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Dr. Oz Reveals How to Tell Just How Old Your Eggs Really Are Before Buying Them

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture
Look for this number to decode your eggs' actual age.

Do you think that the expiration date really indicates just how old your eggs really are before buying them? Think again, as Doctor Oz reveals this and other egg-related hoaxes you are probably not aware of going on in your local supermarket.


We spend more to get more to ensure our family is being fed healthy food. But are organic eggs, omega-3 eggs, and advertised farm-fresh eggs worth your money? Here’s what Dr. Oz found out for you with special guests James Briscione of the Institute of Culinary Education, and author Brooke Parkhurst.

Nutritionists agree that eggs are no longer considered the dietary bugaboo they used to be—as long as they are consumed in moderation. Better yet, they are also among Dr. Oz’s High-Protein Snack Recommendations for Weight Loss.

But how do you know if that special brand of eggs your supermarket sells is really all it’s cracked up to be? Eggactly! You don’t. So, here’s what Dr. Oz found and shared with his viewers.

The Truth About Organic Eggs

“Organic eggs – are they really worth the extra cost?” asks Dr. Oz as he points out that organic eggs are usually priced 2 to 3 times more than regular non-organic eggs. Maybe not. Most consumers imagine that organic eggs come from free-range chickens that are outdoors in a field and eating all-natural chicken food like insects, seeds and the like that eventually transfers natural nutrients into their eggs.

However, according to Dr. Oz’s special guests and husband-wife team James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst reveal, those “eggspectations” do not reflect what chicken farming is really like.

“The Washington Post looked into it and organic regulations mean that chickens could be raised in giant buildings…with 3 hens per square foot. And that’s still considered organic according to the FDA,” says James Briscione. However, what is important is that the chicken feed is organic and does not contain antibiotics or steroids, thereby qualifying your eggs as organic by the FDA.

“They are not perfect, but they are still a better bet than conventional eggs, because the feed that they are getting is better for you and for them,” says Dr. Oz.

How Much Omega-3 is in That Egg

“Are they really healthier than regular eggs?” asks Dr. Oz who is posing whether omega-3 advertised eggs are really worth paying twice the price of conventional, cheaper eggs sold in the same store.

As it turns out, that amount of omega-3 that winds up in the egg is quite small. Chickens are fed omega-3 from flax seeds and fish oils added to their grain – which is great for the chicken’s health – but by the time that added omega-3 makes it to your breakfast egg in the morning, it’s only a small fraction of the omega-3 that makes its way to the yolk. According to Dr. Oz, you would have to eat up to 14 eggs to get the same omega-3 benefit as from eating a serving of salmon.

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How Old is That Egg You Are Eating?

“The question is, ‘How old are those eggs?’ and it’s not the expiration date, it’s something else,” says Dr. Oz.

According to Brooke Parkhurst you have do a little math to break down the hidden code on egg cartons. What you do is first look for the expiration date which should be clearly stamped on the side of the egg carton. Then, beside that date, you should see another number no more than 3 digits long that indicates what numerical day of the year the eggs were placed into the carton.

In Dr. Oz’s sample, the carton had the number 268, which indicates September 25th. However, the sell-by date was November 14.

“So that means forty-five days might have passed until you eat that egg,” explains Ms. Parkhurst.

While Dr. Oz acknowledges that there is nothing unhealthy about eating an egg that is older, chef Briscione points out that fresher eggs are an important part of good cooking and that the fresher an egg is, the better it tastes and the better it cooks in your meals.

Here’s a YouTube video on how to select your eggs from Dr. Joseph Mercola, a leading natural health expert and osteopathic physician:

Bonus Material: What’s the Deal with Liquid Eggs in a Carton?

So, what’s it like eating egg whites from a carton that advertises low calorie, no fat and no cholesterol in this egg substitute sold in stores? According to a taste test, it tastes like an egg, and it’s convenient. However, Dr. Oz does not recommend this type of egg because although it does consist of egg white that had the yolk removed, there are up to 31 other ingredients added to it to make it look and taste more like a real egg.

Another liquid egg in a carton taste tested was a premixed liquid egg omelet with added vegetables, but still the same contents of the previous liquid egg tested. Taste-wise, it seemed less egg-like to one taster.

The only liquid egg in a carton Dr. Oz recommends is one that is 100% Egg White with no added ingredients. For added flavor you can add your own spices to suit your palate. The downside is that this type of liquid egg has a shelf life of only one week and it costs more. So what a person is really buying is convenience from the mess of having to crack and separate the egg white from its yolk.

If you have your own recipe or preference when dealing with eggs for your family’s meals, let us know your thoughts and what you find works well for you.

Reference: “Supermarket Alert: could you be falling for an egg hoax?” The Dr. Oz Show, Dec. 2017