We're scramblin' up the truth to VERIFY another egg inquiry.
A couple weeks ago, the VERIFY fact checkers at our sister station established the differences between eggs from caged hens versus free-range hens. They concluded that for the most part, the nutritional value of the egg is the same. But, a hen's diet and the amount of sunlight to which it is exposed can affect the vitamin content in the eggs.
Let's crack this case even farther open -- does egg color make a difference in its quality? A dozen white eggs at Harris Teeter cost approximately $1.89 compared to the $2.99 brown eggs. Since brown eggs are more expensive, they must be better, right?
Consumer Reports' explanation is simple. Different breeds of hens lay different-colored eggs. The color does not affect quality, flavor or nutrition.
Healthline drew the same conclusion. People incorrectly believe higher price means higher quality. Brown egg hens tend to be larger and historically lay fewer eggs than white hens. Today, they produce about the same amount. So, what's the deal?
Southern Living consulted a food technologist at the US Department of Agriculture. She explained all eggs start out white. The ones that are genetically programmed to be brown go through an extra development process. They get a "paint job," so to say. White eggs are not programmed for that step.
In forming the brown layer, brown eggs use up more nutrients. Thus, the hens that produce them require more food, and that is what can drive up the egg price.
Also worth noting is that a white chicken can lay brown eggs, and a brown chicken can lay white eggs, so hen color does not matter either.
In conclusion, we verified egg color should not affect taste or quality.