Yellow yolks vs. Orange yolks - What is the difference?

July 26, 2020

Is an orange yolk better than a yellow yolk? Can we determine the nutritional content of eggs by color alone? 

Not exactly, but it certainly does give us a clue!

The color, size, and texture of eggs vary greatly. We have known for a long time that a chicken's diet has an effect on the quality of the egg. Throughout history, a rich orange yolk has always been a sign of a healthier and more nutritious egg. 

However, these days it's hard to be sure.

Nutrients called carotenoids (which also give sweet potatoes and carrots their distinct orange and yellow colors) are responsible for also giving egg yolk that sought after orange glow. The higher the number of carotenoids in a hen’s diet, the richer the color of the yolk. 

This means that farmers can easily control the color of the yolk based on what they feed their hens and how they raise them. 

Rich orange yolks can be achieved in two ways. One, by supplementing a hens diet with carotenoid-rich foods such as marigold or orange peels. Or two, it can happen the all-natural way with hens foraging on open pastures munching on carotin rich legumes and grasses, along with any other yummy things they may find. 

So how are we to be sure the eggs we buy have yolks that are truly orange, from hens that are foraging, and not artificially enhanced through supplementing the hen's diet?

Well, the best way to know you are getting great quality eggs, is to know where your eggs come from. The best way to know where your eggs come from is to get to know your local farmer!

At Beiler Family Farm the chickens are free to roam on hundreds of acres of pasture that they share with the sheep. They get to forage all day long on nutritious pastures and in rich soils. Those nutrients are then passed along to you in the form of “Truly Pastured Eggs.”

The color is great, but the nutrients are even better!

A study by Cambridge University showed that eggs from pasture-raised hens had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, 2.5 times more total omega-3 fatty acids, and 38% more vitamin A than conventionally raised hens!

So the next time you crack open one of the Beiler’s farm fresh eggs, take a closer look at the color and know that sunny yolk is packed full of nutrients straight from the pasture!

Enjoy the food,

-Sara,

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