I have always wondered what the difference was between brown and white eggs (if any). I grew up in a home that always seemed to have white eggs, but I have known families and friends that prefer brown. Yesterday, as a test, my husband and I bought brown eggs instead of white. It is not often that we buy eggs, but when we do – we usually buy white. I decided to research the difference… and found the same answers from several websites.
“There is one major, MAJOR difference between brown eggs and white eggs. Brown eggs are brown and white eggs are white. Does that answer your question? No? OK then. According to the Egg Nutrition Board (and who should know better?), “White shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and ear lobes. Brown shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes. There is no difference in taste or nutrition between white and brown eggs.” The people at Crisco (who may know even more than the egg nutritionists) go further to say, “They simply come from two different breeds of chickens. Brown eggs, however, are more expensive because the chickens that lay them eat more than those that lay white eggs.” Among the breeds that lay brown eggs are the Rhode Island Red, the New Hampshire and the Plymouth Rock–all larger birds that require more food. But Bill Finch of the Mobile Registersuggests that brown eggs may have tasted better at one time. He says, “For years, the chickens preferred by commercial growers happened to lay white eggs. A few smart cooks sought out brown eggs because most of the home-reared American flocks, which had access to flavor-enhancing weeds and bugs, happened to lay brown eggs. Commercial egg producers eventually got wise to this. They started raising chickens that laid brown eggs, and charged a premium for them at the store. “But because the white AND brown grocery-store eggs are the result of the same bland commercial diet, their eggs taste exactly the same. Many people still apparently don’t realize they’ve been duped at their own game.” I hope this lays this matter to rest. ” —- straightdope.com
“Amy Batal, PhD, assistant professor of poultry nutrition at the University of Georgia, responds: While many people believe that brown eggs are healthier than white eggs, the color of the shell has nothing to do with quality or nutritional value. Egg color is determined by the breed of the hen. Breeds with white earlobes lay white eggs, while breeds with red earlobes lay brown eggs. Consumer preference drives the demand for egg color: Americans prefer their eggs white, which is why you’ll see row after row of white eggs at the supermarket. Europeans, however, favor brown eggs. What’s more important than egg color is freshness. Eggs will keep for up to five weeks, but their quality declines with time. To enjoy the best flavor at home, use eggs that are less than a week old for baking, poaching, or frying. Eggs that are more than a week old are best for deviled eggs and hard-boiled eggs–shells peel easier off older eggs.” —- eatbetteramerica.com
So, I guess it doesn’t really matter. Maybe we’ll stick with our white eggs… or maybe we’ll branch out and buy brown. Who knows… but what I do want to know now is: What came first, the chicken or the egg? Mwuah, ha, ha.