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White and brown eggs are the same

Our daughter came home from college this summer and announced that she would no longer be eating the white eggs in the refrigerator. Please help settle this. Is there really any difference?

— Marge in Medford

Between home and college? Marge! The things we could tell you.

OK, the head egg wrangler at the Since You Asked Experimental Farms says you're probably talking about white eggs and brown eggs. He says there are three differences: color, cost and genes. But nutritionally, no particular difference.

Certain breeds lay certain color eggs. White Leghorns lay white eggs. Rhode Island Reds lay brown eggs. Still other hens lay other color eggs.

The Egg Nutrition Center (based in Washington, D.C., so it must be important) agrees: "White-shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and (white) ear lobes. Brown-shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes. There is no difference in taste or nutrition between white and brown eggs."

Brown eggs used to cost more because the hens that laid them were generally larger than the white-egg layers and ate more, so the eggs actually cost more to produce. But an egg specialist at the Since You Asked School of Economics ventures a guess that since many people incorrectly believe brown eggs are local and white eggs are not, savvy egg capitalists feel confident in charging more for the brown eggs on the basis of demand.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.