When it comes to egg colour, many people have a preference for either brown or white. Since there is a preference, there has to be some difference between the two right? Some people tend to believe that brown eggs are healthier than white eggs. That being the case, some people find white eggs to be cleaner than brown eggs which results in better taste.
So is there any actual difference between white eggs and brown eggs? Apart from the colour of the shell, is one considered healthier or tastier than the other?
This article will aim to answer your question about the difference between white eggs and brown eggs. We will look into whether one is truly healthier than the other and will also consider the taste difference between these eggs.
Brown Eggs or White Eggs: Which is Healthier?
Many a time, people who tend to choose brown eggs over white eggs do so because they think that brown eggs are healthier than white eggs. They find brown eggs to be more natural and link white eggs to artificial selection.
However, when it comes to the truth of the matter, all eggs are nutritionally similar. This means the colour of the egg doesn’t really impact the healthiness of the egg. Both brown and white eggs are equally healthy, loaded with plenty of vitamins, minerals and high-quality protein.
In fact, scientists actually conducted studies to figure out whether brown eggs are healthier than white eggs. In their finding, they too uncovered that the colour of the shell played little role in the nutrient content of the eggs. All in all, the studies concluded to the fact that the shell colour didn’t really affect the nutritional content of the egg.
However, it was found that though the colour of the shell didn’t really impact the nutritional value of the egg, various other factors did affect its nutrient profile.
For instance, the environment in which the hen was raised had a major impact. Hens that were allowed to roam in sunshine contained 3 to 4 times more vitamin D in the eggs than the hens that were raised inside.
Similarly, hens that were fed an omega-3 fatty acids rich diet produced eggs that contained higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Hence, though the shell doesn’t dictate the healthiness of the egg, various other external factors do account for changes in the nutrient profile of the egg.
The Taste Test: Does the Colour of Egg Impact Taste?
Taste varies from person to person, which is why we see a segment of the population who swear by the fact that brown eggs taste better, while the other segment of the population feels that white eggs actually taste better.
However, much like the difference in the nutritional value of the eggs, there is no real difference in the taste between brown eggs and white eggs. This does not mean that all eggs taste the same. Even though the colour of the shell does not define the taste of the egg, various other factors does influence taste.
Type of feed, the freshness of the egg and more particularly how the egg is cooked will all define the taste of the egg. It is known that hens that are fed a diet rich in fat will produce eggs that have more flavour than those hens that were fed a low-fat diet. If the hen was given feed that contained fish oil, then chances are that the eggs they produce will have a more fishy taste.
The flavour of eggs varies from home-raised hens to conventional hens. This is because the diet between the two types of hens vary, as a result of which, the flavour of the eggs will vary.
Another reason for changes in flavour is the storage time of the eggs. The longer the eggs are stored, the greater the chances of the eggs developing an off flavour. If you store the eggs in a stable, low temperature as in a refrigerator, it is more likely that they will preserve their flavour for a longer period of time.
At the end of the day, white eggs come from hens that have white feathers, while brown eggs come from hens with brown feathers. The colour of the hen’s feathers doesn’t really impact the flavour of the egg, it is other external factors that lead you to believe that one colour of egg tastes better than the other.
Why are Brown Eggs More Expensive Than White Eggs?
If brown eggs and white eggs have no real difference in healthiness and taste, then why is one more expensive than the other? White eggs tend to be cheaper than brown eggs in almost all stores.
Due to the fact that brown eggs are more expensive than white eggs, many people are inclined to believe that brown eggs are healthier. After all, if they are more expensive, it must be because they contain more vitamins. However, this is not the reason for the price gap.
In the past, brown laying hens were larger in size and laid fewer eggs in comparison to white laying hens. Due to the fact that there was a lower number of brown eggs, they had to be sold at a higher price to meet the demand.
Today, brown eggs and white eggs have similar production costs. However, brown eggs come with a higher price tag due to the fact that brown-feathered hens are larger in size and have a greater appetite. They simply require more feed.
