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Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs: What’s the Diff?

Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs:  What's the Diff? - MyNaturalFamily.com #eggsWhen I start to think about eggs, the song from the musical Oliver,  (“Food, glorious food…”) starts running through my head, (I think it may have been an Egg Council jingle eons ago) and I begin to wonder about all the different egg choices, but specifically brown eggs vs. white eggs.  (Don’t judge, I know you are curious too, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.  Gotcha there!)  Let me back up a bit and explain why I even started pondering eggs at all.

A few years ago I was doing our weekly Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs:  What's the Diff? - MyNaturalFamily.com #eggsgrocery shopping…at Costco (yes, I really do shop at a bulk store every week), and I really didn’t want to pay the $8 they were charging for a 5 dozen flat of eggs, but I couldn’t just not get eggs.  (How would our cookies get made?)  So I picked up an 18 count container of brown eggs which happened to be a bit cheaper at that moment.  I’d heard they were better for you so I figured it was a win-win.  Until, that is, I opened the container to check for breakages and my 4 year old gasped and looked at me with horror in her eyes.  “Ewww!” she complained…loudly.  Embarrassed, but recognizing a golden moment when I saw one, I decided to make brown eggs a treat rather than punishment.

I opened the box back up and looked at the eggs with her…

Now, if you’ve never really looked at a brown egg before you may not know what I’m talking about, but, brown eggs are quite pretty.  They are a soft mocha-ish brown that Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs:  What's the Diff? - MyNaturalFamily.com #eggslooks just a little pink.  AHA!!  “These are special Princess eggs,” I said.  “See how they’re pink?  We only get to have Princess eggs on VERY special occasions.”  As I went on and on about how pretty they were the look of disgust turned to a smile, and we purchased the eggs excitedly.  The next morning this same daughter (who, by the way, HATED eggs at the time) happily helped me scramble those Princess eggs and ate every bite.  Now every time we go into the store to buy eggs my daughter, who is now 8, still asks for Princess eggs.

As it turns out it was a cheaper buy that day, but not necessarily a healthier one.

The benefits and detriments of eggs have been argued for decades.  Some factions say you should limit your intake to no more than 2 eggs per week; others claim you can have 2 eggs at every sitting and be healthier than ever.  I grew up in a house with a bunch of boys that ate like nobody’s business, and MY mom said no more than 3 eggs at a time.  Since my mom was NEVER wrong, :), I have the 3 egg limit in my house too.  (Before you die of shock that a kid could want more than 3 eggs at a sitting, you should see my 12 year old eat!)

According to the American Egg Board (Oh My GOSH!  I can’t believe I actually typed that with a straight face.)  “Eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D…(contain) Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, (which) help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs:  What's the Diff? - MyNaturalFamily.com #eggsage-related blindness. (and have) 6 grams of protein,” all in one large 70 calorie egg.  (American Egg Board, http://www.incredibleegg.org/)  Those benefits are across the board…there is no difference between brown eggs vs. white eggs…unless you are a princess.

The true difference lies in the color of the hen that does the laying.  Hens with white feathers and white ear lobes (who knew chickens had ear lobes?) lay white eggs, while the red feathered and lobed hens lay brown eggs.  Red hens tend to be a bit larger and consume more food, hence the higher price of brown eggs.   So what about the “Omega-3” eggs?  Those chickens are simply fed a diet higher in Omega-3 fats.  (The jury is still out on whether they actually are any better for you.)  Generally speaking, brown eggs, and white eggs, have the same nutrients, calories, and health benefits.  What matters most is what the chicken are fed.  If the chickens are free-range and are allowed to eat what they want, like grasses and seeds then they will be healthier, regardless of their egg color.  There is more about eggs in this article.

Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs:  What's the Diff? - MyNaturalFamily.com #eggsQuite frankly, I’m glad there’s no disparity between the two.  I like my kids thinking that Princess eggs are really special and I love buying my white eggs in 5 dozen flats.  This way it really is a win-win situation.

I’d love to hear what some of your egg traditions are.  Let me know.  Until then… happy health!

 

(Some blog images from Flickr.com, RGBstock.com, & Wikipedia.com)
 

 

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Comments

  1. Felicity Barnett says

    Thank you for this informative post on eggs! I eat eggs pretty much every day and I have always been curious about this.

    -
    Felicity

  2. Floyd says

    You didn’t mention other colors of eggs. The Araucana chicken eggs that come in shades of green and blue, but the roosters can be nasty and sneaky. Chickens that get to roam yards produce eggs that have darker colored yolks that stand tall, while hens in cages produce eggs that are an anemic pale yellow, and flat.

    • says

      Thanks for the clarification! I’ve also had mint colored eggs. The chickens ate mint and it made the eggs have a mint color and taste a little like mint.

  3. JW says

    My grandmother is healthy at 100 and has bounced back remarkably from several illnesses and surgeries. She is tiny and still likes to cook large meals for family several times a week (with a lot of help), but eats very little of what she spends many hours making for others. Several times a week for both breakfast and dinner she also refuses to eat the delicious, well-prepared meals that we make for her. Instead she goes and makes herself an egg. Aside from simply “nutrition” packed into an eggs, I’m now convinced that there’s got to be something more to them.

  4. Wayne says

    My family used to keep a dozen laying hens in our back yard. They had a hen house, but we just left the door open and let them wander all over the property. They ate everything from ants to grass, and really appreciated getting table scraps. Leftover pasta and ears of fresh corn were their favorite… we figure the pasta looked like worms to them. Speaking of which, those hens would follow me all over the yard as I dug up worms and turned over rocks for their nibbling pleasure. One of the hens was a voracious hunter and would chase down mice and swallow them whole. I once flipped over a rock and was surprised by a large scorpion, but did not have time to react because the hens shredded that scorpion almost before I even recognized it. The fresh eggs were always delicious!

  5. BRETT says

    Get some eggs right from a farm that has pastured poultry. Take one of the store bought eggs and one of the pastured poultry eggs and break both in a pan next to each other. Observe the difference. Then go out and educate yourself on nutritional density. Start with Joel Salatin’s Pastured Poultry Profits. And please never write another article about a subject you are so woefully ignorant .

  6. says

    Eggstroidanary article concerning eggsactly what I had been eggaspperated about and an eggsample of why we should not eggsagerate the benefit of the brown egg over the white egg which would be eggregious if it bans the white egg to eggxile. Eggsexplementary reporting.

  7. Renee Schcuhmacher says

    I raise chickens both because I love them for pets and because I love their eggs. I love my girls as much as my other pets, they are so much fun to watch. LOL One thing you didn’t mention is that there are also other color birds that lay brown eggs. I have a black jersey giant hen who lays brown eggs. And I have 3 lovely hens who lay blue eggs. When I collect my eggs every day it’s like Easter, all shades of brown from light to very dark brown, white, and pale blue to aqua. I, like the other poster, am glad it makes no difference. I enjoy eating them all.

    I am enjoying your natural family blog. Thanks for sharing with us.

  8. Laura says

    I am glad there is no real difference…I think there is a lot that is misunderstood, and many people assume that brown eggs are either healthier or that the chickens are raised more humanely.

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