Are Eggs Dairy or Meat?

Everyone knows that chickens come from eggs. Chickens are meat, but what are eggs? Eggs are considered by most people to be a dairy product. However, they are not dairy in the traditional sense. A true dairy product is made by the mammary glads of a mammal. Eggs do not fit this definition, however they are an animal byproduct, which is why they are are lumped into the same group as dairy products.

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Unlike other dairy products, eggs are extremely high in protein. The whites are where the protein is hidden while the yolks harbor certain vitamins as well as cholesterol and the majority of the calories. Because of this, people who are dieting usually try to consume only the low-calorie whites so they can load up on protein, which helps keep them feeling fuller, longer. Their protein content is similar to meat.
cartons of eggs
In terms of texture, they are more like dairy when raw and more like meat when cooked. Raw eggs have a semi-liquid consistency and they can be blended into things like batters and mixes. Once cooked, they take on a more solid quality and can no longer be blended into other foods like a liquid. The texture of a cooked egg is more like meat than dairy.

When you purchase eggs at the grocery store, you will find them in your grocer’s dairy section, as well as in most cook books where you are often taught how to hard boil eggs to use in various recipes. Most nutritionists and government-sponsored food pyramids classify eggs as a dairy product. On the other hand, many vegetarians won’t eat eggs or foods containing eggs because they consider them a meat product. It’s all about your personal perspective and whether you consider the egg a baby chicken or an animal byproduct.

Whether you think of eggs as meat or dairy, you’ll always be partially right. Their classification is not nearly as important as their great taste and the important role they play in a balanced diet. Think of all the recipes you know that contain eggs. The chicken products have integrated themselves into our daily diets and show no signs of losing popularity any time soon.

It’s important to note that persons with dairy allergies will not necessarily be allergic to eggs. Lactose intolerance does not make one intolerant to eggs, just as an egg allergy does not make one allergic to milk or other dairy products. Another interesting note is that unlaid eggs are officially considered meat, while eggs that have been laid are considered dairy. The composition of the egg does not change during the laying process, but the classification of the egg does.

Whether they are meat or dairy, one thing will always remain the same. Eggs are a healthy part of many people’s diets and will likely remain a staple food for a long time to come.

  • swagg


  • seth wigal

    So is it meat or dairy but at same time not dairy

    • Jenna

      Correct me if I’m wrong but as this article states eggs aren’t meat OR dairy. Eggs have their own special place in the food category business :) If you think about it, you can’t really place them in a food category. Eggs have a category of their own!!

      • pat

        your correct mate :)

    • yolky bear

      It is both a bioproduct like mollases

  • HughGass

    eggs are not dairy. eggs come from a chicken. why is this concept so difficult.

    • Juke Box

      Make sure you share that with the world so it would be less difficult?

    • Guest_23

      milk come from cows. can I consider them meat as well? hahaha

      • Terri Thompson Richardson

        The milk from mammals come from mammary glands, therefore, an egg is not dairy. Cows and other mammals can be milked or eaten.

  • Juke Box

    So when someone says they’re allergic to dairy, most if the time do they mean milk products? Or also eggs?

    • Mirin

      People allergic to dairy often refer to “Lactose” which is present in dairy products. Eggs doesn’t have it.

    • Mirin

      Or, if it isn’t a lactose intolerance, the source where the milk or dairy product were made from plays a key factor.

  • yo

    If eggs are meat and dairy so that would be a byoproduct like molasses.

  • jil

    Excuse me but this question often worries me:when we put an egg in boiling water aren’t we boiling a live animal?

    • Mirin

      No, you’re not boiling a live animal because the eggs that are sold at the grocery are unfertilized.

    • Terri Thompson Richardson

      Well, if a fertilized egg is considered to be am embryo and embryos are considered to be unborn children, does that mean that we are eating baby chickens every time we eat an egg?

  • Mirin

    All dairy products are primarily made from milk, which is made by the mammary gland of a mammal. An egg is only categorized as “dairy” at the grocery for technicality, being that eggs and dairy products share the same temperature range for proper storage. It is more of a meat with many culinary uses.

  • bubbles

    i feel so eggestential about the eggsageration of this eggspertly written eggsposition

  • Terri Thompson Richardson

    While shopping with a friend a few years back, I made a comment about getting eggs from the dairy area. My friend said she had never understood why eggs were in the dairy section. And I just didn’t get why she would question the placement of eggs, until she asked me “Terri, where do eggs come from?” and my blonde moment ended. (Are they doing sonograms on hens now to see if they left any eggs unlaid? Unlaid eggs are officially meat? How do they know there is an unlaid egg?)

  • Tyaire Ferrell

    I always thought that I chicken were raised from eggs, why is isn’t considered as meat, even before the chicken hatches