This last weekend I was planning to do some baking so I stopped at my local Kroger to pick up an extra dozen eggs. I buy a lot of eggs, I cook them and use them in baking, and not to mention they are cheap and full of protein and vitamins. But have you ever really noticed all the different kinds of eggs in the grocery store?
You may have noticed there are different sizes of eggs. The size is dependent upon the mass of the egg.
Jumbo- Greater than 2.5 oz. or 71 g
Very Large or Extra-Large (XL)- Greater than 2.25 oz. or 64 g
Large (L)- Greater than 2 oz. or 57 g
Medium (M)- Greater than 1.75 oz. or 50 g
Small (S)- Greater than 1.5 oz. or 43 g
Peewee- Greater than 1.25 oz. or 35 g
Aside from different sizes there are other different kinds of eggs. Does it matter which ones you buy? Are some better than others? I took the time to look at the different types of eggs this particular day, there may be more in your grocery store than you might think!
Pasteurized Eggs: $4.95 a dozen
Due to USDA rules all eggs are pasteurized! The reason you would consider buying pasteurized eggs is for cooking purposes when needing to use raw eggs in dishes like merges and ice cream. They have been heated a little more than your typical egg. The reason all eggs are pasteurized on the outside so salmonella found on the shells Is killed.
Cage Free/Free Range Eggs: $4.49 a dozen
Cage Free/Free-range eggs are laid by hens who have access to nesting boxes, open floor space, perches and outdoor runs. Those called “free run eggs” allow hens to roam freely in a barn. These eggs are higher because the farmer has much more work. Collecting eggs is more of a challenge as is safety and quality of the egg. Eggs raised in this way can come in contact with droppings and dirt. The nutrient content of these eggs is NO different than the nutrient content of eggs of hens raised in conventional cage housing systems.
Eggs naturally contain omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids may potentially help lower blood triglyceride levels which equals out to a healthy heart. These eggs come from hens that are given significantly more flax seed in their diet. If you are looking for a way to get more omega-3′ this may be a good choice for you.
Brown Eggs: $2.89 a dozen
White Eggs: $1.99 a dozen
What is the difference between these two eggs besides $0.90 in price? Nothing but the chicken that laid the egg. There is ABSOLUTELY NO difference between white and brown eggs except for they are laid by two different breeds. If you forget the breeds you can look at a chicken’s earlobe to tell what color of egg it will lay. (Red ear lobe=brown egg, white ear lobe=white egg)
Is your mind blown or what?
Brown eggs are laid by Rhode Island Reds
White eggs are laid by White Leghorns .
All eggs are white inside the hen until the last few hours before it is laid. This is why the insides of brown eggs are white – the egg starts out white, and gradually becomes more colorful. In the last 90 minutes, the egg is all but ready and the cuticle, fluid (also called the bloom) is added. (The cuticle is protects the egg from infection on the inside) This is also when the hen secretes most of the pigments into the shell.
My freshman year I sold eggs at our farmer’s market on campus and each week I would have people come up and say that our brown eggs were healthier, tasted better, baked better etc. In reality they are exactly the same, they just have a more expensive price tag.
Next time you are in the grocery store be sure to take a look at the egg section and see what other kinds of eggs may exist on your shelves.