Maybe you’ve found yourself standing in the dairy section of the grocery store aisle recently, pondering a few big questions. Why is the price of eggs so high? What is the difference between cage-free and non-cage-free eggs?
Or, perhaps, what’s the difference between a white egg and a brown egg?
It’s a question that likely has crossed the mind of many a shopper but still one that not too many seem to know the answer to. Is there a true difference when it comes to brown vs white eggs – or is it just a matter of color?
Is one healthier than the other? What should you consider when you’re making this purchasing decision?
There’s a lot to learn, and luckily for you, we’re able to walk you through it. Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know about brown and white eggs.
Understanding Chicken Egg Color
The supermarket tends to sell many different options of both white and brown eggs, so it would be easy to assume there must be some major difference between these two egg varieties.
The truth, however? There’s not too much of a difference at all. The reality is that chicken eggs can come in all sorts of different colors – including colors not often seen on the shelves of your local grocery store.
In addition to white and brown, there are even blue-green eggs that chickens commonly lay. However, because of this somewhat strange-looking color, you’ll not as often see them being sold on store shelves. However, olive egger chickens are beloved by many in the farming community.
It’s often only certain breeds of chickens (the Araucana, for example) that tend to lay strange-colored eggs.
These different eggshell colors have to do with the pigment that the hen produces in their body. Hens have different compounds in their body that result in different pigment creations. Even within the same species and breed of chickens, the lean towards one pigment or another might differ.
It’s a matter of genetics at an entirely close level. In addition, things like stress, diet, and environment might end up contributing to the color of the eggs that a hen might lay.
However, it’s likely that these kinds of changes might impact shade, but not cause a hen to lay an entirely different color egg.
Are White and Brown Eggs Different?
So, now we understand why white eggs and brown eggs come to be. However, that doesn’t give us possibly the most helpful piece of information – is one better than the other for us? How are they different?
The answer might surprise you.
The reality is that outside of the change in pigmentation, there’s not much of a difference between white and brown eggs at all. Many people who buy brown eggs do so because they think that brown eggs are healthier, but they don’t really differ in nutritional quality when compared to white.
Brown and white eggs are good for you. They contain vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein. They’re also generally low in calories. This is true no matter which color egg you have decided to purchase at the store.
If there is any differentiation in value from egg to egg, color isn’t the deciding factor. Brown eggs and white eggs will offer the exact same health benefits and the exact same taste.
Our idea that there is something different between a white and brown egg is all a matter of perception – nothing more, perhaps maybe some clever marketing on behalf of large egg sellers.
What Will Impact Egg Nutritional Value?
What will make an impact on egg nutritional value, then, if not color? The environment that the hen is in can have a big impact.
Let’s look at a simple answer. Did you know that a hen that is allowed to roam free in the sunshine will provide a massive amount more vitamin D than a hen that was conventionally raised and kept in a coop?
The type of feed provided to a hen can have an impact on the nutritional quality of its eggs as well. Hens raised on better diets will produce eggs with a better nutritional value.
When trying to pick healthy eggs out at the market, you can focus less on what the color of the eggs might mean and more on how a hen was treated during their time alive.
Buying cage-free eggs, for example, would be the smarter move if you were really invested in ensuring you were getting the best from your breakfast choice.
A hen that lives outside a cage tends to get more exercise and sunlight, and have a better diet – all of which produce more nutritious eggs. Inversely, a hen that is kept in a small cage for most of its life will not get to enjoy these benefits. As a result, the eggs they produce will be less nutritious as well.
Learning About Brown vs White Eggs
Have you been stumped at the supermarket when reading about brown vs white eggs? You’re not alone.
However, you might be surprised to find that there’s very little difference between these two products. The change in pigmentation is just a random genetic happening – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more you can learn about buying healthy egg options.
Have more questions about keeping a healthy diet? Looking to learn more about nutrition? Keep scrolling through our blog for more.