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Why do people usually buy eggs that cost the most?

Why do people usually buy eggs that cost the most?

Efficient market theory and classical economics sometimes seems bogus. What's that got to do with the price of eggs? An awful lot -- if people always acted rationally, they would buy eggs that cost the least per ounce, but people hardly ever do that. I know I do so, but I don't know of anyone else who does.

Does anybody here buy eggs the way I do? I always buy the eggs that are cheapest per ounce. A dozen small eggs weigh 18 ounces, medium -- 21, large --24, extra-large -- 27, jumbo --30. Usually at Trade Fair here in Queens, small eggs are cheapest, but sometimes Jumbo eggs cost less per ounce, and once a month, medium eggs are cheapest during a weekly sale.

BUT large eggs are the most popular, even though large eggs are usually the most expensive per ounce and NEVER on sale. If people act rationally, why do they usually buy the eggs that cost the most per ounce?

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  1. Most recipes call for number of large eggs. For many of us, it is more trouble than it is worth to try to calculate the equivalence. And it really gets difficult when eggs are separated into yolks and whites. Where I live, the sale is always on "large" eggs and I've never seen small and rarely medium size being sold.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PBSF

      eggs-actly. I first look for the cheapest brand of no hormone, no antibiotic eggs, then get the "large" size so it works properly in recipes for baked goods.

    2. I buy eggs on sale, except for the ones from my local farmer. The farm eggs I pay whatever he wants, and use those only for breakfast. Grocery eggs are mostly for baking and breading and the like, and standard procedure calls for large. Luckily large are the ones usually on sale around here. However when medium or extra large are on sale, I'll buy them instead. The cost of eggs is usually calculated per unit, not per ounce, at least in the restaurant world if not by everyone else, I'd say.

      1. I usually pick the eggs that have the most recent pack date on the carton; sometimes these are the most expensive, but more often they are not, suggesting (to me at least) that the less expensive eggs have a faster turnover in the store. These are also the large size about 50% of the time.

        1. I buy extra large eggs and try to get them on sale. I don't buy anything smaller, because if I want to bake something it's a pain to decide on how many extra eggs I'll need.

          My daughter in law buys Egg Land Best eggs because they are hormone free. There was a study done about hormones and young girls coming into puberty before their normal time and she wants to prevent that from happening. I am not sure if it's a marketing ploy or not, but they are much more expensive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mcel215

            No eggs in the USA are produced using added hormones. Hormone use for poultry, fowl or hogs is not permitted by the FDA. If the Eggland's Best package does say "Raised without added hormones" then it will have a little asterisk after that leading you to the statement "Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones."

            1. re: mcel215

              Milk is where you need to worry about the hormones, not eggs.

            2. Wouldn't I need more eggs to make the same amount of omelette, etc? That probably means more space in my fridge.

              Plus, it means more eggs to crack and more waste. All in all, it seems like a bad idea for me.

              1. I buy eggs every week at Aldi's for .85-.99 a dozen, large eggs. Fresh and the least expensive of ANY market or grocer. Since Aldi's opened, I can't imagine ever buying eggs anywhere else or paying more than .99. When I find myself in the dairy aisle of a grocery store now and see the prices they are charging for eggs I smile and keep on walkin!

                1. I would LOVE to find pasture raised eggs from a farmer around here but until I do, I've been buying Nature's Harmony Omega 3 eggs at Walmart, $2.09 per dozen (large size). 250 mgs of Omega 3's in each egg...I'm a smallish person so I usually only eat 1 for a serving. Recently tried one scrambled with Green Mountain Gringo salsa added and a wee bit of cheese wrapped in a wamed-up yellow corn tortilla...wow, that was a very tasty breakfast, along with a slice of watermelon.

                  1. I have my own chickens! That being said, eggs in the store are months old. You can easily identify an old egg by the color of the yolk. A fresh egg yolk will be "bright, deep" orange - very striking! Not yellow.
                    I think it is okay to use old eggs for baking but the taste difference for breakfast is astounding. I find that most Americans don't know what a fresh egg tastes like. Most think the egg yolk is supposed to be yellow.

