Shopping for eggs is one of the biggest challenges, mainly because eggs are one of the most versatile foods. It always comes down to buying brown eggs vs white eggs. Should we really be paying an extra dollar for a different color? What is the key difference that makes brown or white eggs appealing to shoppers? As it turns out, there are some distinctions that set these dairy products apart. 

Shell Color 

candy, egg
Amelia Hitchens

According to registered dietitian Taylor Jones, shell color is based off a few factors, but it is mainly a genetic trait for egg-laying hens. Brown eggs, laid by brown hens, happen to be larger than white eggs. White eggs are typically laid by white-colored hens, and are less likely to have protein spots on their shells. Protein spots are mainly found on brown eggs because they're from a blood vessel rupture. Shell color has nothing to do with an egg's nutrients whatsoever, though, so it's perfectly safe to eat. 

Hen Environment 

pasture, bird, grass
Steph Thomas

Yes, a hen can be under stress, and when hens are under stress, they tend to lay fewer eggs. Their environment has a lot to do with the actual nutrition of an egg. By no means are any eggs unhealthy, but there can be different nutritional factors found in eggs depending on the environment of the hen.

Eggs from free-range chickens also contain more vitamin D, as they're able to go outside in the sunshine. Their diets may have an effect on what other nutrients their eggs will have. Diet and environment can have factors that could affect how an egg tastes, but typically most eggs will have no difference in their taste. 


candy, chocolate, egg
Brittany Arnett

Why are brown eggs more expensive than white eggs? Jones also writes that it's mainly due to false belief that brown eggs are healthier. If there is no label that says "organic" or "free-range," then most hens are producing the same type of egg regardless of shell color. Brown eggs might be more expensive because the eggs themselves are a bit larger. That, and the birds that lay them are larger, meaning they require more feed to lay eggs.

I personally don't plan on ever buying eggs by color, mainly because I have hens at home that give me free eggs (as long as I take care of them!). It's always a personal choice if you want to spend more for a fancy hen egg or not. Taste really won't be noticed unless you're an egg addict, and if you here, try this egg-cellent recipe for your new carton to try out.