Egg prices have skyrocketed 60% in one year. This is why.

Egg prices have more than tripled in some states in the last year.  This is why.
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He increased cost of eggs in the US it is dental home budgets. In recent years, Americans have increased the amount of eggs they eat and reduced their consumption of beef and venison, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture.

Egg consumption has grown in part because more families are eating them as their main protein substitute, said Sonja Sharp, a Los Angeles Times reporter. saying CBS News. “Each of us eats as many eggs as a hen can lay per year,” she said.

As demand for eggs increases, production in the US has plummeted due to continued avian or “bird” flu epidemic. Nearly 58 million birds have been infected with bird flu as of Jan. 6, the USDA saying, making it the deadliest outbreak in US history. Infected birds have to be culled, causing the supply of eggs to decline and prices to rise.

Egg prices in December increased 60% from a year earlier, according to the Consumer Price Index data released on Thursday. In US cities, the median price for a dozen large Grade A eggs was $4.25 last month, according to figures of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

In some states, it can even be hard to find eggs on the shelves. But overall egg supplies are holding up because the total flock of laying hens is down just 5% from its normal size of around 320 million hens. Farmers have been working to replace their herds as soon as possible after an outbreak.

Sharp said prices likely won’t drop again until after new uninfected chickens hatch and reach egg-laying age. More than 300 flocks of farm-raised poultry have been affected by the outbreak as of last Friday, according to the USDA. data.

In New York, grocery store owner José Filipe said the high cost of eggs has caused many customers to change their spending habits.

“I’ve seen customers go from buying organic eggs now to more conventional eggs, and specifically now, the half dozen. Prices have quadrupled in about six or seven months,” he said. recently told CBS New York’s Jenna DeAngelis.

What is bird flu?

Avian influenza is transmitted by free-flying waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, and shorebirds, and infects chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl. In another recent major epidemic of the disease, it killed more than 50 million chickens and turkeys in 2014 and 2015, while causing economic losses of $3.3 billion, according to USDA estimates. The agency is now investigating a possible bird flu vaccine.

Fortunately, the public health risk associated with bird flu stay lowaccording to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, cooking all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F is recommended as a general rule of thumb for food safety.

The cost of processed eggs, used in liquid or powdered form in manufactured products including salad dressings, cake mixes and French fries, has also risen, adding to inflationary pressures.

inflation cooling

The consumer price index, a closely watched indicator of inflation, rose 6.5% in December from the previous year. That was the smallest annual increase since October 2021, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday and continues the steady decline in price increases since they peaked at 9% in June of last year. Falling prices for energy, raw materials and used cars offset increases in food and housing.

But if eggs remain expensive, Chicago resident Kelly Fischer said she’ll start thinking more seriously about building a backyard chicken coop because everyone in her family eats eggs.

“We (with the neighbors) are contemplating building a chicken coop behind our houses, so eventually I’m hoping to not buy them and have my own eggs and I think the cost comes into that a little bit,” said the 46-year-old public school teacher. her while she shops at HarvesTime Foods on the north side of town. “For me, it’s more about environmental impact and trying to buy local.”

Eggs are just one of a number of food staples whose price has skyrocketed in 2022. For example, margarine costs in December are up 44% from a year earlier, while butter is up 31%, according to the data. of the CPI.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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