                    32 Replies
                    1. re: sedimental

                      I buy farm eggs for breakfast use, and store eggs for baking. The taste difference is pretty remarkable, actiually. Why do I even bother buying store eggs, if I like farm eggs so much more? Price - farm eggs cost me $4 a dozen, store eggs $1.79 for 18.

                      1. re: sedimental

                        I didn't know that until last year. God help me, i paid $5.50 for a carton of eggs at the farmers market, but WOW! they were delicious and bright orange.

                        I notice that gentleman is not at the farmer's market this year. Another lady sells eggs for about $3.50...her's are very good, but I don't think QUITE as wonderful. Not sure what the diff is, and I'm curious if the $5+ guy just priced himself out of the market. (at the same fm, I'm paying $15 for a quart of honey...I think I'd get out of Dean and DuLuca cheaper than this little parking lot in North Carolina)

                        1. re: sedimental

                          As somebody who grew up raising chickens, I can state for a fact that the color of egg yolks has more to do with a chicken's diet than freshness. Throw a bunch of carrot peelings into the chicken yard and you're going to get some very deep orange yolks. When it's wintertime and there's not much forage, the yolks tend to be pretty pale.

                          Most commercially-raised chickens eat nothing but chicken feed. Even ultra-fresh, those yolks aren't going to have much color (although I guess they could supplement the feed with orange dye). They do taste better fresh, though.

                          Regardless of yolk color, a fresh egg is going to have a firm, cohesive white and a yolk that stands tall. Nothing worse than cracking an egg onto a griddle and watching the white run for the hills while the yolk huddles down all ashamed of itself.

                          1. re: alanbarnes

                            Glad you brought that up because I was buying farm fresh eggs at our CSA and the yolks were yellow. The whites were tighter and they tasted fine. I didn't find a huge difference in taste but they were good.

                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              This is exactly right. Also, brown eggs are not necessarily healthier or better for you than white shelled eggs. The color of the shell is a derivative of the type of chicken it came from. It all depends on the type of feed the chickens receive. The most important thing to consider is freshness. You can tell by the method alanbarnes mentioned above. Tall, firm yolks with a white that doesn't run all over the pan when cracked open are the things to look for.

                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                I wish I could recall where it was that I read recently that although a tall yolk is a sign of freshness, a runny white does not mean the egg is old. There was SOME reason given but I don't remember it. It could have been age or breed of the hen, or something to do with diet. My local poultry farm's eggs usually have runny whites but the yolks are nice and high. The cartons there are left on the counter at room temp but I know that this is okay with unwashed eggs. I refrigerate them at home. I don't know what breed(s) they are but the eggs are brown and I have found that their shells are a LOT harder than those of either brown or white supermarket eggs. It can take several whacks to crack them, and I stab my fingers on the edges when separating the shell.

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  Old hens frequently lay eggs with runny whites. From the hardness of the shell that you describe, I surmise that the farmer is feeding the hens too much calcium (e.g. oyster shells).

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    I think you are exactly right in the firmess of the white are caused mostly by the age of the hen. I have noticed in my own chickens that when 6-8 mo old hens start laying the shell is very hard and the whites are very firm. As they age the shells become less hard and the whites become less firm.

                                    1. re: tgsnod

                                      Good to know, I buy my eggs from a local farmer and sometimes the whites are really runny. Now I won't worry why so much.

                                      1. re: tgsnod

                                        Less firm as they age? Hmmm..... now that sounds familiar.

                                  2. re: sedimental

                                    I used to have a little backyard laying flock, best eggs I ever had by a long shot. Now I buy cage-free eggs or free range, just my little way of hopefully giving the gals a little walking-around room. They cost more, but they aren't THAT much, even if they're $3 a dozen.

                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                      Despite your good intentions, "cage-free" is not what you may think. The chickens are crowded into big (often windowless) hangars - really, just more birds in one great big cage. Free-range is what to look for if you want eggs from birds that did get to move around and get a little fresh air and daylight.

