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The Difference Between White Eggs and Brown Eggs

Updated on March 21, 2018

Eggs are a must-have in every kitchen. The nutritious source of B vitamins not only stands alone as a dish, but it's also a versatile ingredient that people from all over the world use in everyday cooking.


Eggs are one of the most accessible food items on the market, with every grocery store providing the option to choose between white eggs and brown eggs. But did you ever stop to think that aside from the color, is there even a distinct difference between the two? Let's discuss.


Brown Eggs or White Eggs?


Brown eggs are thought to better for you because they are far more abundant in nutrients than those of the white variety. On the other hand, there are consumers who believe the exact opposite. So what's the legitimate difference between brown and white eggs? Truth be told, an expert says that nutrition-wise — there is none. The only game changer is what the egg-laying hen eats and how it is raised.


Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations


America’s egg production is up by 5% since 2015, totaling at 102 billion. As much as we'd like to say that each one came from pastured poultry, the large number is actually made possible through the use of industrial agriculture, otherwise known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).


How the Chicken is Raised Matters


The eggs laid by pasture-raised chickens may have a different or even better taste compared to those of CAFO-raised chickens, primarily because caged hens are fed the same non-nutritious grain every day.


Just imagine living in a cage from the day you were born until your last breath. CAFO-raised chickens are mass producers of eggs. They live their lives in an arrangement of endless rows of identical cages — given zero chances to frolic in pastures. Makes you want to stop buying eggs of this variety, doesn't it? But here's how you can choose the better alternative.


It's All in the Yolk


Instead of eating healthy grains or worms found in pastures, almost all CAFO-raised chickens are fed grains supplemented with antibiotic-treated vitamins.


The best way to tell if your eggs are pastured is by observing the color of the yolk. Bright orange yolks are produced by hens that are given the freedom to forage. This color indicates a well-balanced and healthy chicken diet, resulting in an egg with excellent nutritional value. In contrast, yolks that radiate a pale yellow color indicate that they came from caged hens.


Of course, you can't conduct your analysis and crack open an egg inside a grocery store. One way to determine whether the eggs are from pastured or CAFO-raised hens is to do your research and purchase products from suppliers who swear to be 100% organic.


Are Eggs Really Bad for You?


Contrary to popular belief and previous studies, eggs are an excellent source of lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, meaning they are not the leading cause of heart disease we all thought they were. A large egg has an estimated 186 milligrams of cholesterol, all of which is in the yolk. So, yes, you can definitely have an egg and enjoy the yolk, too!


Always Choose Organic


The next time you go grocery shopping for eggs, don't worry too much about what's on the outside. Whether white or brown in color, just be sure that they are organic. Remember that eggs are an abundant source of protein, vitamins, and antioxidants, so make sure to feed you and your family the best variety available.


© 2018 Fredda Branyon

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