The Egg Shortage: How Serious is the Problem?

Empty+shelves+where+eggs+used+to+be+are+seeing+more+often+in+supermarkets+as+the+egg+shortage+continues.

Cynthia Lan

Empty shelves where eggs used to be are seeing more often in supermarkets as the egg shortage continues.

Cynthia Lan, Photojournalist

A couple months ago, the United States was infected with the bird flu, which caused a fast decreasing number of eggs to sell. More and more customers have noticed empty shelves in supermarkets such as Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Amazon Fresh, etc. Even the price of eggs has risen about 30% from before in at least 47 states. “According to the food market data company Urner Barry, the average price for eggs was $4.33 per dozen as of Tuesday. Last year around this time, the price was around $1.33” (fox5vegas.com). Lately, people have been taking the egg shortage problem more seriously. “My neighbors are discussing how to raise chickens at home!” Christine Serbu (9) mentioned.

My neighbors are discussing how to raise chickens at home!”

— Christine Serbu (9)

A lot of YLHS’s students love cooking by themselves or with their families. Eggs are used in various dishes; whether you like to fry, scramble, or boil eggs, eggs are an essential element in many foods. Furthermore, eggs are a great source of protein; one average-size egg can contain “about 6–7 grams of protein” (healthline.com). “The average person needs about 7 grams of protein every day for every 20 pounds of body weight” (hsph.harvard.edu). Not to mention, athletes need more protein to build their muscles.

 

“Two days in a row! Two days! Those eggs are gone after noon in Costco!¨ Christine Serbu expressed. Phrases like “Inflation busting prices! Quantity limit: 2 per customer (applicable on all egg varieties)” are posted on the refrigerator door at supermarkets. Also a measure of severity, the situation has led to the “depopulation of more than 44 million laying hens in the U.S. since the outbreak” (nytimes.com).

 

This bird flu that caused the egg shortage is also called avian influenza: a type of virus that is highly contagious and “kills 90% to 100% of chickens within 48 hours” (tasteofhome.com). Stated in Fox News, “about 60 million birds are gone because the farmers across the country have had to destroy entire flocks of chicken if one or more tests positive.” Moreover, the floods that have happened recently can enlarge the transfer of viral diseases, and one chicken can infect a whole group of chickens without the farmer finding out. Unfortunately, the flu spreads quickly. 

 

In short, eggs play an important role in people’s lives and hopefully the egg shortage resolves itself soon. Do not stress too much about it yet, but make sure to get much needed protein from a different food source. The Wrangler wishes you luck in getting the eggs you need!