                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        I understand what you're saying, but the nomenclature is so different from the reality, no longer having my little backyard hens, I look for more humanely treated layers, and expect that the more hen-friendly the label, maybe the gals are gettng at least some exercise or something that the battery hens don't. I wish that the restrictive environments animals are forced into were very different, and I'd be happy to pay for more humane treatment. But you can't really be sure that the label (as in cage free), and I don't live in a farm-friendly area so there's a dearth of small-farm-fresh eggs here.

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          Cage-free laying hens are never kept in those big chicken "hangars," as it would be impossible to gather the eggs. The hangar chickens are being raised for meat.

                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            Here is a useful article about what the term "cage free" means, in relation to the battery birds. It looks to me as though the hens still don't have a lot of space, though they are somewhat better off than battery birds: They do have perches, which is important for birds, and "they are able to walk, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nests". However, there is still much room for improvement, in my opinion.


                                            Oh, and the picture of "cage-free" does look like something that can be described as a hangar.

                                        2. re: EWSflash

                                          While I would love to have my own supply of fresh eggs, I can't but I can find humanely certified eggs under $3 from smaller farms with short delivery times.

                                        3. re: sedimental

                                          I have found that the color of the yolk is about how well the chicken fed. The chicken eggs I raised were orange and commercially raised chicken eggs are yellow. It is about the diet of the chicken.

                                          1. re: Becca Porter

                                            Yes, the natural diet of a chicken produces a nice orange yolk. The yellow yolks are from a diet of commercial feed. The "paleness" of yolk color can be from older eggs. Even my girls nice bright orange yolks get duller and lighter after a few months of storage. A natural diet means omnivorous, not vegetarian.

                                            1. re: sedimental

                                              "few months of storage"?
                                              How long before you can't eat an egg because it's too old?

                                              1. re: monku

                                                Well, as I understand it, the eggs are typically up to 30 days old when you buy them in a grocery store- stamped with a "sell by" date that is about 30 days from the day they are packaged. They are good for at least another 30 days after that.
                                                That is for eggs that are "washed" (letting air inside). Farm eggs are usually not washed so they keep longer.

                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                  I figured the "fresh" eggs that I'm buying are no more than a week old. I didn't think that the egg "sell by date" was more than three weeks after it was laid.

                                                  1. re: monku

                                                    I am not positive, but I think the "government" makes it a 30 day requirement after "packaging"...so that doesn't even mean "laid". Anyway, eggs keep a very long time. I only use the older ones for baking and I rarely have any over a week old because most people ask to buy them.
                                                    Interestingly enough, I just bought a package of "cage free" in the store as my girls are "off" right now with the weather change and I wanted to bake a cake. The cage free ones had a real orange yolk, it was a bit dull and the eggs looked older than a month to me, but I was impressed. The last time I bought "regular" commercial eggs -they were pale yellow, insipid looking, watery excuses for eggs. I would pick the cage free ones again when needed.

                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                      When I worked at a restaurant we'd go through 7-10 cases of eggs a week and they were delivered from a farm twice a week. They said they were no more than a couple days old, I never paid attention to the "sell by date".
                                                      I usually get my eggs at Costco or Trader Joe's and I figure both places are selling "fresh" eggs and have high turnover and I notice the "sell by date" is maybe 2 weeks from the day I'm buying them. Trader Joe's has eggs stamped with a "use by" date.
                                                      I've never gotten sick by an egg I've had a few weeks past the "sell by date", but you should know and now I'm curious how old is that egg in the carton that says "fresh".
                                                      So when you store them, do you mean refrigerate?

                                                      1. re: monku

                                                        Believe me...you will know when an egg is "bad"!!!! Eggs keep for a very long time. No worries. An egg will actually begin to dry up before it goes bad- you would certainly notice it. The taste is compromised in my opinion when it is past a few weeks old and they "look" old to me (in the pan). But again, I am used to eggs "fresh out of the shoot"! Store eggs should be kept really cold in the fridge. The natural protective coating is gone so air gets in. They have been washed -but they should easily keep a month from the date of purchase with no real noticeable difference. Farm eggs can either be kept in the fridge or on the counter with no problems. I wouldn't ever keep store eggs on the counter.

