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The Surprising Difference Between Brown Eggs and White Eggs

Confused by all the options at the grocery store? We can help.

When shopping for eggs, you might notice that the brown eggs almost always cost more than the white ones. Some may think that one type of egg is better than the other, but the truth is they're not very different at all. There is a difference between brown eggs and white eggs, but it's not be all it's cracked up to be. (Get it?)

What's the difference between brown eggs and white eggs?

Eggshells get their color from the breed of chicken they come from. Breeders have found that many white-feathered chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs, and red-feathered chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs. While earlobe color can be a predictor of egg color, it is not always the rule.

For example, one breed of red-earlobed chickens, the Araucana breed, often lays blue eggs, but may also lay eggs that are green, pink, or even lavender, according to Aviculture Europe.

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Why are brown eggs more expensive than white eggs?

Because brown eggs tend to cost more, people assume they are more nutritious and taste better, but that isn't always the case. Brown eggs are more expensive because of the size of the hen that lays them. Red-feathered chickens tend to weigh more than white-feathered chickens. Because larger chickens require more food and land to remain healthy throughout production, higher production costs lead to more expensive products in the end when you're shopping for eggs in the grocery store.

Some people also think that one color shell is harder than the other, or that there are different colored yolks. But in reality, these factors are due to the age and feed of the chicken. The coloring of shells or bird has nothing to do with these factors, so you should go with whichever eggs you prefer (and are in your price range).

Whether you prefer to eat your eggs scrambled, atop a slice of avocado toast, hard-boiled in a salad, or fried atop a burger, you can't go wrong when choosing between brown and white eggs. Both are delicious and nutrition-packed, making them an eggs-cellent choice.

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