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john65pennington's avatar

Do people buy more white or brown chicken eggs?

Asked by john65pennington (29192points) May 12th, 2010

It appears that brown chicken eggs are overlooked and not purchased at grocery stores. the inside of each egg is almost identical. the only difference is the color of the hen that laid them. are white chicken eggs your choice and why? also, if no one buys the brown eggs, what happens to them?

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22 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

I always thought that white eggs were treated to look white.

Personally I opt for brown eggs, but it’s because I have believed that white eggs were dipped/dunked to create that appearance.

To Google I shall go!

MissAnthrope's avatar

I can’t find any concrete numbers, but my money is on white eggs being more popular in the U.S. And the color of the shell is natural and dependent on the breed of chicken. There are even blue and green eggs.

Although there is no significant link between shell color and nutritional value, there is often a cultural preference for one color over another. For example, in most regions of the United States, chicken eggs are generally white; while in the northeast of that country, and in countries as diverse as Costa Rica, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, they are generally light-brown. In Brazil and Poland, white chicken eggs are generally regarded as industrial, and brown or reddish ones are preferred. (source)

MissAnthrope's avatar

I don’t have a color preference because the inside of the egg is the same. I look more for freshness, cage-free, that kind of thing. I’ve never thought about where the unbought eggs go. Hopefully they don’t get thrown away. :(

jeanmay's avatar

When I first saw this question, I thought “white eggs? huh?” But now I see thanks to @MissAnthrope that most U.K eggs are brown. Similarly, I haven’t seen any white ones here in South Korea.

I don’t care what colour they are, so long as they are non-GM, all-natural, organic free-range eggs. I cannot bear to think of battery hens.

RocketSquid's avatar

I rarely see brown eggs when I’m grocery shopping. When I do, I usually ignore them and grab the white eggs out of habit. I just stuck with what’s familiar, I guess.

MissA's avatar

I always buy brown eggs…preferably from happy chickens.

As of late, I’ve been the recipient of eggs from a local historical farm, where each chicken has a name and they roam free, with visitors hand-feeding them. The yolks are a deep golden color, almost amber and they are very rich in taste.

I would opt for these eggs over any other. Don’t know whether their being brown has anything to do with it…or, simply the lifestyle of the chickens.

Have you ever seen a smiling, fluffy chicken? It’s a beautiful thing.

Buttonstc's avatar

That deep golden orange yolk is the direct result of the chicken’s diet and has nothing whatsoever to do with the color of the shell.

It’s very noticeable on cooking shows. Whenever I watch any episode of Nigella Lawson’s show, with eggs being used I’ve always been struck by the depth of yolk color compared to the anemic ones in available in typical supermkets.

Same thing for watching Martha Stewart segments. She raises chickens and feeds them a variety of all types of veggies in addition to the regular commercial feed. They are also free to roam and graze feeding on bugs etc or anything else they can find the way nature designed them to do.

I wish I could locate a convenient farm around here as there is such a remarkable difference in taste.

The shell color corresponds to the color on the inside of each chicken’s ear.

Martha demonstrated this once on some of her Auracana hens who produce eggs with shells of various pastel hues, greens, blues, pale browns, etc.

Sure enough, different chickens had different inner ear colors which the camera zoomed in on. Very interesting.

perspicacious's avatar

I’ve only seen one person pick up brown eggs in the supermarket, and that was my daughter.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I buy all my eggs and meat and poultry through a CSA (community sustained agriculture) and they are all brown (the eggs, that is! The meat may or may not be brown). These brown eggs have a different feel and look than store bought eggs. The yolks are more yellow…nearly orange and they have a more “meaty” taste. That said, I have purchased brown eggs at the store and they are very similar to white eggs. Side by side the eggs from the CSA are different then either white or brown eggs from the store.

Cruiser's avatar

According to Mr. Breakfast there is no nutritional difference in brown or white eggs. White eggs come from White Chickens and guess what….brown eggs come from brown chickens. The reason brown eggs cost more is the brown chickens eat more and cost more to feed so that extra cost is passed on to you.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

That is interesting Cruiser, but brown eggs don’t necessarily cost more in my grocery.

