We all go, some later than others. I can’t imagine living to 115, or eating three raw eggs a day, but according to a New York Times profile of Emma Morano, she believes her age and egg diet are linked.
At 115 years and nearly three months, Ms. Morano is the oldest person in Europe, the fifth oldest in the world and one of only a handful of people whose lives have straddled three centuries.
In her time, she has watched Italy evolve from a monarchy to a republic that spawned nearly 70 governments in seven decades, with a 20-year foray into Fascism in the middle. She survived two world wars, and the hardship of their aftermath; years of domestic terrorism, and years of economic prosperity that transformed Italy from an agrarian economy to one of the world’s most industrialized nations.
Ms. Morano has no doubts about how she made it this long: Her elixir for longevity consists of raw eggs, which she has been eating — three per day — since her teens when a doctor recommended them to counter anemia. Assuming she has been true to her word, Ms. Morano would have consumed around 100,000 eggs in her lifetime, give or take a thousand, cholesterol be damned.
She is also convinced that being single for most of her life, after an unhappy marriage that ended in 1938 following the death of an infant son, has kept her kicking. Separation was rare then, and divorce became legal in Italy only in 1970. She said she had plenty of suitors after that, but never chose another partner.
Assuming the prevalence of Salmonella in Italian eggs is the same as the U.S. (and Italy has had their share of outbreaks linked to eggs), Ms. Marano probably has been exposed to the pathogen 5-10 times.