                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                          I noticed a difference between the eggs we got at the restaurant and the ones that say "fresh" I got at the store.
                                                          "fresh out of the shoot"!.........great description.

                                                          1. re: sedimental

                                                            The farmer here told me when he was young, they used to put the eggs under straw in the root cellar in the winter when the hens didn't lay that much, and they lasted all winter that way.

                                                    2. re: sedimental

                                                      The first 3 numbers under the date on the side of an egg carton are a code for when the eggs were packaged. "080," for instance, would be the 80th day of the year.

                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                        A trick that works to test for a bad egg: place your eggs , one or two of them at a time, in a bowl of water, submerged. Fresh eggs lie on their sides; sort of old but still edible eggs stand on their tips; bad eggs are FLOATERS!

                                                  2. re: sedimental

                                                    Farmers and some feed producers have caught on to this and are feeding/producing feed with an ingredient that turns the yolks orange. Marigold petals, perhaps?

                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                      I thought that it was the skin that turned orange, as Perdue likes to do. Funny but most chefs I know prefer white skin.

                                                2. re: sedimental

                                                  Agreed. We used to raise our own chickens--had about 30 free range hens--and that spoiled me forever for anything else but farm fresh and free range. We'll go to extraordinary lengths to get our hands on the good stuff. Just tonight, in fact, dh has an assignation in a town 15 miles from here, meeting her on Main Street at precisely 6:15, to get three dozen. <g> She lets her beautiful eggs--free-range Aracuna <sp?> and brown ones--for only 1.50 a dozen, however, so we make up in cost what we spend in gas and time...

                                                3. Can't wait to see you extrapolate that mis-interpretation of economics into car buying...ouch.

                                                  Jfood buys eggs in the grocer that are raised closed to the store and are sold in the old-fashioned paper holders versus the styrofoam. And the local raised are $2.18/dz versus $2.39 for Egglands.

                                                  1. As somewhat of a retailer, I can tell you that there are quite a few people will buy the more expensive item if two of the exact same items are displayed side by side. The items can be the exact same color, brand, I'm talking EXACT SAME. I've never understood this phenomenon, but I've done multiple displays like this to prove this point to people who do not believe me.

                                                    For eggs, the only real reason I could think of would be for portion size. When baking, for example, the quantity of eggs is almost always in large eggs.

                                                    1. "Efficient market theory and classical economics sometimes seems bogus."



                                                      In order for efficient market theory to work one has to assume a *rational" consumer. And if you read these boards long enough, you'll know alot of us are anything but rational ... we're passionate! :-)

                                                      14 Replies
                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        Yes, that's my point. Efficient market theory assumes a rational customer, but nobody seems to be that. Or, it could be that for rational customers, buying the eggs that are cheapest per ounce is not what they construe rational behavior.

                                                        As best as I can tell from what people have responded, hardly anyone buys eggs like I do, always purchasing the eggs that are cheapest per ounce.

                                                        And the math to figure it out isn't that hard at all. It's sixth grade math, not even junior high school.

                                                        1. re: BigGuy

                                                          Well, for cooks, buying the cheapest eggs ($/ounce) is not always possible esp. when you are trying to follow a recipe step-for-step.

                                                          But if you are just cooking at home and making simple breakfast dishes -- e.g. scrambled eggs, french toast, etc. -- it does sort of baffle the mind.

                                                          What's even more puzzling than buying the more expensive "white" egg are those that pay more for the same sized brown egg. Why???

                                                          1. re: BigGuy

                                                            "As best as I can tell from what people have responded, hardly anyone buys eggs like I do"

                                                            It seems that you're conflating "rational" with "cheap". Maybe you should consider that the way you buy eggs isn't completely informed or rational. Your point sounds like sixth grade economics. Like JFood suggests, try applying your logic to other products and see how it holds up.

                                                            1. re: E Eto

                                                              And in case there are people who say that jfood's analogy is too hyperbolic, try using the same logic on ground beef.

