Why Are Eggs So Expensive Right Now?

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If you’re like most of the world population, you’re probably finding ways to save money in a struggling economy thanks to COVID. You consider how you can spend less on food, which means incorporating notoriously cheap items like eggs. But then you get to a half-empty egg cooler in your local grocery store and see a price tag that makes your wallet weep. So, why are eggs so expensive right now?

Eggs Cost More Than Some People’s Minimum Wage

You’re not going to like this, but chickens have been dealing with their own form of “COVID.” The worst worldwide avian flu outbreak in history is the culprit. It began in 2021 and hasn’t gotten any better.

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Because the avian flu virus is so deadly, farmers have to cull their chickens. According to the CDC, the virus’ 90 to 100% mortality rate can wipe out coups within 48 hours. Vox explains that this means even uninfected chickens need to be put down to prevent the spread of the disease. This in itself is a travesty, as chickens are euthanized by either suffocation or forced heat stroke.

The New York Times reports that over 44 million hens have been depopulated since the avian flu outbreak. Worse, it takes about 4 to 5 months for hen stock to get back to “peak productivity.” One expert says that it can take some hens up to 10 months to get back to regular production.

After hens are culled, everything needs to be cleaned and sanitized, and then new healthy hens come in. At their best, they generally can produce about two dozen eggs per month each.

Adding to the eggspensive nightmare is the fact that chicken feed and production prices have gone up. When one supply chain is affected, it usually causes a chain reaction. Chicken feed like corn and soy costs more, and getting those eggs from farm to carton is an expensive process.

You’re Not Alone. Eggs Are the New Caviar.

Even as inflation is slowing, egg prices are skyrocketing. In the United States, the average price of eggs shot up by 120% in 2022. If you live in a state like California, you’re looking at paying about $6 to $9 for one dozen eggs in some places.

And on top of it all, some egg manufacturers are just inflating their egg prices because they can.

“Corporate greed is the producer of Egg-Land’s Best, Farmhouse Eggs & Land O’Lake Eggs, increasing its profits by 65% last quarter to a record-breaking $198 million while doubling the price of eggs & reporting no positive cases of avian flu. Yes. We need a windfall profits tax,” tweeted Senator Bernie Sanders.

The good news is that we may have reached our peak egg prices, according to food and agriculture economists. But nothing is certain these days. So in the meantime, you might want to consider alternatives to your morning omelets.

Read More: Egg Smuggling at US-Mexico Border Soars 108% as Prices Skyrocket

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