What do you know about eggs? Most people are probably lacking in knowledge about their favorite breakfast food. Most people know that they can be cooked in many ways, they sometimes come cracked from the store and if you want to store them longer, you can hard-boil them.
The director of community outreach and education for Hickman’s Family Farms, Sharman Hickman may help to boost your knowledge of eggs. More specifically, they may be able to help with the debate of why brown chicken eggs or more expensive than white chicken eggs. Hickman says that chicken eggs have different colors because of genetics, not because of nutrition. It is the genetics of the chicken that determines what color the eggshell will be and how much you will pay for them.
Certain pigment genes may be possessed by certain chicken breeds. This is all determined by genetics. During the egging process, there is a natural chemical that coats the eggs and can change the shell into a different color according to Jesse LaFlamme, CEO of Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. It seems as if every egg is white in color when it starts out but eventually, the shells could be brown, white or even blue. LaFlamme says that you can know what color the egg will be by looking at the color of their ear feathers. If you want white eggs, you can choose the Leghorn chicken but if you want brown eggs, you might want to consider the Rhode Island red. For those who are looking for a blue egg, the Ameraucana chicken is a good place to start.
Hickman says that the Leghorn breed is more popular among many farmers because they are very efficient at laying eggs. In breeds that produce colored eggshells, the chickens are typically larger and require more feed and energy to produce eggs. In other words, the chicken breed that lays brown eggs costs more to feed so the eggs are more expensive at the store.
Malina Linkas Malkani, MS, RD, CDN, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also chimes in about the nutritional makeup and how you can determine it by the shell color alone. “Choosing between brown and white eggs is a matter of personal preference,” she says. “But it’s important for people to know that the color of the eggshell is related to the breed of the hen, not the egg’s nutrient content, flavor profile, quality, or shell thickness.”
According to Malkani, who created the Wholitarian™ Lifestyle, the nutrient content of the egg is determined by the diet of the hen that laid the egg. If hens are fed a diet high in Omega threes and vitamin D, they will have more of those specific nutrients in the eggs that they lay.
I guess you really can’t judge a book by its cover, or at least an egg by its shell.