                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                jfood, remember the ladies fragrance phenomenon we learned in B' school? Raise the price and sell more of it

                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                  You would very much like a study jfood saw on TV.

                                                                  - two pieces of chocolate, one lindt at $0.15 and a hershey kiss at $0.01...most people chose the Lindt
                                                                  - they changed the price down 1-penny to $0.14 for the Lindt and $0.00 for the Kiss...most people took the Kiss

                                                                  Rational behavior theory?

                                                                  1. re: jfood


                                                                    Something for nothing? No-brainer. Run like a thief!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                    [Assuming you mean the Lindt was $.14 and the Kiss free, not that they took each down one penny.]

                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                      In scenario one the Lindt was 15-cents and the kiss was 1-cent; scenario 2 was the Lindt was 14-cents and the kiss was zero-cents. The price of each was reduced 1-cent (15-1=14 & 1-1=0).

                                                                      So yes to your assumption and jfood apologizes if he was unclear.

                                                                      It is a study of the economics of psychology with very interesting results.

                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        I would take Lindt chocolate over a Hershey's kiss anytime, regardless of price. It's a matter of taste, which is why I thought we were all here....

                                                                        1. re: linguafood


                                                                          You're missing the point. It was a study on how "free" changes everything. at 15-cent vs 1-cent, 80% went for 15-cent, but at 14-cent versus free 80% went free.

                                                                          They chose Lindt versus Hershey because of exactly what you stated, it is better, but at free, that did not matter.

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            I understood your point. It wasn't that complicated '-)

                                                                            MY point, however, is that the 'free' thing doesn't work on me, because I like good chocolate. And Hershey isn't, not just compared to Lindt.

                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                              Shouldn't be that surprising that your 'houndishness' is in the 20%.

                                                              2. re: E Eto

                                                                "It seems that you're conflating 'rational' with 'cheap'. "

                                                                Well, to be fair to the OP, most economist do in fact equate "rational" with "cheap" (or more precisely, "profit maximizing").

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  "Cheap=rational" assumes that all things are equal, but the eggs aren't all equal: the large ones are just right for baking measurements, as many said. For a small price difference, some make the rational choice to buy what for them is the better product.

                                                          2. I buy most of my eggs at local farmers market. They are running close to $5.00 a dozen now, brown and green mixed together.

                                                            Most of the stuff I get at the local farmers market probably costs more per unit than at the corporate grocery store. I would rather pay more to support local producers, foragers and growers. Plus I get fresher produce and I believe it tastes better, also they all claim to be organic.

                                                            12 Replies
                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                Different breeds of chickens lay different colored eggs. My local farm (Queens Farm Museum for any locals) has chickens that produce white, brown, green, and blue eggs.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  Some breeds of chickens lay green eggs. I have a friend with an Araucana hen. No mistaking which chicken **those** eggs come from.

                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    I've seen and eaten white, brown, blue but never green. I hope I get the chance to try them.

                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                      I have raised chickens and got em in all colors. The free range chickens, the ones allowed to forage, do have a nice dark yolk. However, there is no health benefits to the darker yolk. As for the Araucana chicks, they can lay any number of colors from blue to green and shades in between. Very pretty, but again no flavor or health benefits for the shell color.

                                                                      I would add some crushed oyster shells for a better shell, and a mixture of natural feed with at least 17% protein for the best egg possible. I included flax seed in their diet for the added Omega 3, and I believe thats what Eggland does to their chicks and probably why they justify the insane prices.

                                                                      I would either give the eggs away or charge my neighbors egg cartons or vegetables. A few gave me milk, cream and butter.

                                                                      1. re: DallasDude

                                                                        DallasDude, what a fab photo! Beautiful all together. Thanks for the visual aid!

                                                                        1. re: DallasDude

                                                                          Pretty. Martha Stewart liked the colors so much that she produced paint based on the eggs.

