Brown vs. White Eggs: What Is the Difference?

Brown vs. White Eggs

When it comes to egg color, there are many different tastes. There exists a divergence of opinions regarding the preference for brown eggs over white eggs. Certain individuals believe that brown eggs are healthier or more organic, whereas others argue that white eggs are more hygienic or simply more flavorful. But are brown and white eggs different in more ways than just the shell?

This piece looks into whether or not one kind of egg is really better for you or tastes better.

Brown vs. White Eggs

Eggs come in many colors

There are different shades of chicken eggs, and you can usually find both brown and white eggs at the store.

A lot of people don’t know why eggs come in different colors, though.

The answer is easy: the color of the egg depends on the type of chicken that laid it. Some chickens, like White Leghorns, lay eggs with white shells, and Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds lay eggs with brown shells.

They can even lay blue or blue-green eggs. Some chicken varieties, such as the Araucana, Ameraucana, Dongxiang, and Lushi, do this.

The hens make chemicals that give the eggshells their different colors. Protoporphyrin IX is the main color in brown eggshells. The heme is what gives blood its red color.

The main color in blue eggshells is biliverdin, which is also made from heme. That’s the same color that can make bruises look blue-green.

Eggshells from the same breed of chickens may also be different colors, depending on which genes are dominant in each bird.

Even though genes are the main thing that affects egg color, other things can change it.

So, hens that lay brown eggs tend to lay bigger, lighter-colored eggs as they get older.

The hen’s living conditions, food, and amount of stress may also have some effect on the color of her shell.

These things might change the shade’s lightness or darkness, but they might not change the color itself. What makes an egg color different is still the breed.

Which color of egg tastes better?

There is a common debate about whether brown eggs or white eggs taste better. However, when it comes to the actual taste, there is no significant difference between the two. That said, it doesn’t mean that all eggs taste the same.

While the color of the shell doesn’t impact the taste, there are other factors that can affect the flavor of an egg. These factors include the breed of the chicken, the type of feed they consume, the freshness of the egg, and the cooking method used.

The diet of a home-raised hen differs from that of a conventionally raised hen, which can also influence the flavor of the egg. Additionally, the longer an egg is stored, the more likely it is to develop an off-flavor. Storing eggs in a stable, cool environment like the refrigerator can help maintain their flavor for a longer period of time.

These reasons may explain why some people believe that eggs from home-raised chickens taste better than those from conventionally raised ones. Backyard eggs don’t go through the same processing and shipping as store-bought eggs, so they may reach your plate more quickly and taste fresher.

Furthermore, the method of cooking an egg can significantly influence its flavor. For example, a study found that eggs from hens fed fish-oil-enriched feed tasted the same as those fed conventional feed when scrambled. However, when boiled, the eggs from fish-oil-fed hens had a stronger sulfur-like or off-flavor.

So, while there are various factors that can affect the flavor of an egg, the color of the shell is not one of them.

Why are brown eggs more expensive?

Many people believe that brown eggs are healthier or of higher quality than white eggs. In the past, brown eggs were more expensive because the hens that laid them were larger and laid fewer eggs compared to the hens that laid white eggs. This meant that brown eggs had to be sold at a higher price to cover the additional costs.

Nowadays, brown-laying hens have similar production costs as white-laying hens, but their eggs still tend to be more expensive. This could be because specialty eggs, like free-range or organic eggs, are often brown rather than white.

If color doesn’t matter, what does?

There’s no doubt that color doesn’t matter. So what should you think about when you buy eggs?

Let’s take a quick look at the different kinds and what their names mean.

All natural

The US does not regulate the word “natural” because its definition is unclear.

Eggs labeled “naturally raised” or “all natural” are not distinguished from other eggs.


These eggs are certified organic in both the US and the EU. The chickens that produced them only fed organic and non-GMO food.

They must also be able to go outside all year.

Additionally, they have not received any medications or hormones, which is against the guidelines for laying hens.

Use antibiotics only when medically necessary, regardless of the organic label on the food. If not, feed and water often contain low amounts of antibiotics, which can make bacteria resistant to drugs.

At this point, there is no proof that organic eggs are healthier than regular eggs.

Still, approved organic hens likely have a better quality of life, and their eggs probably have more vitamin D because they get more sun.


When used on eggs, the phrase “cage-free” might not mean what it seems to mean.

In the US, conventionally grown hens reside in small, individual cages. Cage-free hens, on the other hand, live in an open room or building.

Even so, hens that don’t live in cages often still have to live in very crowded places where they can’t go outside.

Living outside of a cage might be a little better for the hen. But when it comes to nutrition, cage-free eggs probably aren’t better than regular eggs.


The term “free-range” refers to eggs produced by hens kept indoors but with constant access to the outdoors. This should give the hens a better standard of living.

Exposure to sunshine may also make the eggs healthier, since eggs from hens that have been outside have a lot more vitamin D in them.


Eggs that are high in omega-3s come from hens that eat foods high in these healthy fats. Because of this, the egg has a lot more omega-3 than usual.

Omega-3-enriched eggs offer an alternative source of omega-3 fats, typically absent in significant quantities in human diets. Choosing eggs that are high in omega-3s may be good for your health.

People who ate omega-3-rich eggs every day had lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure, according to new studies.

Women who breastfed and ate two omega-3-rich eggs every day for six weeks had more omega-3 fat in their breast milk, according to a different, older study.

Overall, eggs with more omega-3s may be better for your health than regular eggs.

Backyard and nearby

Backyard groups, or eggs bought directly from small, local farmers, are likely to be the freshest. This is because the hens that lay these eggs usually live in more natural settings and get lots of sun.

Also, backyard hens may not get the same food as conventionally grown hens, which could change the nutritional value of their eggs.

If the hens can get to the grass, this is really important. A 2010 study revealed that hens fed both grass and regular feed produced eggs with higher levels of omega-3 fats and vitamin E.

But backyard flocks don’t have to follow the same rules about cleanliness as commercial flocks. Only buy eggs from local or backyard farms that care for their animals and are clean.

The bottom line

The type of chicken determines the colour of the eggs.

However, both dark and white eggs are healthy in the same way. The only real change is the color of the shell, and perhaps the price.

Despite this, other things, like the hens’ diet and living conditions, do affect the taste and nutrition of eggs.

Next time you buy eggs, make sure you think about these other things too, because the colour of the shell doesn’t tell you everything.

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