Purchasing eggs can be confusing. Where I live, in Vancouver BC, we have many choices: free-range, free-run, brown, white, organic and omega 3.

Here’s a short run down of what they all mean.

Free-Run Eggs – Animals are not kept in cages but allowed to wander around inside an enclosed structure like a barn.

Free-Range Eggs – Animals are allowed to run around freely and are not contained in any manner.

Omega 3 Eggs – Hens that are fed a vegetarian diet with more flaxseed which gives them more Omega 3. They are not necessarily free-fun or free-range.

Brown vs White Eggs – No difference in nutrition. It’s the breed of hens that determines the colour of the egg.

Grade – Grading is based on the shell and interior quality plus size. All eggs sold in supermarkets are Grade A quality.

Yolk vs Whites – 1/2 the eggs protein is found in the whites, but almost all the nutrition is found in the yolks. The colour of the yolk changes with the type of feed the hens eat. At diet of wheat-based feed creates a paler yolk. A corn-based diet creates a darker yolk.

Storage – In North American eggs should be refrigerated and will maintain their Grade A quality for 35 – 40 days after grading. In North America eggs are washed and sanitized removing a protective coating which naturally protects eggs from becoming contaminated with salmonella and should be kept in the refrigerator. In other parts of the world eggs do not have to be refrigerated because their natural protective coating is not removed.

How To Tell If Your Egg Is Fresh – You’ll be able to tell if an egg is fresh by placing it in a cup of water. If it stands up it’s not that fresh, but if it lays flat on the bottom of the cup, it’s fresh.

I personally prefer to purchase organic eggs. I find they taste better and believe it’s a more humane way to treat chickens. They do cost more, but I feel the taste is well worth the extra cents.

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