it’s because they aren’t refrigerated. I was told by our South African professor that eggs there are actually fresher than the ones in the United States because they go from farm to grocery shelf faster. They have a shorter shelf life because they aren’t refrigerated.

  4. Scotland does the same thing and they also don’t keep them in the fridge. Wacky.

    • My travels have probably taught me far less than they should, but one thing they have taught me is that America is THE MOST refrigerated nation in the world. My family is appalled that I keep tomatoes and cheese out of the fridge most of the time. In france they often don’t even refrigerate butter.

      I think a lot of this comes from a lot of the world having smaller places to live than Americans are used to, thus they become accustomed to buying food in much smaller quantities and eating it fresher, thus avoiding refrigeration. But I’ve also wondered sometimes if this comes from America being so big and thus necessitating longer travel times for food — at least decades ago when travel wasn’t so quick. I’m not sure, but I do think it’s fascinating.

  5. Australia too! Though some supermarkets keep them in the fridge and some don’t.

  6. Also, regarding culture shock posts, I think ones without pictures would still be interesting. The image of the armed KFC security guard was very evocative, even without a photo.

  7. This post reminded me of the thing I could never get my American brain to undo during my 3 month stint in Scandinavian during college… The American month/day/year vs. the rest of the world day/month/year. Literally EVERY TIME I would write a date in Europe, I would have to cross it out (or retype). My brain could never break the habit. And when it came to food, my only saving grace at the grocery was when things expired on days after the 12th. I literally would stare at eggs and milk and have to remind myself of the switch.

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