What's In Your Egg Carton?

Written by: Brittany Olson

These days, selecting from the wide variety of egg carton labels can be a

daunting task: cage-free, free-range, pasture-raised, certified organic, brown

vs. white and the list goes on. What does it all mean and is one option

healthier than the others? This post demystifies all the egg jargon out there.

Does The Color Of The Eggshell Matter??

Chicken eggs can be brown, white, blue or green and is purely based on the

genetics of the hen laying the eggs. Therefore, the color of an egg is

unrelated to the nutritional benefit and does not influence the taste

Egg Labeling:

Unlike the shell color, not all labels are created equal; labels provide insight

into the humane treatment of the chickens and the nutritional benefits of the

eggs in the carton. Check out the diagram below for the most common egg

labels and their nutritional benefits.


Kirkpatrick, Kristin. “Should You Pay More for Cage-Free or Organic Eggs?” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic,

Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 3 Aug. 2016, health.clevelandclinic.org/should-you-pay-extra-for-cage-


Kelto, Anders. “Farm Fresh? Natural? Eggs Not Always What They're Cracked Up To Be.” NPR, NPR, 23 Dec. 2014,



Lear, Jane. “Jane Says: Here's How to Unscramble Egg Carton Labels.” TakePart, 3 Apr. 2014,


Vermont Law School. “Unwrapped - Demystifying the Food Label.” Labels Unwrapped - Conventional Processed

Foods, labelsunwrapped.org/eggs.html.

Jeong, Stephanie. “How to Shop for Eggs – Organic? Cage Free?” Wake the Wolves, 3 Jan. 2015,


“What Makes Certified Humane Cage-Free Eggs Different from Other Cage-Free Eggs?” Certified Humane, 11 Apr.

2017, certifiedhumane.org/makes-certified-humane-cage-free-eggs-different-cage-free-eggs/.

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