What is the best size of eggs?

Eggs come in different sizes. In this way and many others, eggs are similar to pants. Eggs not only come in different sizes but in different quantities as well. Anyone can walk into a grocery store and come out with a six large eggs, or maybe a twenty-four medium eggs, or possibly a dozen small eggs. The combinations of egg sizes and egg quantities may seem endless but there’s probably like sixteen combinations or something.

Regardless of how many eggs one can purchase in a container, eggs come in various sizes. At my local grocery store, eggs can be purchased in sizes from large to extra large to jumbo. This seems pretty arbitrary and we should first confirm whether or not egg sizes are standardized (these things never seem to be). Luckily a Google search and a short (but extremely relevant) Wikipedia article reveals that US Department of Agriculture defines chicken egg sizes in terms of net weight per dozen eggs, ranging from peewee eggs to jumbo eggs.

With this information, it seems as if it would be extremely simple to find out which eggs generally are the best value in terms of most egg per dollar. However, in our increasingly digital economy, where anything from alligator jerky to zebra print hats can be purchased with a simple click, eggs seem to have been left behind.

Across many different eTailers and eGrocers, eSearching for eEggs gives eResults from different eBrands with different eSizes and many even exclude ePrices. The current state of buying eggs through the internet is inconsistent enough to deserve a rant in its own right. A real investigative journalist would go out to the grocery store in order to report on the prices of various egg sizes, but without the financial backing of a large, well-respected newspaper, this investigative journalist can only assume that eggs are like all other things and that buying in bulk gives the most bang for your buck. We can only assume jumbo eggs are the most economic size while peewee eggs are the least.

This does not necessarily mean that jumbo eggs are the best and peewee eggs are the worst. In our hyper-capitalist culture, we often conflate value with quality. I admit that I have buried the lede with this unnecessarily long and convoluted discussion of egg sizing in terms of prices that resulted in a conclusion of, ironically, no value. We must explore other ways in which the best egg size can be determined.

A metric more and more overlooked in our political climate nowadays is expert opinion, as reflected in the current state of vaccination and climate change. Who better to have an expert opinion in eggs than Eggland’s Best the self-proclaimed #1 egg in the United States? Thankfully, their response was quick and straightforward without any corporate jargon or tiptoeing around the point:

Thank you for contacting Eggland’s Best. My personal favorite is the Extra Large egg.

Pam Dooley
Consumer Relations Specialist, Eggland’s Best LLC

Nullius in verba is the motto of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific institution in the world, which literally translates to “of not any in words.” The scientists of the Royal Society take this motto to mean “take nobody’s word for it.” so why should we take Pam’s? Who is Pam to dictate which egg size is the best? That is a rhetorical question: Pam’s credentials were made clear in our correspondence; she is a (perhaps the) Consumer Relations Specialist at Eggland’s Best LLC.

Titles and positions in the corporate world can mean many different things. What are the specific duties of a Consumer Relations Specialist at Eggland’s Best LLC? Unfortunately, it seems as if there are no postings for a Consumer Relations Specialist at Eggland’s Best LLC on Glassdoor. Pam’s job is safe for now and deservedly so, I might add, for her quick and straight-to-the-point reply. However good this is for Pam and her retirement account, it necessitates much more work for us.

Searching for “Consumer Relations Specialist” in general on Glassdoor proves to be much more fruitful. The closest match was a position on the New England Dairy & Food Council for a Farmer Relations Specialist who “loves milk, cheese, and ice cream” and “would enjoy the challenge of bridging the disconnect between consumers and the dairy farmers who produce the milk and dairy foods they love” — a great analog for what Pam does, all things considered.

This position requires, among other things, a Bachelor’s degree in marketing or communications, proficiency in Microsoft Office, proven excellence in marketing, and experience in the food and dairy industry. These qualities make for an great employee but don’t necessarily make for someone with great authority in egg sizing. Pam, as great as she was, may have overstepped her bounds here.

Instead of learning from Pam Dooley in a 2019 email, we can instead learn from Thomas Jefferson in the 1776 Declaration of Independence. I don’t mean the “necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another” nor the “transporting large Armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny” part, but just the whole power to the people and democracy is cool vibe in general.

Perhaps instead of just the word of Pam Dooley, the King George III to the America of our egg quest, we should consider amongst ourselves which egg size is the best. To that end, a strawpoll conducted to the most rigorous of pseudo-academic standards of over 70 egg-buying individuals found that the overwhelmingly most popular egg was the large egg. In general, people like bigger eggs.

If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

John Stuart Mill in his philosophical work, On Liberty, presents certain criticisms of democracy, primarily arguing against tyranny of the majority, the concept that in a pure democracy, the voice of the many have the power to unjustly oppress the voice of the few. Perhaps it is best if people decide for themselves what the best size of egg is.

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