If you're like most Americans, you've probably done a double-take after seeing the price of eggs at the grocery store. The past two years have brought a stream of various food shortages and price increases, and eggs have been hit particularly hard lately.
A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that the price of eggs have jumped 49.1 percent in the span of about a year. And as the Seattle Times reports, "The average cost of a dozen large, Grade A eggs more than doubled to $3.59 in November 2022 from $1.72 in November 2021."
CNN reported that in late December,"Midwest large eggs, the benchmark for eggs sold in their shells, hit $5.46 per dozen." They were around $1.70 the same time the year prior.
“Prices have been escalating for nine consecutive weeks … setting new record highs on a daily basis since the week of Thanksgiving,” said Karyn Rispoli, editor of the Egg Price Current, when speaking to CNN in December.
Like many rising food costs, the high cost of eggs is the result of shortages. But what exactly is behind the low availability? According to experts, we can blame avian influenza (commonly known as bird flu). A staggering 57 million birds were affected by bird flu last year, CBS News reports.
Daniel Brey, president of Brey's Egg Farm, offered some insight on bird flu and what happens when a chicken becomes sick with the disease.
"Back in March, the bird flu started affecting different farms...Unless you're a bigger farm, it puts you out of business, it does, if you get it," Brey told CBS News. "If you have one sick chicken, all the chickens have to be off the farm, one way or another."
Farms have previously been affected by bird flu, but Brey explained that when the disease struck last year there wasn't much of a break from the spread.
"In 2015, when it happened, once we went to the summer, it was over with. This year, the bird flu kept going. Matter of fact, there was birds that were still getting it, as in the first in December," he said.
While it's unclear when we'll see an end to the egg shortage, prices have reportedly started to trend down now that the holidays are over.
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