Brown vs White Eggs — Is There a Difference?

Many people have a preference when it comes to egg colour.

Some people believe brown eggs are healthier or more natural, while others feel that white eggs are cleaner or simply taste better.

But are the differences between brown and white eggs more than shell-deep?

This article explores whether one type of egg is truly healthier or tastier.

Eggs Come in Many Colours

Chicken eggs can come in different colours, and it’s common to find both brown and white eggs in the supermarket.

However, many people don’t know what causes eggs to have different colours.

The answer is quite simple — egg colour depends on the breed of the chicken. But while genetics is the main factor that determines egg colour, other factors can have an influence too.

For example, as hens that lay brown eggs age, they tend to lay larger and lighter-coloured eggs.

The hen’s environment, diet and level of stress may also affect shell colour, to some extent.

These factors can make the shade lighter or darker, but not necessarily change the colour itself. The main factor determining colour is still the breed.

Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs?

Often, people who prefer brown eggs do so because they believe brown eggs are more natural and healthy than white eggs.

However, the truth is that all eggs are nutritionally very similar, regardless of size, grade or colour.

Both brown and white eggs are healthy foods. A typical egg contains lots of vitamins, minerals and high-quality protein, all wrapped up into less than 80 calories.

However, scientists have compared eggs with brown shells to those with white shells to see if there is any difference. Several studies have found that shell colour has no significant effect on egg quality and composition.

This means that the colour of an egg’s shell doesn’t have much to do with how healthy it is. The only real difference is the pigment in the shell.

However, there are other factors that can affect the nutritional content of an egg.

The hen’s environment can have a major impact. For example, eggs from hens that are allowed to roam in the sunshine contain 3–4 times the amount of Vitamin D you’d find in eggs from a conventionally raised hen.

The type of feed a hen eats can also affect the nutrient content of her eggs.

Hens fed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids produce eggs that contain much higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than normal. The same effect has been found with vitamin D when chickens eat vitamin-D-enriched fatty acids

SUMMARY: There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. However, a hen’s diet and environment can affect an egg’s nutrition.

Why Are Brown Eggs More Expensive?

Even though brown and white eggs seem to be the same by all measures other than colour, brown eggs still tend to cost more at the store.

This fact has led many people to believe that brown eggs are healthier or higher-quality than white ones.

However, the cause of this price gap is quite different.

In truth, brown eggs cost more because in the past, brown-laying hens tended to be larger and lay fewer eggs than white-laying hens. Therefore, brown eggs needed to be sold at a higher price to make up for the extra costs.

Today, brown-laying hens have nearly the same production costs as white-laying hens. Nevertheless, their eggs still tend to come with a higher price tag.

This may be because specialty eggs, such as free-range or organic, tend to be brown rather than white.

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