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Egg yolk color and nutrition value

 
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Are pastured eggs with a golden orange yolk more nutrient dense than those with a lighter yellow?

I'm in Florida and the local pastured eggs are fairly light yellow when compared to those I've gotten from up north. I'm assuming it's the same as getting local raw butter that's pale whitish versus raw butter from Pennsylvania (for example), that's a beautiful deep yellow.
 
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Yes, generally speaking orange yolks indicate higher nutritional value in the egg BUT I have come across some farmers that add beta carotene to a hen's diet and artificially generate an orange yolk so be sure to ask questions and look around to be sure that the orange color of your local eggs are from hens getting insects for food by pecking in the ground rather than from beta carotene added to their feed.
 
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If you are seeing butter that is deep yellow it has had that coloring added to it. Butter fat from milk is generally white to very palest of cream/yellow.

You can produce very orange egg yolks by just feeding corn alone. Some feeds will add dried and ground pot marigold petals to their feeds to produce that nice, orangy yolk...but it doesn't increase the egg's nutrition levels.

It's best to buy eggs from farmers that free range their flocks and use natural husbandry methods if you are looking for truly healthy eggs.
 
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Tatum Hammer wrote:Are pastured eggs with a golden orange yolk more nutrient dense than those with a lighter yellow?

I'm in Florida and the local pastured eggs are fairly light yellow when compared to those I've gotten from up north. I'm assuming it's the same as getting local raw butter that's pale whitish versus raw butter from Pennsylvania (for example), that's a beautiful deep yellow.



I would think that it indicates more of a specific group of nutrients, but not necessarily others. as Sarah and Jay mention, some farmers do add things to feed to give that color. both those practices (feeding isolated carotenes and feeding marigolds) actually do increase the level of carotenes in the yolk, and carotenes are pretty good for us. so apart from the misleading aspect of the practice, it isn't necessarily nasty. eggs laid by chickens that get their carotenes from foraging are most certainly a better bet, though. and I don't know what industrial sources of carotenes for chicken feed are, so that could be problematic.
 
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Sarah Pope wrote: I have come across some farmers that add beta carotene to a hen's diet and artificially generate an orange yolk



If only it was just beta-carotene they added... I don't know if it went on everywhere, or even if it still goes on, but in the UK you used to be able to order chicken-feed with food colourings added, I think it was E123, in just the right amounts to produce the colour yolk you wanted in your eggs. They would send out yolk-colour charts to commercial chicken keepers so they could choose the colour they prefered. Some children who were highly sensitive to food colourings would react if they ate these eggs, but would be perfectly OK with eggs that were fed a more natural diet.
 
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The local butter that I get from grass fed cows around here has no coloring added and it is a lovely yellow hue. It looks completely different from the store bought pale white butter. The diet and breed definitely makes a difference in the color of the butter and its nutrition content.
 
Jay Green
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A "lovely yellow hue" is slightly different than a" deep yellow", wouldn't you agree? White to pale, yellow/cream colored is a more apt description of the natural butterfat color of real butter, IME.
 
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(Butter)Sunlight in a Jar
 
Jay Green
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Milo Jones wrote:(Butter)Sunlight in a Jar



Lovely...I stand corrected! I amend my statement to say that I've never made butter that was deep yellow(had Holstein and Jersey cows) nor have I ever bought home churned butter that was deep yellow...how's that?
 
Burra Maluca
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ross taylor wrote:The colour of the yolk is due to substances called carotenoids. The healthy (nutritional) value of the egg is not affected by the yolk colour.



I thought carotenoids *were* nutrients?
 
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ross taylor wrote:The colour of the yolk is due to substances called carotenoids. The healthy (nutritional) value of the egg is not affected by the yolk colour.



I never thought that yolk's color is due to carotenoids, as I know carotenoids are naturally occurring on plants. Egg yolk is nutritious but we should not consume a lot of it due to cholesterol.
 
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I recently gave my goats a goat block... i noticed that the eggs since have gotten a so orange that its almost a brownish hew.... so im guessing that the chicken are getting alot of minerals when their eggs are darker... just a comment.
 
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Strictly anecdotal, but the more time my animals spend on pasture, the deeper the color of the milk and eggs. My chicken eggs are almost orange when I give them lots of greens and bugs to eat. My goat milk is not white at all but rather a rich creamy color. When I have to put them on alfalfa and grain for awhile, I notice the color changes lighter. Just my 2¢.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Eggs might not affect cholesterol all that much: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/eggs-study-healthy-breakfast/#axzz26UxozJag
 
greg patrick
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Eggs might not affect cholesterol all that much: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/eggs-study-healthy-breakfast/#axzz26UxozJag



Tyler, I never took you for a Caveman. Egg good! Sugar bad.
 
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It seems like I've heard recently that if you offer raw milk to your chickens instead of water, the egg yolk turns almost red.  I'd be curious if anyone can confirm this, it would be a fun experiment to try.
 
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