We occasionally get asked the question, “Since brown eggs cost more at the grocer, are they more nutritious?” The answer is “NO!” Commercial egg producers often try to set apart eggs with labels like “free-range” or “cage-free” by having brown egg laying hens. They look different, so, to the average consumer, they must be different, right? It’s just a brilliant marketing ploy, and nothing more.
I was making deviled eggs the other day, and thought it was a good example. Notice in my photo, I have all sorts of colored eggs….brown, white, cream, tan, green, bluish, speckled, you name it! The color is only tinting and only on the outside of the shell. In fact, if you scrub, most of the tint will come off! Once peeled, you can’t tell the difference. Even the yolks look the same. The grey on the outer edge of my yolks simply means I steamed them a bit too long.
Now, I should mention that there ARE differences in the make-up of different type of poultry eggs. For example, a duck egg is well known for being better for baking, while a turkey egg has a milder flavor. Like chickens, however, the differences in nutritional content have nothing to do with color of these birds or their eggs, but everything to do with diet and management factors. In fact, to my knowledge all turkey eggs are the same color, as those birds haven’t been so carefully selected for egg tint like chickens have.
So there you have it. An egg is only as nutritious as the hen’s diet. If you want more nutritious eggs, buy from a pastured poultry supplier….whether it be chicken, duck, turkey, or whatever. Even in winter, we give our hens leafy green hay to keep up their chlorophyll intake, which contributes to those nice looking yolks and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.