So you want to be an egghead?

There are a lot of egg misconceptions out there.
Below you’ll find answers to the egg questions you’ve always wanted to know, but have been too chicken to ask.

Do larger eggs come from larger hens?

Some think larger eggs come from larger hens, but, actually, larger eggs come from older hens.

Are eggs vegan?

No. Many vegetarians include eggs in their diets. But vegans exclude all meats, eggs, dairy and any other foods that are processed using animal products. 

What are good brands of eggs?

When seeking a good brand of eggs, it’s most important to look at where they came from. Good brands do the right thing when it comes to animal welfare and egg processing. 

Can I eat eggs on the paleo diet?

Yes. The basic principle of a paleo diet is to avoid processed foods and eat as you would in nature. Guess what’s found in nature? Eggs!  

Can I eat eggs on the keto diet?

Yes. A large egg has less than 1 gram of carbs and packs plenty of protein. They’re essentially ideal for people living the ketogenic life!

Are eggs good for me?

Eggs are nature’s perfect food, containing various amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, protein and fat. In fact, eggs are so high in protein they are classified alongside meat in the protein food group.

Should I trust the sell-by date?

Yes. The sell-by date is always 30 days or less from the packaging date.

What does the three-digit code on a carton mean?

This code indicates the date your eggs were packed in the Julian calendar format. In a 365 day year, for example, January 1 would appear as 001 on the side of your carton, indicating the first day of the year. 

Should I be concerned about salmonella?

Most outbreaks of salmonella are caused by other foods like nuts, fish, beef or chicken. Of the outbreaks attributed to eggs, the causes were due to improper cooking or refrigeration.

Why don’t my hard-cooked eggs peel easily?

It’s all about timing. After boiling, let the eggs sit in the water for ten minutes. Then run cold water over them. The eggs will contract inside the shell, making them easier to peel. 

What do egg grades mean?

All eggs are designated with a grade — AA, A or B. Grades are determined by egg quality, size and the amount of air cell space on the bottom of the egg. 

What are pasteurized eggs?

This simply means that the egg was exposed to heat to destroy any potential bacteria, usually used in recipes calling for undercooked or raw eggs.

What are nutritionally-enhanced eggs?

Nutritionally-enhanced eggs come from hens with an alternative diet rich in Omega-3’s, vitamins, minerals or carotenoids. Some nutritionally-enhanced eggs can offer lower saturated fats. 

Why are some hens fed vegetarian diets?

To avoid animal by-products in their feed. But since hens are naturally omnivores, their feed is supplemented with the necessary proteins. 

What eggs should I buy?

It’s up to you to decide which egg quality matters to you the most. Price, the hen’s living situation and hen diet can all play a factor in your decision.  

Are cage-free eggs healthier for you?

Excluding nutritionally-enhanced eggs, cage-free eggs are no more or less healthy than other eggs. Animal welfare is the main concern for people who choose cage-free eggs. 

What’s the most environmentally-friendly egg packaging?

Right now, we’re big fans of plastic cartons because they are 100% recyclable. In particular, PET, or polyethylene terephthalate offers maximum protection with minimal materials. 

What does a double yolk mean?

It means the egg was likely laid by either a younger hen beginning to lay eggs, or an older hen nearing the end of her laying career.  In either case, the eggs are perfectly safe. 

Why do hens produce eggs?

To make baby chicks. Just like humans, hens ovulate for the purpose of reproduction. The eggs humans eat are the unfertilized eggs. 

How often do hens lay eggs?

On average, a single hen will produce one egg every 25-26 hours. 

What does yolk color mean?

Yolk color all depends on the hen’s diet. If it is rich in orange and yellow foods (carotenoids) she will produce a deeper orange yolk. A hen that eats clear foods like white cornmeal may produce colorless yolks.  

Why do we refrigerate eggs in the U.S.?

Some countries believe an egg’s shell is enough protection against bacteria. And some countries believe refrigeration is too costly. 

Why do cage-free eggs cost more?

It’s more expensive for farmers to raise cage-free hens and collect their eggs. Therefore, the eggs cost a little bit more. 

Are organic eggs actually better for you?

Organic eggs are free from antibiotics. But other than that, the nutritional values are similar to other eggs.  

Is the cage-free life better for hens?

Yes and no. Hens seem more content living the cage-free life. But hens in cages are actually safer from other hens in the pecking order. And their eggs require less washing. 

Are hens happy?

Hens are social animals that prefer to flock and socialize, as they do in nature. When they can do this, then yes, they are happy. 

Are hens given antibiotics?

Yes. Hens are given FDA approved antibiotics to prevent diseases in the hen house. There are some hens, such as organic egg layers, that must be antibiotic-free. 

Are hens given growth hormones?

No. Growth hormones in poultry production has been banned in the United States since 1950.

Does the term “fresh” egg actually mean anything?

Not really. Properly handled eggs should reach your supermarket within a day or two after it was laid. Essentially, they’re all fresh, but check the expiration date, just in case. 

What is an organic egg?

Organic eggs come from cage-free hens that are on a strict diet of organic feed and have outdoor access. 

What’s a “conventional” egg?

Conventional eggs come from hens that are kept in cages, which have just enough space to nest and access food and water.

What are pasture-raised eggs?

Pasture-raised eggs come from hens that have access to the outdoors with no boundaries, usually pastures, meadows or even wooded areas.

What are free-range eggs?

Free-range eggs come from hens that have access to the outdoors, usually an area that is fenced in.  

What are cage-free eggs?

Cage-free eggs come from hens that are not confined in small cages. At a minimum, each cage-free hen must have 1.0 square feet of floor space.