Is a brown egg healthier than a white one?

It is a well-known food myth that brown eggs are healthier than white eggs. Poultry expert Ingrid de Jong of Wageningen University & Research gets the question regularly, and most often around Easter.

De Jong is a senior researcher at Wageningen Livestock Research and knows a lot about chickens and their eggs. She immediately sets us straight: “A white egg is not healthier or unhealthier than a brown egg. They are exactly the same inside.

Food myth

So where does this myth come from? “Free-range eggs used to be brown, so people associate that with a healthier egg. Nowadays, free-range eggs can also be white, so that association no longer holds true either,” says De Jong.


Ingrid de Jong, senior researcher poultry welfare
Ingrid de Jong, senior researcher poultry welfare

Yet there actually is a difference between the eggs, says the researcher. “Roughly you can say that brown chickens lay brown eggs and white chickens lay white eggs. White chickens are slightly smaller than brown chickens and therefore need less feed to produce an egg. Less feed and therefore less manure means that a white egg is slightly more climate friendly. And with 30,000 hens in one barn, that adds up quickly.”

In short, it doesn’t make any difference to the taste. Do you want to make a conscious choice? Then choose good animal welfare and the smallest possible climate footprint.

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