Speaking of eggs, balut is a soft-boiled duck egg, where the embryo is almost fully formed--feathers, bones, and all. The egg is cracked open, the soupy liquid drunk, and the fetus dug out to eat. It's popular in the Philippines, Laos, and other Southeast Asian countries.Why should this be a problem? Don't we know from our political debate that there is absolutely no distinction between an egg at day one of fertilization, and an egg about to hatch?
What's being done: Thanks to domestic foodie demand, this "snack" is available in the U.S. too. Dekalb Market in Brooklyn hosted its first ever balut-eating contest this summer--and the winner downed 18 embryos in 5 minutes.
What to eat instead: Regular eggs (organic, cage-free, preferably my-farmer-sold-them-to-me eggs, that is) will give you a protein fix without the feathered fetus.
Besides, you'd eat the adult duck, and you'd eat the egg in an earlier state. Why so queasy about eating the almost-hatched fetus? What makes it the one phase that's worthy of protection -- or that makes it the one phase that it is revolting to kill and eat?