Whether their scrambled, poached, hard-boiled or sunny-side up, eggs are Americans' favorite breakfast food. You may have heard that eggs provide a wealth of nutrients. But do you know as much as you think about preparing this breakfast staple? Don't wear egg on your face—get the egg facts!
Egg Fact #1: White eggs are just as nutritious as brown.
The color of egg shells is determined by the breed of the chicken, not the quality of the chicken’s diet. Despite the common misconception, brown eggs are not more nutritious than white. What’s more, some chickens lay blue and green eggs!
Egg Fact #2: Egg yolks come in various shades of yellow.
The color of the yolk depends on what the chicken ate: wheat and barley produce a light yolk, corn a medium-yellow yolk, and marigold petals, a deep yellow. Darker yellow egg yolks often have more carotenoids.
Egg Fact #3: You don't have to toss an egg with a blood spot in it.
A blood spot indicates that a small blood vessel on the yolk's surface broke while the egg was forming. It does not mean the egg is fertile. It is harmless, but you can remove it with the tip of a knife.
Egg Fact #4: It's safe to eat a "cloudy" egg.
A cloudy albumen (white) indicates a very fresh egg. It's due to carbon dioxide inside the egg that has not yet escaped. Pasteurized eggs also have cloudier whites.
Egg Fact #5: Those stringy white strands are perfectly normal.
Another sign of freshness—the stringy white strands inside some eggs, called chalazae. They keep the yolk centered in the albumen and lessen over time. It's okay to eat them.
Egg Fact #6: Green means your egg is overcooked.
A gray-green tinge around a hard-boiled egg yolk is caused by a reaction of iron and sulfur compounds. It's harmless but means the egg was cooked too long or not cooled quickly. Eggs scrambled at too high a temperature or sitting too long on a steam table may also turn a harmless green.
Originally published in The University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter (January 2011)