Everyone has felt the effects of rising food costs in America. One of the most surprising foods to be affected was eggs, with prices rising as high as $6 a dozen in some places. Allegedly, avian flu ravaged the hen population last year, taking out nearly 44 million. A news outlet initially broke the story, but then people in an online forum came together to discuss the causes and ramifications of this price hike and to decide where the blame should be placed.
Less Than Egg-Cellent Conditions
According to The Guardian, the cause for the price hike in eggs has been largely absent in the media. The site claims a global pandemic of avian influenza (H5N1) has resulted in the deaths of more than 43 million hens in the egg industry. This alleged outbreak has caused a shortage of eggs and increased prices.
The outlet also says that the conditions in which the hens are kept only exacerbate the problem. Avian influenza is incredibly contagious, and companies in the egg industry don't exactly give their hens penthouse suites to lay in. The tight living quarters and stressful environment that the hens are kept in likely caused the spreading of the disease to accelerate.
Factory birds are also pumped full of antibiotics to keep them healthy until they serve their purpose. The strain of influenza likely mutated and became immune to the antibiotics the hens were given. The news outlet warns that, like Covid-19, avian influenza has the potential to mutate and infect humans, so the issue should be taken seriously.
On Reddit, one person rejected the theory of avian flu and instead pointed the finger at egg retailers, who allegedly set the higher prices. The individual credited Walmart for calling them out and getting the prices lower. They claim that if you went to Walmart today, the cost of eggs would have dropped back down again. “Hate rewarding Walmart, but they did come through on this one,” they said.
Someone else pointed out that egg profits have increased recently and that if avian flu were indeed the culprit, there would be evidence in financial statements. Another person said it was not influenza that killed the birds but the farmers after discovering that the disease had infected their flock.
Other people claim that avian flu was an excuse the industry needed to lie about and justify raising their prices. They also pointed out that this theory would explain their record profits despite claiming the loss of so many birds. Some pointed out that the original article was seemingly written by an animal rights activist more interested in lobbying against chickens in factory farms than focusing on the “obvious” corporate greed.
Some of the more out-there opinions included a theory that the flu was man-made due to unsanitary living conditions.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.