Growing Egg Shortage Hits America at One of the Worst Possible Times

Growing Egg Shortage Hits America at One of the Worst Possible Times

Inflation has run rampant throughout President Joe Biden’s term, and now Mother Nature is adding insult to injury by arranging shortages of — and therefore price increases for — one America’s most common food staples.

This coming year is expected to be the “biggest year of bird flu” in the state of California, according to the California Poultry Federation, and eggs are already starting to become harder to find on grocery store shelves in the state, KXTV reported.

“I’m not seeing any eggs,” said Michelle Fehy, a grocery store customer from Novato, California, told San Francisco’s KGO-TV. “I was here earlier in the week when they were empty.”

Barbara Barrish, another local area shopper, agreed.

“There’s not an egg on the shelf, just an empty area,” she said.

Stores like Safeway and Lucky are posting signs asking customers to limit their purchases to two dozen eggs per family per visit.

“It’s sad when anything like that starts to happen,” Tara Fortier, a shopper at the Safeway store in Alameda, California, told KTVU. “And then, of course, it really brings it home for all of us that there is an impact. It is a supply chain and a food chain.”

“It’s really hard on our grocery stores,” she added. “It’s really sad for the farmers and then there’s us. You want to go bake something, and you can’t find eggs, or you can’t have eggs for breakfast. So it’s an impact all the way around.”

Officials told KGO that millions of turkeys and “egg-laying hens” had been infected with avian flu, leading to commercial farmers euthanizing flocks at at least 11 locations.

“The farms are locked down, we don’t let people in and out of the facilities,” Bill Mattos from the California Poultry Federation told KGO.

“We’ve lost significant numbers of chickens for eggs in the Central Valley, but I think the Sacramento area should be OK in the next few months once the market kind of takes care of itself,” Mattos told KXTV.

“At this point in time, over one million birds are impacted,” Sonoma County agricultural commissioner Andrew Smith told KGO.

For farmers, the problem is not just the lost birds, one poultry farmer told KXTV, but the time it takes to replace them.

“The biggest thing is the down time,” poultry farmer Ken Mitchell said. “You could be out four to six months. If you don’t have birds, you aren’t making money.”

Unsurprisingly, the California Poultry Federation told the outlet that egg prices would continue to rise for at least another month, depending on how long it takes to get the bird flu outbreak under control.

“All of the egg industry is hurting, every which way you can think of,” said EttaMarie Peterson, who runs a small family farm in Petaluma, California and sells eggs to customers.

“It’s crazy, I’m surprised there’s any eggs in the fridge,” she told KGO, explaining that she was struggling to meet her customers’ demands for eggs during the current shortage.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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