News

A Shortage of The World’s Second Most Eaten Food

SAN JOSE, CALIF.— Due to an egg shortage that started in 2022, super markets across the United States have increased their prices on average by 60%.

The egg shortage started in 2022 when the U.S. suffered its deadliest outbreak of bird flu, also known as avian flu, in history. The highly contagious flu killed about 58 million poultry birds across 47 states and six thousand wild birds in all 50 states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, the avian flu rarely ever infects humans. There has only been one reported case of human infection by avian flu with the symptoms being very mild.

Due to so many poultry birds dying from the avian flu, egg suppliers say production has dropped by 6.6%. “Once a farm suffers a flu outbreak, it likely won’t produce eggs again for at least six months” says Senator Marco Rubio.

With so many chickens being put together in one space, bird flu can spread very quickly.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Images

Because of the low stock of eggs all around the country, prices for a dozen eggs have gone from $1.79 in 2021 to a peak at $5.46 in Dec. 2022 because of the high demand. Although some question if the astonishing increase in price has been due to actual inflation or profiteering. Cal-Maine Foods, the nation’s largest egg producer, reported  a times 10 increase in profit in November 2022. Farm Action, a building movement for a fair, inclusive, competitive food and agriculture system,  has called for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the record high egg prices. 

“Cal-Maine’s willingness to increase its prices — and profit margins — to such unprecedented levels suggests foul play,” Farm Action wrote.

For those who do not have quick access or cannot buy eggs, there are also many alternatives to this widely loved food. Some examples include applesauce, chia and flax seeds, and a mashed banana for baking. There are also many commercial egg replacements that can be found in store or online that can be used for both baking and cooking. These egg alternatives can be a very good and affordable solution for highschool students working with a lower budget. As egg prices increase, it gets harder to afford frequent egg purchases, 

Since the holidays, egg prices have slightly declined.  With Easter coming up, prices may stay elevated through March assuming the bird flu outbreak doesn’t worsen. It is expected for prices to go back down during the summer because bird flu outbreaks generally decline in the summer and peak in the colder seasons. 

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