Are eggs dairy? It’s a commonly asked question that has a simple answer. Contrary to popular belief, eggs are NOT dairy! Why then, you ask, are eggs always found next to dairy products in supermarkets? And especially for people with food allergies and those seeking to lead a vegan lifestyle, a clear answer to this question is of utmost importance. It is the same as asking whether fish is meat or not to ensure you are not mistakenly eating something you should actually avoid.
Are Eggs REALLY Not Dairy?
To answer the question of are eggs dairy or not, we first need to know what is dairy. Dairy refers to food products that come from the milk of mammals like cows, goats, and sheep. So milk and delicious creamy products containing milk such as cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and butter are all dairy products.
Meanwhile, eggs are produced by animals that can lay eggs. These are birds, fishes, and reptiles. But, of course, the eggs that we are usually referring to are the ones laid by birds, specifically, chickens.
It is true that both come from animals, but they come from different types of animals. Belonging to the bird class, chickens lay eggs, while mammals give birth and produce milk to feed their young. From here, we can safely conclude that eggs are not dairy.
And therefore, this also means that eggs naturally do not contain any lactose which is the sugar present in milk. Hence, it is considered a safe ingredient to use in most baking and cooking recipes. Generally, most lactose-intolerant and dairy-allergic persons are still able to enjoy eggs, just as a person with an egg allergy can consume milk. So, be rest assured and feel free to indulge in some tasty deviled eggs or Italian scrambled eggs.
Why Are Eggs Considered Dairy by Some People?
So, why do people keep asking the question: are eggs dairy? We believe this confusion may be a combination of reasons — their similar health benefits, the placement of eggs in grocery stores, and how both are used together in both baking and cooking. Both dairy and eggs are rich in protein and are considered real foods. This makes them a popular food choice for high-protein diets. Furthermore, they also fall under the same category as “animal-produced goods”, especially when you’re buying from your local farmer’s market. Hence, many simply assume that eggs are dairy since they both come from farm animals.
While eggs are mostly produced by poultry farms, there can be instances where dairy farms also produce them. So when the markets receive the farm goods, these are always brought together and are often placed right next to or in the same aisle as the dairy section. As we walk through the store and grab our dairy, we also often grab eggs, which may have caused this confusion.
Like peas in a pod, people also often buy cow’s milk, butter, and eggs together since they are common yet essential ingredients for baked goods and desserts. This could also be another reason for this confusion.
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Are Eggs Vegan?
Are eggs vegan? No…and yes. Eggs are animal products. Since vegans are advocates of animal welfare, most of them do not consume them.
However, veganism can be a flexible diet and lifestyle. Some vegans who are open to including eggs in their diets are called ovo-vegetarians. They consume ethically-sourced eggs from cruelty-free poultry farms where the hens are too old to be commercially farmed. These hens are free-range chickens and are well looked after. Moreover, ovo-vegetarians believe that egg-laying is a natural process that is not harmful to the hens. As such, it does not flout the primary concerns of animal cruelty.
So, Are Eggs Dairy? Nope!
It’s time we stop confusing eggs for dairy. This misconception is an interesting question that has an easy explanation. The bottom line is that eggs belong in the poultry category and are from birds. Meanwhile, dairy is a milk-based product that comes from cows, goats, and sheep.
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