Cruiser's avatar

@Sueanne_Tremendous they are double the cost at mine! But these are “free range” and antibiotic free so I suppose that is the reason for the higher cost. They do taste much better IMO. Seem fresher to me with tastier and brighter yolks.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

@Cruiser : I agree with that. The free range and organic are much more but worth it. Oddly, we can buy brown and white eggs in the same dozen from one grocery and they are priced right around the same as white eggs. These are the brown eggs I referenced above. These browns are nothing like the ones from CSA.

reverie's avatar

Here in the UK, white chicken eggs aren’t really available. They are almost all brown. The only white-ish eggs you might find in a supermarket are duck eggs, which are sometimes white, although they come in a lovely range of pastel colours too (pale brown, pale blue, pale green… lovely!).

I’ve found other differences in chicken eggs around the world, too – here in the UK, I think our eggs are generally a lot larger – our medium eggs are around the size of a US “large” or “very large”. I’m not sure why this is, but having read a lot of cookery blogs I noticed that US eggs seemed a lot smaller, and then I found this Wikipedia page about it.

Where I live, a lot of farms and people who keep chickens and ducks sell their eggs outside their houses at the end of their driveways or at the entrance to their farmyards, so you can just pick up half a dozen eggs and put money in a little box. A few people I work with have chickens and ducks at home, and they send all-staff e-mails around when they have eggs to sell. It’s great – those eggs are definitely the tastiest and largest, with lovely deep orange yolks. Much cheaper than buying from a supermarket, too. Yum!

I’m really happy that the EU is introducing an EU-wide ban on battery farming of eggs in a few years time. A number of major British supermarkets already boycott battery farmed eggs, prior to the ban, which I think is great. There’s simply no need to condone such an obviously inhumane farming practice in this day and age, and many people in the UK already by barn eggs, or free-range eggs already – the difference in price is really not that much.

MissAusten's avatar

I usually buy brown eggs at the grocery store, because the free-range organic eggs are always brown.

When I buy eggs at the local farmer’s market (spring through fall), each dozen is a mix of white, brown, and green. My kids love the green eggs, even though they are the same as the others once you crack them. The eggs from the farmer’s market are, in my opinion, better than the grocery store eggs for reasons others listed above. They are fresher, meatier, with brighter yolks.

Our neighbor is currently building a chicken coop in the field just beyond our back yard. He said he wants to raise chickens not only for the eggs, but to give himself something to do. He won’t be able to use all of the eggs, so will give many of them to us. I’m really looking forward to it, unless the rooster wakes us up at dawn. If at some point in the future I ask how hard it is to kill, pluck, and gut a rooster, you’ll know I cracked from sleep deprivation.

downtide's avatar

In the UK we don’t even get white eggs, they’re all brown. Brits don’t like white ones, apparently.

Ron_C's avatar

@Buttonstc that was a very interesting answer. I didn’t know about the connection between egg color and chicken’s ear. If fact I don’t know how to find their ears. It is surprising to know that some chickens can lay Easter eggs.

Buttonstc's avatar


It’s pretty amazing what one can learn from watching Mahhtha. Eventually you’ll know EVERYTHING. Ha ha.

At least that’s the impression she gives. OCD can be quite useful at times. :)

Ron_C's avatar

What is Mahhtha? Is that an Animal Planet show?

Buttonstc's avatar

It’s an exaggeratedly pretentious and slightly waspish pronounciation of Martha Stewarts name.

I love all the good info provided on the show, but care little for her pretentious personality. That’s just my personal opinion tho. Other, more fanatically inclined people would elevate her to God status if they could. To them she is the epitome of perfection.

Ron_C's avatar

@Buttonstc OH! now it is clear. I kind of admire her. She may have made $50k on insider trading and she went to jail while the guys at the Fed made billions and end up in the government.

Buttonstc's avatar

I agree with you about that part. And to be fair, she handled the whole jail thing with aplomb.

I do genuinely admire her accomplishments. I wasn’t kidding when I said that there are advantages to OCD at times.

But there is just something about her snobbish type of personna that rubs me the wrong way. Thank goodness I don’t have to be irritated by her in real life. If she were my boss or something, I’d choose jumping off a cliff over having to deal with her.

And there are ample numbers of people who have encountered her in one way or another who feel exactly the same. She is definitely a polarizing type of personality. Not many are neutral about her.


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