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Are Eggs Dairy?

|| byKat|6 Comments

Apparently, this is something we need to talk about.

Also, spoiler alert:


An overhead shot of six brownish orange eggs in a row, on a grey background.

Over the last few months, I’ve received a fair number of outraged messages that basically boiled down to a few main points: I am misleading people (and am therefore a truly horrible person), eggs are dairy, and most of my dairy free recipes are not actually dairy free. Because eggs. Obviously.

And let me tell you, that was quite a bit of a shock – because eggs are not, and have never been, a dairy product. Here’s the definition from the Cambridge English dictionary:

dairynoun • foods that are made from milk, such as cream, butter, and cheese”

And if we consult everyone’s favourite “fact” source, Wikipedia:

Dairy productsmilk products or lacticinia are a type of food produced from or containing the milk of mammals, primarily cattle, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, camels, and humans. Dairy products include food items such as yogurt, cheese, and butter.”

In the paragraph above, Wikipedia cites the Oxford English Dictionary, The Huffington Post, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. So even if you’re as sceptical about dear old Wiki as I am, those are some pretty reliable information sources.


Apparently, part of that belief stems from the fact that in the US, eggs are often sold in the dairy aisle. Which probably has more to do with there being some leftover space in the refrigeration unit than with anything else.

In the UK, eggs are sold all over the place, often near baking supplies such as flour and sugar. (Before you ask: no, eggs don’t contain gluten either.) And yet, even British people are somehow confounded by the egg-dairy conundrum.

Commonly grouped together: a bottle of milk, a block of butter, (parmesan) cheese and eggs. On a grey surface with a light greyish white background.

The Huffington Post further blames the images often found in the media, where eggs are frequently grouped together with cheese, milk and butter. So apparently, aside from the poor body image of women across the world, the media are now to blame for another thing. Surprise? (Umm… nope.)


Kind of… but not really. This misconception is quite widespread, even in restaurants where the terms “dairy-free” and “egg-free” seem to go hand-in-hand, when they definitely shouldn’t.

But there are many more bizarre food misconceptions out there – here are just a few “highlights”:

1. Cheese comes from plants, according to over 25% of UK primary school children.

2. An oldie, but a goodie: chocolate milk comes from brown cows. 

3. And let’s not even start on the whole “what does GMO actually mean???” debacle. All foods contain genes (as do people), although that apparently isn’t clear to over one-third of Americans.

Food shouldn’t be this complicated, folks. The fact that it looks that way, means that we need to raise awareness about where food comes from and how it’s produced. Because, and I’m truly sorry if this comes as a surprise: cows just don’t lay eggs. But if you find one that does, let me know and I’ll cheer for you from the bottom of my heart as you receive the next Nobel prize for revolutionary discoveries in biology.

P.S. Because it’s not a Loopy Whisk post without some recipes… here are a few of my favourite dairy free recipes, just for you! (Yes, some do contain eggs.)

Dairy & Gluten Free Tiramisu
A slice of dairy and gluten free tiramisu on a decorative antique plate with an antique fork.

Vegan & Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
Gluten free vegan vanilla cupcakes in plain white cupcake liners on a blue plate. They are decorated with swirls of vegan vanilla frosting and colourful sprinkles. The cupcake in the front has had its cupcake liner partially removed.

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake
Gluten free vegan chocolate cake on a decorative glass cake stand, on a white surface with white background. Raspberries decorate the top of the cake, and are also positioned around the cake on the cake stand, and around the stand itself. Chocolate shavings complete the slightly rusting, beautiful vegan cake.

Paleo & Vegan Caramel Sauce
Paleo & Vegan Caramel Sauce {gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut & refined sugar free, vegan, paleo} - This paleo & vegan caramel sauce is a true revelation. Healthy, dairy free and refined sugar free, it doesn’t quite seem possible – but it is. And it’s delicious. The recipe is quick and easy – 3 ingredients, 5 minutes and let’s say it’s single serving, shall we? Add a pinch of salt to make a vegan salted caramel sauce!

The Best Paleo Chocolate CakeThe healthy paleo chocolate cake sits on a decorative black and white plate, in a bright setting.

6 thoughts on “Are Eggs Dairy?”

  1. I am lactose intolerant, and about half the time I order something asking for no dairy, I have to specify that I mean anything from a cow: milk, butter or cheese. If not, an egg is usually left off or mayo is skipped because egg whites. I blame the food pyramid lumping eggs in the “dairy” category.

  2. Ahhh! Many of us Brits had it beaten (Not literally… it just felt like it at the time) into us at an early school age that you should eat from the various parts of the “food wheel” and eggs were always included with milk and cheese under the title of “dairy.” They were also often delivered by the milkperson (when these wonderful humans still existed.) However, as a severely animal-milk intolerant person, I do actually know better… and when you’re then asked “but can you eat Olive Oil..?” Ok, really? Now you’re just messing with me, surely?

  3. 1. PREACH!
    2. This is such a pet peeve of mine; people* thinking eggs are dairy;
    3. These same people* (if we can even call them that) are typically the same ones that think butter is NOT dairy. How many times have I gone to a restaurant and asked if there was dairy in the meal – to get the following reply, “oh no no, you’re safe. There’s only mushrooms in there with salt, pepper, and butter.”‘
    4. Umm…pretty sure butter is dairy.
    5. Yup. 100% certain on that. Oh and eggs are not dairy 🙂

    • Love this comment so much! It’s kinda scary how prevalent these misconceptions are… I mean, it’s not that hard, right?
      Did it come from a cow (or sheep/goat in some cases)?
      Yes –> dairy.
      No –> not dairy.

    • Here in Italy this happens to me so often with cheese, especially when it comes to Parmesan. It’s like the Holy Grail of Italian food and you HAVE to eat it even if you can’t. You ask if there’s dairy in what you want to order and they say no but then it comes in front of you covered in Parmesan and when you complain about it they look at you like you offended their entire family going back a thousand generations.
      People with so little knowledge about nutrition shouldn’t work in the restaurant industry.


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