Are Eggs Considered Dairy?

Sorting out this often mistaken notion

Free range eggs in bowl
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Although we all know eggs come from chickens, some of us may wonder if eggs are dairy. Perhaps this is because eggs are shelved in the dairy section of the supermarket, or because eggs are often grouped with cheese and milk in nutritional images. The confusion whether eggs are dairy could also be due to the similarity of the terms dairy product and animal byproduct. But contrary to this somewhat common misconception, eggs are not a dairy product.

While eggs are, indeed, produced by animals and, therefore, an animal byproduct, they are not a dairy product or a derivative of dairy products. A dairy product refers to a product of the mammary glands of mammals such as cows, goats, sheep and others, and the products made from them, like milk, cream, and butter. 

Dairy and Egg Allergies

Many people who do not consume dairy products also do not consume eggs because of allergies, dietary restrictions, ethical beliefs, or other reasons. However, people who avoid dairy because of milk allergies or who are lactose intolerant—but do not have an allergy to eggs—are able to consume eggs as a part of their diet, without the negative results associated with dairy intolerances or allergies. 

Dairy-Free Egg-Free Diets

Besides for reasons other than allergies, there are two groups of people who eliminate dairy and eggs from their diets. Vegans are people who choose to abstain from consuming both eggs and dairy—a vegan diet is void of any animal products or byproducts, meaning not only is meat not permitted but also eggs, milk, and butter.

There are also some Jewish communities that do not consume eggs with dairy if the egg was found inside the chicken and not laid. This is because an unlaid egg is considered meat and it is not kosher to consume dairy with meat (not because eggs are considered dairy).

Dairy-Free Egg-Free Recipes

To find some dairy-free and egg-free recipes, look no further than a vegan cookbook. What may be the most challenging dishes to make are desserts, but there are actually several dairy-free egg-free desserts where you will find many delicious options for pies, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, ice cream, fudge, and puddings. A chocolate marble cake is void of eggs and butter, and tasty and impressive looking, so much so it doesn't need frosting. A clever recipe for banana chocolate brownie replaces the bananas for the eggs, while soy milk and dairy-free chocolate are included to satisfy any chocolate craving, and keep the recipe dairy- and egg-free. And who would think cheesecake could be dairy- and egg-free? You won't believe that a vegan cheesecake can be so creamy and luscious.