Wednesday, June 10, 2009

White Eggs versus Brown Eggs


"What's the difference between white eggs and brown eggs?" I hear this question many times and the debates about which is superior nutritionally continue. Well I researched the information and the consensus seems to be that brown eggs and white eggs are equal in nutrition and their difference is merely cosmetic.


According to Emily Cooper, media spokesperson for the American Egg Board, "Eggshell color does not affect an egg’s nutritional value, quality, flavor, cooking characteristics, or shell thickness".


So at this point, the only main difference at this point bewteen brown and white eggs is price. Brown eggs tend to be more expensive. From www.chow.com:


"Hens that produce brown eggs are larger than white-egg-producing hens, and require more feed and care; that extra expense is passed on to the consumer. Although it might be cheaper to raise white-egg-producing hens, brown eggs continue to sell well, so they’re still a smart business choice for farmers."


And what determines an egg's shell color?


It’s a widespread belief that hens with darker feathers and red earlobes produce brown eggs, while hens with white feathers and white earlobes produce white eggs. Kenneth E. Anderson, professor and poultry extension specialist at North Carolina State University, says it’s not an absolute rule, though he does acknowledge that most hens with white earlobes produce white eggs, and most hens with red earlobes produce brown eggs. Ultimately, eggshell color is a matter of a chicken's genetics.
Hen breeds are predisposed to produce a certain color egg, says Clint Hickman, an owner of Hickman's Family Farms. Which breed of hen will lay which color egg is pretty much well known in the industry: White Leghorns are the most popular breed used to lay white eggs, and Rhode Island Reds are most often used for laying brown eggs. (from www.chow.com)


To see what color eggs other hens lay, check out this link: http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

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