While some people wonder about the existence of aliens or the possibility of time travel, some are haunted by thought with the same level of horror and mystery: the difference between brown and white eggs. But, seriously speaking, it is as valid as the what-ifs of sci-fi fanatics. We think that white eggs make better omelets for it is what we grew up to. We were also made to believe that brown eggs bake the most delicious cakes being it more expensive. We often recognize that brown eggs, being more popular in the market and the movies, are healthier and help more in our diet than white eggs. But sorry to burst your bubble dear, it is not.
Brown eggs are in no way better than white eggs. There is nothing that differs between the two. They both share identical characteristics in nutritional profile, quality, and taste. You might say that brown eggs should be better than white ones because ‘brown is healthy.’ Not necessarily, and it is kind of racist. All jokes aside, the only noticeable difference they have is that brown eggs are more expensive. You ask why? The earlobes. Seriously. The chicken’s earlobes determine the price of its eggs. Feed your mind more as we crack it for you.
The Earlobes Will Tell
You might assume that the color of eggs is dependent on the color of the chicken. You are not wrong. However, there are instances where the eggs’ color is not the same as the color of the chicken’s feather.
Jacquie Jacob from the University of Kentucky’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences claims that leghorns can have various colors of feathers but still lay white eggs, which rejects the feather color assumption. To add, the interesting Araucana chicken of Chile lays green or blue eggs, and yes, it has no blue or green feathers.
USDA Research Food Technologist Deana Jones shares that the most accurate indicator of the egg color of a chicken, however, is its earlobes. Though it might sound unconvincing and hilarious, the method has proved itself over and over again. Combined with the feather color assumption, one could predict where brown and white eggs came from. Brown eggs are laid by brown-feathered chicken with red earlobes, while white eggs are from white-feathered ones with white earlobes. Fascinating, isn’t it?
What’s In The Brown Eggs?
Believe it or not, white and brown eggs contain the same amount of nutrients. One serving of egg packs 70 calories, a decent 6 grams of protein, and cholesterol of 185 milligrams. Whatever is inside the white eggs are also in the brown eggs, for they are not distinct from each other in the first place.
Despite the fact that both eggs are no different from each other, some claim that brown eggs taste better than white eggs. Certainly not. The quality of the feed plays an important role in yielding better tasting eggs. The better the feed quality the chicken is fed with, the richer the taste of its eggs. This means that white eggs could be more delicious than brown eggs and vice versa. Still, this doesn’t change the fact that both eggs have the same nutritional value.
In fact, there exists a grading procedure in which eggs are ranked based on their quality. This shell egg grading by USDA is available to all egg producers who pay for this voluntary service. This helps the consumers determine which eggs to buy and ensure that the quality of the eggs they bought is indisputable. The categorization is as follows:
- USDA Grade AA – obviously the highest quality. It has heavy and stiff egg white, rich and round yolk, and has a clean and flawless eggshell. It is practically the most perfect quality of the egg.
- USDA Grade A – the medium quality. It has all the qualities of Grade AA except that the stiffness or firmness of the egg white is adequate.
- USDA Grade B – Egg white is thinner and the yolk is less round and is wider. The shells are still unbroken but have more or fewer stains.
Grades AA and A are the most common eggs you will find at the store, while grade B is sometimes bought out by baking and other food service companies in bulk. Nevertheless, this grading may be helpful to identify the egg’s quality, but it does not necessarily guarantee that it is safe. For instance, the salmonella content of the egg is not checked by the graders.
So, the next time you shop for cartons of eggs, you better begin looking for those eggs whose mothers were fed with the best quality of feed and those who were raised in a stress-free environment.
So What’s the Difference Between Brown and White Eggs?
According to Alexandra Caspero, R.D., both eggs are of the same standing. There is no indication of brown eggs being better nutritionally for it has the same amount of calories, protein, and vitamin B. Brown eggs owe its health and nutritional reputation all thanks to its color and cost in the market. We have been introduced that anything brown is healthy (i.e. brown rice, potatoes, almonds), but not with eggs. But why are brown eggs more expensive?
The only answer to that question is that brown-feathered chicken costs more in terms of production compared to its white fowl cousin. This explains why white eggs are more common than their brown counterparts, for they are cheaper and more farmer-friendly. These lovely breeds are different from each other, mainly because the red-earlobe chickens are larger than the white-earlobe hens. Being larger and having an amazing appetite, it requires more feed than the white ones. This high value of production is (yes, you’ve guessed it) compensated by its cost in the market. You better start telling your egg-loving pals about this bitter truth you have just learned.
Knowing the difference between brown and white eggs is a knowledge we should all be grateful for. But we should be more uptight on the quality of the chicken that laid those eggs rather than its color. They’re the same, so why bother?