                                                                        2. re: HillJ

                                                                          I understand that green eggs go very well with ham...even in a box...with a fox. :)

                                                                          1. re: Striver

                                                                            and with lox!
                                                                            ...but Aldi's so cheap dozen have gone from .79/dozen to 1.55/dozen

                                                                            so the eggs, ham, lox ...even in a box....just got a bit more expensive!

                                                                      2. re: HillJ

                                                                        When they say green, it's a very pale green.

                                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                                          So interesting nonetheless. Learn something new every day here on CH.

                                                                    2. Not speaking to your point, but a humorous aside on the price of eggs: I once heard a man who ran a "country store" in the North Ga. mountains say that he bought brown eggs from a supermarket and took them from the container and put them in a wire basket on the counter. Said he was able to mark them up about 300%. And then he would take a container from under the counter (in which he bought the eggs) and "package them up" !!

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: steakman55

                                                                        I hope that is not the case with us. We buy eggs from a kid who says he has his own chickens. He brings them to us in the cartons we give him. We pay him whatever he wants.

                                                                        1. re: steakman55

                                                                          I wonder what he told people if they asked about sourcing.

                                                                        2. You're not asking about brand then... Here most of the time the eggs are almost always "large" and I buy the brand I always buy which goes on sale every now and then.

                                                                          Most recipes call for large anyway.

                                                                          1. Just wondering, does anyone actually measure eggs by the ounce when cooking, or by the egg as I've always done? When costing out a recipe, you'd want to go with the way you use the eggs, and unless you're cooking for an army, I think most people calculate by single eggs. It seems sort of irrational to me to be measure by weight.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                              I don't measure eggs by the ounce when I bake. And I always buy and use extra large eggs in baking, never makes a difference to me. I use to take out a tablespoonful of eggs, when using multiple eggs in baking. But, Ina Garten once said in an interview, she always uses extra large eggs. So, if it works for her.... ; )

                                                                            2. I almost always keep large eggs in the fridge for baking. I do buy medium eggs to cook for breakfast. I know there isn't a huge difference in calories but my family doesn't even realize I am using smaller eggs so eat less than they would of the large.

                                                                              1. Not sure what the fuss is all about. In stores here they sell large, extra-Iarge and jumbo only. I eat 'sunny-side-up' eggs for breakfast maybe twice a week, and I buy extra large because the large ones just look too small on the plate. If the jumbos are on sale I'll buy those instead............... because they look even better. It's all about enjoyment for me.

                                                                                1. Big Guy, you seem to missing the point that an awful lot of recipes specifically call for large eggs - it's a point that has been made over and over and I think that it is a valid enough reason simply to buy large eggs rather than cheaper smaller eggs.

                                                                                  I always purchase large eggs for eating AND cooking simply because I don't want to deal with buying two different sizes of eggs and then track their different ages in my fridge. Also, I tend to use my eggs mostly for baking and cooking - not for breakfast.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: sebetti

                                                                                    I agree, sebetti.

                                                                                    I'm not a moron. I can do the math to figure out which eggs are cheapest per ounce or per egg. I know it's a shock, but I do math like that in my head all the time in the grocery store. However, I choose to buy large eggs because that is the size that works best for me.

                                                                                    There are many other factors in purchases other than cost.

                                                                                  2. My completely unscientific and unsubstantiated research shows that many grocery store shoppers are on auto-pilot. They buy what they're used to buying, without having to think very much.

                                                                                    I offered to show several people how to calculate the cost, per egg, by the posted price per dozen and they looked at me like I was a Martian. "I just buy large eggs. It's easier" one lady said, as if that explained everything. Another chimed in, "I've always used large eggs. My mother used large eggs."

                                                                                    In the produce department, one person was buying pre-sliced mushrooms in a sealed styro container for what I considered to be an astronomical price (more than 3X the cost of loose mushrooms pp). When I offered to show him how to select fresh mushrooms, he declined telling me that "I trust the brand (Campbells) because I've always eaten their soup". The logic - or lack of logic - is baffling unless one looks at the brain-washing of the typical American consumer who has been told over and over that taking the easy way is their right .......... Lack of responsibility also figures in here but I had better quit before smoke starts coming out of my ears. Rant over.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Sherri

                                                                                      I buy produce in whole form and take pleasure in preparing it myself. I also grow herbs and edible flowers, bake bread like a wild women and enjoy dining out at places often recommended by CH's....but convenience is something we all occasionally pay for, be it food or something else we enjoy outta life! Whatever folks decide to spend their hard earned pay on is their biz. Here on CH, you'll find plenty of folks who believe as you and the OP do...but just as many who don't. Why quibble.

