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12+ Myths about Eggs that Aren't True

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It's time to finally debunk these common myths about eggs that simply aren't true, for once and for all.

Egg in bowl with eggshells on table

Eggs are one of the best, and most affordable, sources of complete protein there is. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamin D and lutein.  

Eggs are so versatile, called for in scads of recipes, both sweet and savory, and are quick to cook up. 

But eggs are also the subject of various myths that simply aren't true. So today I'm going to debunk some of the most common myths I hear about eggs. 

tray of brown and white eggs

12+ Common Myths about Eggs that Aren't True

Myth #1 |  Brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs.

The reality is that the nutritional value of an egg is dependent on the diet of the chicken and the freshness of the egg. It has nothing to do with shell color. Brown and white eggs have the same calorie count, vitamins and nutrients, all things being equal.

Eggshell color is dictated by the breed of chicken, nothing more. 

Myth #2 | A chicken's earlobe color or feather color dictates the color egg she lays.

This general rule of thumb can be true, but isn't in all cases. It's very simplistic to make that claim.

Although white Leghorns do lay white eggs, and brown Rhode Island Reds do lay brown eggs, I have chickens with white earlobes that lay blue eggs. I have black chickens that lay green eggs. I have gray chickens that lay tan eggs, and chickens with red earlobes that lay brown eggs, and so on...

Egg cracked into a bowl

Myth #3 | The color of the egg yolk indicates the quality of the hen's life.

This is a tough one because it can be true.  The more of the carotenoid xanthophyll a hen eats, the darker orange her egg yolks will be. Nutritious foods like alfalfa, dandelions, basil, parsley, pumpkins, cabbage and leafy greens all make nice orange egg yolks in happy chickens eating a varied diet on a farm. 

However, commercial feed companies add marigold and corn to their feed to boost the vibrancy of the yolks of the eggs their poor, caged hens lay.

Myth #4 | You need a rooster for hens to lay eggs.

I think the most common misconception when it comes to raising chickens is the idea the you need a rooster in your flock for your hens to lay eggs. Many urban and suburban areas are starting to allow small backyard flocks, however most limit the flocks to hens. 

But no worries, your hens will happily lay an egg almost every day without a rooster. Those eggs will just never hatch into chicks.

Tray of eggs, one cracked egg

Myth #5 | A blood spot in an egg means it's been fertilized.

Another misconception is that a blood spot in an egg means that it's been fertilized. That's incorrect. A blood spot in an egg is simply a ruptured blood vessel that broke while the egg was being formed. 

In order to determine if an egg has been fertilized, you need to look for a white bulls eye on the egg yolk.

Myth #6 | Fertilized eggs are more nutritious than non-fertilized eggs.

Definitely not true. A fertilized egg and a non-fertilized egg are identical in every way, except for the bulls eye on the yolk I mentioned in the previous section - and a tiny bit of rooster DNA.

eggs on gingham tea towel

Myth #7 | Rounded eggs will hatch into hens; pointy eggs will hatch into roosters.

This claim has been going around the internet for years. There is no validity to it unfortunately. Some hens just lay pointy eggs, other lay rounded eggs. 

If it were possible to tell the "sex" of an egg before it hatches, hatcheries wouldn't have all those extra little roosters to get rid of that no one wants. 

Myth #8 | All eggs contain salmonella.

While eating raw or uncooked eggs is one of the more common ways to  contract salmonella, it's estimated that only about 1 in 20,000 eggs is actually contaminated with salmonella. 

And fully cooking an egg will kill the salmonella bacteria.

eggs in ceramic egg tray

Myth #9 | Eggs need to be refrigerated.

Although store bought eggs in the United States, which have been cleansed before being put in the carton and shipped to your grocery store, do need to be refrigerated, fresh eggs from a backyard flock or farmers market that haven't been washed can be left out at room temperature for several weeks. 

When an egg is laid, an invisible coating called the "bloom" is applied to the outer shell which works to keep out air and bacteria, keeping that egg fresher longer than an egg that has been washed. Fresh eggs should be washed just before cooking them.

Refrigerated eggs should be stored in the carton, pointed end down to keep the yolk centered, on one of the shelves, not the door of the fridge, so they aren't susceptible to temperature changes each time the door is opened.

Egg cracked into bowl with eggshells on tea towel

Myth #10 | Fresh eggs are impossible to peel.

It is true that if you boil fresh eggs, they likely won't peel well. This is because air hasn't had time to penetrate the pores in the eggshell. As air enters the egg, it pushes the two membranes between the egg white and shell apart, creating a space. That's why an older egg will peel easier.

However, you don't need to wait and let your eggs get old before cooking them. Just steam them for 12 minutes for hard-cooked over a pot of simmering water, then cool them in a bowl of ice water. Even eggs laid that morning will peel like a charm.

Myth #11 | If an egg floats, it's not safe to eat.

Some of you might be familiar with the concept that as air enters the egg, the egg will no longer sink when placed in a glass of water, but instead begin to rise off the bottom, and then to eventually float. 

A floating egg doesn't necessarily mean that egg is bad. It merely means the egg is old.  Better signs of a bad egg are a discolored yolk or white or an "off" smell. That said, I generally do toss "floaters", because who wants to eat an old egg? Plus, there's greater chance of bacteria inside the egg.

egg cracked in bowl

Myth #12 | Eggs should be cracked on the side of a bowl.

An egg should always be cracked on a flat surface like your counter top or cutting board. This results in a lesser chance of shards of shell ending up in the egg white.  It also reduces the chance of eggshells ending up in your batter or bowl.

If you do get a small piece of shell into the white, simply wet a clean finger with water and touch it to the eggshell. The shell should stick to your finger so you can lift it out. 

Myth #13 | It's healthier to just eat the whites of an egg.

While egg whites don't contain the cholesterol and fat that the yolks do, they also have less taste and fewer nutrients. Recent studies have shown that dietary cholesterol like that found in eggs does little to raise a person's cholesterol levels. 

Although you should check with your doctor for dietary advice, if you don't eat the egg yolk, you're missing out on all the good stuff!

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