The variance in price could also be linked to the fact that free-range or organic eggs tend to be brown rather than white. However, if you go to believe that conventional brown eggs are healthier because they cost more, you would have been misled. They cost more because historically, brown eggs weighed more than white eggs and brown-feathered hens were larger and ate more feed.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Eggs
Now that you have come to realise that the colour of the egg should not really be a factor in your choice of eggs, it is worth addressing the various factors that should be considered when choosing eggs.
Based on the types of eggs that are available, there are various things that you should take into account when buying eggs. Here are a list of labels for eggs and what they mean.
Though you may be inclined to think all-natural eggs are healthier than other eggs, once again you are being misled by a label. The term ‘natural’ is not regulated in the US for it cannot be defined.
As a result of the lack of definition, all-natural or naturally raised eggs are no different to any other egg. It is just a label that is intended to make the eggs look healthier than they are.
When you consider the eggs that are bought from local farms, these eggs are usually the freshest. These eggs come from hens that live in a more natural environment in comparison to larger-scale factory farm setups. They have plenty of access to sunshine, hence the eggs usually have more nutrient value.
The diet of these local hens is varied in comparison to conventionally raised hens, which as mentioned will affect the nutrient profile of the eggs. For instance, local hens that have access to grass as well conventional feed will produce eggs that are higher in levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.
When it comes to local farms, hygiene regulations are not as strict as commercial flocks, hence be sure to go with a reliable source that follows good care and hygiene practices.
Omega-3 Enriched Eggs
Hens that are fed a diet enriched with omega-3 fatty acids usually lay eggs that contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acid content is much higher in these eggs, making them a healthier choice.
Omega-3 fatty acids are rather limited in the human diet, hence sourcing them from eggs become a great way to attain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids bring with them various health benefits such as lowered triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure. They are great for cardiovascular health.
Due to the various health benefits of omega-3 fats, eggs that are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids are considered healthier than conventional eggs.
Free-range eggs have a greater amount of vitamin D due to the fact that they have continuous access to the outdoors.
The hens have a better quality of life and produce eggs that have greater nutritional value in comparison to conventional eggs.
When it comes to conventionally raised hens, hens are housed indoors in very small, individual cages. Cage-free hens are housed in an open building or room and don’t use the concept of the cage.
That being the case, they are raised indoors and don’t have access to the outdoors or sunlight. The room or open building can get crowded and there is not much of a difference in what these hens are fed. As a result of this, though the quality of living for cage-free hens are better, nutritionally, they don’t lay eggs that are of greater nutritional value than conventional eggs.
Organic eggs are laid by hens that have year-round access to the outdoors. Further to this, they are laid by hens that are not given antibiotics or hormones.
Organic means that antibiotics are only used if medically it becomes a necessity. Low doses of antibiotics are often fed with the feed and water to conventional hens. In organic farms, antibiotics are not fed as such for it could lead to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Though there is no certified evidence that organic eggs are healthier than conventional eggs, organically raised hens do have access to more sunshine, which means they will lay eggs with a higher vitamin D content. Further to this, organically raised hens enjoy a better quality of life in comparison to conventional hens, which is a point of consideration for many people.
Eggs can be a great addition to the diet and bring with them various health benefits. There are a variety of ways you can cook and prepare eggs, which makes them really versatile. Though you may have previously thought the colour of the eggs held the answer to the nutritional content of the egg, you now know better.
The nutrient content of the eggs is based on various factors such as the feed fed to hens and the environment in which the hens were raised. The colour of the shell has little to do with nutrient value.
The colour of the shell defines the breed of the hen that the egg came from. Brown eggs come from brown feathered hens which are usually larger and have a larger appetite. As a result of this, brown eggs are more expensive than white eggs. Do not be misled, they are not more expensive because they are healthier, but due to a slight variance in production cost.
With everything said and done, after reading this word to word, we hope you have a better idea about the difference between white eggs and brown eggs, or rather the lack of difference between the two. We aimed to answer your question once and for all, so you know for certain, that it doesn’t really matter whether you pick the brown egg or the white egg.