                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                        No quibbles. I absolutely agree that convenience is worth paying for; do it myself sometimes. I am not in the "Absolute" camp at all and the Best Foods mayo in my fridge will support that.

                                                                                        What I do advocate is making informed decisions. Buying sliced mushrooms is not a mortal sin. Buying sliced mushrooms because they carry a particular brand name is a different kettle of fish. I should have mentioned that the man did not carefully look at the package. He picked it up and simply tossed it into his grocery cart based on the "Campbells" nomenclature, as he told me.

                                                                                        Buying large eggs, without ever opening the carton or checking dates, will never guarantee good quality. When shoppers defer responsibility to another entity, be it the store or manufacturer, they'll receive what they pay for.

                                                                                        Re-reading this, I must clarify my point. I am talking about processed product or packaged food. This does not refer to deferring to your butcher's or fishmonger's recommendations because those are based on knowledge and experience. When one of those people makes a recommendation to me, I generally follow it. "Sherri, the scallops are very good today" pretty much guarantees what will be on our dinner plate tonight.

                                                                                        I shop at a Farmers' Market, buying most of my produce there as well as eggs. Talking with the people who actually grow/produce my food gives me freshness and quality that a "Campbells" product never will.

                                                                                        Food is very important to us. I am willing and lucky enough to be able to pay for good quality products. That does not mean that my purchases should dictate what others buy and I apologize if I came iff sounding that way. Mea Culpa.

                                                                                        1. re: Sherri

                                                                                          Oh no, I didn't sense any issue w/how you expressed yourself. I only believe that educating fellow shoppers is a crapshoot. I applaud your efforts to try. In my community price & quality are mutually exclusive IF you're willing to do the research. Luxury of time counts tho & is a hard one for folks who don't have much xtra time. We're lucky; time to be here on CH, shop as we choose and make good choices for ourselves and our families. I'll avoid the whole issue of ignorance when shopping because I want to enjoy my lunch :>)

                                                                                    2. Has anyone recently noticed that the size of "extra large" eggs look like "large" sized eggs?
                                                                                      Has there been a grading change ?

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: monku

                                                                                        I have noticed that eggs look smaller then they used to but it also seems as though there is more variation within a carton of large eggs, with about 6 looking the same size, and a few larger and a few smaller making up the other 6. I assume they weigh the total carton at 24 oz. I expect that in eggs from the local poutrly farm but if it used to be common in supermarket eggs, I never noticed.

                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                          The size grading is based on the yolk not the egg itself, at least in commercial eggs. The local big egg farm has an old fashioned grading machine, and the eggs fall through according to their size. The little farms have the tiniest eggs you've ever seen mixed with giant ones, or mostly all tiny in the winter, but always the same price.

                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                            Size grading is based on weight of the whole egg, not the parts. In fact, the size grade is assigned by the minimum weight of one dozen eggs so you may actually see some smaller and some larger in the same carton so long as the whole dozen is above the minimum weight for its size grade. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/F...

                                                                                            1. re: kmcarr

                                                                                              OK, but when I've seen egg grading on TV , they're looking and grading by physical size and not weighing them.

                                                                                              1. re: monku

                                                                                                Depends on where it is being done I suppose. I've seen on TV (Good Eats, Episode "The Egg Files, I) a commercial operation that weighed each egg using a small puff of air to lift the egg off a conveyor belt as it passes by. This was a very large scale operation.

                                                                                      2. Well, you've obviously bought into the American dream of the cheapest food is better. You want to eat old, battery-cage, tasteless eggs? Be my guest. They taste like crap. I will pay the going rate for free-range, organic, fresh eggs every time. Also, if you bake, most recipes specify large eggs. Unless you have a scale and the recipe specifies weights, you're in trouble with smaller eggs.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                          Hold on. I think you are misreading the OP.

