Although egg prices are rising, they are still a great value, incredibly versatile and perhaps underappreciated foodstuff.
The size of the egg depends on the age of the hen. The older the hen, the larger the egg she produces!
Brown Vs. White Shells: An egg’s shell colour doesn’t indicate the quality or nutritional value of an egg, but rather the breed of the hen that laid it. Hens with white feathers (and earlobes —yes, chickens have earlobes) tend to lay white eggs and hens with red feathers tend to lay brown eggs.
Yolk Colour: The colour of an egg yolk is determined by a hen’s diet. Like shell colour, it has nothing to do with an egg’s nutritional value. If you crack open your egg to discover a dark yellow yolk, the hen was probably fed green vegetables. A medium-yellow yolk would indicate a diet of corn and alfalfa while a light-yellow yolk could be the result of eating wheat and barley.
Long Shelf Life: Retail eggs come with a Sell By date rather than an expiration date and are often edible for 3-4 weeks after that date.
Cage-free: These hens are free from the confines of a cage, but this doesn’t mean they are frolicking in an open field with the sun overhead. More often, they are free to roam a barn or warehouse, but their living conditions can vary widely.
Natural: Anyone can use the term “natural” to describe their eggs, so this means nothing.
Free-range: This means hens are free to roam the outdoors at some point, but there is no regulation specifying how long is necessary, so there is no way to know how long the hens are actually outside.
Certified Organic: Hens have some access to the outdoors and are fed an organic vegetarian diet that excludes any pesticides, animal by-products, or genetically modified foods.