The Color of Eggs

Yes, Virginia, brown eggs are more expensive; they aren’t nutritionally superior; and the taste difference is negligible. But there IS one extremely good reason to buy them anyway: supporting biodiversity. All white eggs are laid by a single breed, the Leghorn. More than 90% of all chickens in this country, laying and eating, are Leghorn chickens. If we were facing smart terrorists, they wouldn’t have bothered blowing up a few thousand people in a building by crashing an airplane into it. They would have developed a highly contagious virus with a high fatality rate for Leghorn chickens. Presto! The American food supply in chaos. It wouldn’t take terrorists, either. Anytime there is a high concentration of a single variety of organism, conditions are ripe for epidemic. The Irish potato famine occurred because the Irish were forced to depend on a single crop, and a single variety of that crop, for the bulk of their calories. Because of those conditions, the potato blight meant thousands of starving Irish, rather than “oh well, I guess we’ll eat more barley this year.” It happened in the U.S., too, in the 1970s: the corn blight. Anyone remember that? Wanna see a repeat with chickens? No? Buy brown eggs!

Why just brown, what about blue-green and biege chicken eggs!

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards, Seattle Sue, we’re glad to have you with us.

When you start a thread, it’s helpful to other readers if you provide a link to the Staff Report under discussion. This saves searching time, and helps keep us all on the same page. In this case, I presume, it’s Straight Dope Staff Report: What’s the difference between white eggs and brown eggs?

No biggie, you’ll know for next time… and, as I say, welcome!

Just how easy would it be for terrorists to create a virus that would target one particular variety of one particular species of bird? If that could be done, why haven’t we done this to mosquitoes?

It would be far easier to spread a virus that simply kills chickens, or birds in general, than a particular breed.

That said, its good to have genetic diversity in a population for resistance to natural disease. It is indeed true that brown eggs come from a variety of breeds and white eggs mostly one?