Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Price increases on eggs lead to alternative approaches for SEMO students, community

Thursday, April 6, 2023
Graphic by Kyrie' Padberg

Over the past year, the United States has seen drastic price increases for the fundamental grocery item, eggs. In the last year, eggs have increased by 70.1% in grocery stores all over the United States, with food as a whole increased by 10.1%, according to CNBC.

Chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics David Yaskewich said grade-A eggs have increased from $2 to more than $4 in only a year, with the national average at $4.20.

These increases are caused by a rise in the cost of fuel levels and bird feed, labor shortages and most of all, the Avian influenza, killing background and commercial poultry, according to CNBC.

An article by USAToday stated gas prices were at a constant increase for five weeks starting in January 2023. They have recently stabilized in Missouri, staying at around $3 per gallon. So, why haven’t egg prices gone back to normal?

The Avian Flu is the NO.1 cause of the increase in egg prices and is the reason they have not gone back to normal. An infographic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture stated the United States as a whole has lost more than 58 million birds since 2016, including commercial and background poultry. The mass death of poultry has made it difficult for some farmers to maintain a full flock of hens to produce enough eggs to support the demand.

Sophomore art major Kate Cooper has a family farm where they raise chickens for eggs. They have not experienced issues with the Avian Flu, but she knows of farms that have.

“[Eggs are] super scarce or they're high-priced, and I think that is because of egg prices [rising], and a lot more people are looking for hens to start raising their own eggs,” Cooper said.

Cooper’s family farm was able to get a total of 5,000 hens this year from a seller in Western Missouri. This has allowed them to produce more eggs than they need, so they were able to supply their family and friends with the overstock of eggs.

They charge approximately $3 for a dozen eggs, which is almost half of what local Cape Girardeau stores charge for “organic eggs.”

Having a farm with cattle, chickens and crops is not the only way to produce fresh-farm eggs. In 2017, the chicken ordinance was passed, which allows Cape Girardeau residents to own chickens inside city limits.

Supporter of the chicken ordinance Andrew Bard helped with this amendment by stating his claim in front of the city’s council meeting and getting more than 600 signatures to ensure its passing.

Many places around Cape Girardeau also provide or sell their own farm-fresh eggs, such as Spanish Street Farmacy. An article by Rural Missouri stated Spanish Street Farmacy only uses locally-produced food; customers can buy these ingredients from their market as well.

There are other more creative ways to combat the rising prices for eggs, such as using substitutes when cooking.

According to an article by Healthline, ¼ cups of unsweetened applesauce can replace one egg in most recipes, as well as purees made from either mashed banana, avocado or pumpkin. Yogurt or buttermilk also work well as a replacement to eggs when baking items such as muffins and cakes.

With the Easter holiday coming up, families may not want to pay the price to dye eggs. Companies such as Eggnots provide ceramic eggs for a cheaper price. If families want to go the non-traditional route, they can do things like painting rocks, dying marshmallows or bake and decorate Easter egg-themed cookies. For more fun and alternative approaches to Easter crafts, go to the MyRecipes website.