Why are eggs so expensive?

Eggs are displayed at a grocery store.

Eggs are displayed at a grocery store.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

The egg shortage has people scrambling to find the best prices for eggs.

According to CBS 19, there is currently a national egg shortage caused by avian flu, also known as bird flu. Last month, CNBC reported that egg prices are on the rise even as chicken prices fall. They said that the U.S. has experienced one of the worst breakouts of avian flu that impacted 50.3 million birds since early February.

According to CNBC, 37 million egg-laying hens have died this year, meaning that egg production has been decimated by around 10%.

A report that came out last week about the egg market from the USDA said that egg prices are reaching record highs as prices continue to surge. They said, “The Midwest wholesale price for Large, white, shell eggs delivered to warehouses increased $0.13 to $4.30 per dozen with a firm undertone. Prices paid to producers in the Midwest for Large cartoned shell eggs rose $0.36 to $4.47 with a firm undertone. The California benchmark for Large shell eggs increased $0.19 to $5.00 per dozen with a firm undertone.”

The USDA said that demand for eggs significantly decreased after Thanksgiving, but during the Christmas season where cookie exchanges are prevalent, it may be set to rise again.

What’s the difference between brown and white eggs?

At the grocery store, a package of brown eggs can have a different price than white eggs, so what makes these eggs different?

According to Get Cracking, a website devoted to eggs, the difference in the color of the shell depends on the color of the feathers of the hen.

Brown eggs are more expensive than white eggs because hens that lay brown eggs cost more money to feed than hens that lay white eggs per Mashed. However, nutritionally, there is no significant difference between brown eggs and white eggs.

How to save money while grocery shopping

Previously, the Deseret News gave four tips on how to save money while grocery shopping. Here they are again.

  1. Look at what is on sale and plan your meals around that. This will cause you to think outside of the box — are strawberries and chicken both on sale? Make strawberry bruschetta chicken! Is ground turkey on sale? Buy that and a couple of cans of tomatoes, beans, corn and taco seasoning— now you have chili. Let the coupons and sales be your guide of what to eat and adapt accordingly.
  2. Think long term. This can be very hard if you are on a budget, but here’s a way to make it more budget friendly. Buy one item in a bigger size each week, depending on if that item is on sale. One week, if chicken is on sale, buy the bigger pack and freeze it. If a 10-pound package of rice is on sale, buy that. Set yourself up for success by accruing staples.
  3. Eat more vegetables. Vegetables can be the cheapest thing in the store. Don’t be afraid to buy frozen vegetables — they are just as good! One tip is to cook almost exclusively with frozen vegetables and then buy only certain vegetables fresh, such as ingredients for a salad. Emphasizing vegetables in your diet can help you cut back on meat, which tends to be more expensive.
  4. Think about planning meals in terms of components instead of recipes. If chicken is on sale along with some vegetables, buy that and then mix and match throughout the week. Having a couple of good sauces and carbohydrates on hand can dramatically change the flavor profile of a meal. Pasta, chicken and broccoli with tomato sauce tastes different than rice, chicken and broccoli with soy sauce. You can save money if you buy fewer ingredients and repurpose them.

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