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eggsTypes of Eggs

The egg case at the grocery store provides a bewildering variety of descriptions of eggs beyond white and brown. There's pasture raised, free-range, organic, cage-free, vegetarian and many more Here's a simple guide to each type!

  • White Eggs - If that's all the carton says, then these come from white hens that are raised in conventional cage housing systems.
  • Brown Eggs - Again, if that's all the carton says, then these come from white hens that are raised in conventional cage housing systems. There is no nutritional nor taste difference between white and brown eggs.  It's just the pigment in the shell.
  • Cage-free eggs -  The chickens are raised without cages, but that may also mean that they never go outside and are overcrowded in a  large factory farm.
  • Free-Range Eggs - The chickens aren't kept in cages, but have a barn or aviary with room to run around, usually including access to outdoor runs (when weather permits).
  • Vegetarian Eggs - The hens were were fed chicken feed that contained only plant-based ingredients.
  • Grain-fed - The hens were fed grains, like cracked cornOrganic label
  • Organic Eggs - If the egg carton is marked with the USDA’s National Organic Program label, then the hens are uncaged, free to roam in their houses and have access to the outdoors. The hens are fed an organic diet of feed produced without conventional pesticides or fertilizers.
  • Natural: This term is utterly meaningless. It only means that nothing was added to the egg. All eggs meet this criteria.
  • Omega-3 Eggs - The hens were fed feed that contains extra flax (up to 10-20%) to produce eggs that contain more Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Vitamin-Enhanced Eggs - The hens were fed a feed that was nutritionally enhanced to include higher levels of certain vitamins (ie: Vitamin D or Vitamin E). As a result, the eggs laid by these hens contain corresponding higher amounts of the particular vitamin(s).
  • Egg whites and other Processed Eggs - Liquid, frozen and dried egg products come from eggs that were broken by special egg breaking machines, and then pasteurized. They often contain added ingredients (ie: preservatives, flavouring or colouring) and this process allows for special formulations (ie: egg whites only).