                                                                                          Putting aside the issue of using eggs in recipes, the OP was referring to people who buy Extra Large Eggs versus Medium Eggs of the SAME kind.

                                                                                          In other words, the OP is asking why people would pay more for Extra Large (to use your example) free-range organic eggs when the same free-range organic eggs in the Medium size are cheaper per ounce.

                                                                                          The OP is not asking why people pay more for organic versus regular eggs.

                                                                                        2. That is the way my dad used to do it back when I was a kid!!! And I thought he was the only one, hahahahaha. (I never imagined anyone as obsessed with nitty-gritty dollars and cents in the grocery store, but hey, there you are, BigGuy!!!)

                                                                                          I look for the cheapest free-range eggs. I like to think the chickens are happier.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                            I do too. Happy chickens aren't in many people's thoughts, but they're in mine since I had my little backyard hens.

                                                                                          2. I find the wide range of prices (2.18 per dozen up to 5.50 per dozen) of farm eggs quoted here very interesting. I wonder if that price is set based upon what the (farmer's) market will bear.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                              I think they have to use some supplemental feed, which went up with the price of grain and corn. There have feeds called egg producer, chick grower and so on, which have special vitamins for certain points in their life. But since most of the chickens I see are outside on the lawn all day long, it has to be what the market can bear, but again I guess in the winter they have to eat feed.

                                                                                              Farm touring is getting unbelievably popular lately so they can probably sell eggs all day long until they run out. My local lady always charged $2 a carton up to a year ago, then all of a sudden this summer it was $3, then $3.50 and end of the summer she wanted $4. I love her eggs, but for that price she should be cleaning them at least, they're all full of poop and straw, and I would say something to her but she's sort of crotchety! Used to be same price as grocery, now all of a sudden it's a luxury item.

                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                The differences in the cycle feeds (chick starter, etc) is the % of protein. I believe chicks would get a 20+%, and a layer more like 16-17%. Been a while though. Some feeds include a grit, otherwise you would need grit and oyster shell.

                                                                                            2. At our farmers market in Oregon and Phoenix it appears to be supply and demand. A few producers in AZ always sold out by 9:00am, seems reasonable to raise prices so you still sell out by noon but make more money.

                                                                                              In Oregon there is a little price fixing going on and the supply and demand thing. The producers are still selling out during the day but are getting $5.00 a dozen.

                                                                                              1. The gist of my post is that people do not purchase eggs via the efficient market theory and classical economics. Consumers often buy what they perceive to be the best or the most convenient, not what costs the least. I posted about this on another site and someone suggested look up a book by an MIT prof:

                                                                                                PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL
                                                                                                The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.
                                                                                                By Dan Ariely.
                                                                                                280 pp. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $25.95.

                                                                                                Here's the New York Times book review:

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: BigGuy

                                                                                                  I think the only people who would be surprised by this are neoclassical economists. And they wouldn't even be surprised, they'd just be frustrated about our "false consumerism".

                                                                                                2. I honestly do not know the exact price I pay for a dozen eggs. Years ago I signed up with a CSA. The option I chose comes with a dozen free-range eggs every week. Shell colours are mostly browns with some greens, whites, and various speckles mixed in. Every year I just renew my membership. Because I pay by the year, I get a 10-15% discount. Now I could go figure it all out, but I am happy with what comes in my box every week and figure I more than get my money's worth of the organic (mostly local) veggies and eggs. The eggs I get are delicious and taste nothing like grocery store eggs. And they do keep for several months.

                                                                                                  In the winter the eggs are a little smaller and when the days are longer they are a little larger. Most recipes (Ina Garten's being an exception) are standardized for large eggs. If there's a lot of variation in sizes of my eggs, I do my best guess on the right number to use to get the right amount of egg. So far, so good. :-)

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: decolady

                                                                                                    Oh my goodness! Those are so pretty. You're all set for Easter, hahaha.