Since January 2022, the cost of food, especially eggs, has increased significantly. The media would have people believe that there is just one cause. While it’s true that Avian Flu (H5N1) is wreaking havoc all across the world, especially in the US and France, many other factors have led to this nutritious food item being in scarce supply.
The media tells us that this is the worst outbreak of avian flu since 2015 and that it has eliminated 6% of the laying flock in the US. However, there are other factors contributing, all of which Protect The Harvest has worked to inform the public about.
New laws are significant factors in the high cost of eggs (California Prop2, California Prop 12, Mass Question 3, Michigan, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, and Utah) requiring producers to provide their hens larger spaces, cage-free barns, and/or requiring stores to only sell eggs from those specific farms that comply with their state regulations. States like Ohio have banned the construction of new battery cage housing systems for egg-laying hens. In addition to the avian flu, winter storms, fuel prices, and truck driver shortages, cage-free requirements mean poultry farms have to retrofit to accommodate for the larger areas. Colorado is the latest state to enact a cage-free law as of January 1 and after losing 85% of their poultry flocks to avian flu, their prices will be rising.
Animal extremist groups that are seeking to end animal agriculture are behind the legislation being pushed across the country. Their whole goal is to make animal-sourced protein unaffordable to the average American.
In January 2022, the CEO of Gristedes Supermarket chain warned of potential meat and egg shortages as the Covid variant Omicron disrupted the supply chain. At that time, beef had risen 21% in November 2021 over the previous year. He stated that the variant was affecting different levels of the supply chain including the warehouses, selectors, drivers, and loaders. He also made mention that the price hikes and shortages in the supply chain were exacerbated by the rising cost of oil.
Other factors causing the steep increases in prices are the increased restrictions placed on truck drivers by the ELD mandates. Limiting driving hours means a longer period of time for products to get from factories to retail locations. Then there’s the new law in California requiring that no diesel semi-trucks older than 2010 are allowed on the roads. More and more of California’s truck drivers are leaving the field unable to afford to upgrade their vehicles. California alone has over 70,000 independent truck drivers.
The lack of affordable food for families has been an ongoing concern for our organization. Several years ago we partnered with Dianne Sullivan, co-founder of Equitable Spaces and an advocate for families facing poverty, to help provide information about the impact of the legislation being pushed by animal extremist groups. We have been warning about this incredible hike in the cost of eggs for years. We have also been warning that the families hit hardest are those on fixed or low incomes. Eggs provide a valuable and affordable source of protein. Families, especially families with young, growing children are going to suffer the most if eggs become unaffordable.
A free and fed America is important to all of us and it is up to all of us to ensure it continues.
As previously mentioned, all of these issues Protect The Harvest has written about in detail. To read more:
Ensure that your Business Meets Cage-Free Laws
California's Bad Egg Bill Set To Crack U.S. Economy
Supreme Court Set to Review California's Prop 12
Supreme Court Lawsuits Filed Against Massachusetts and California
Six States to Appeal California's Egg Law Decision
Washington State Enacts Cage-Free Egg Law
A New Law Prohibiting the Sale of Non-Cage-Free Eggs Will Go Into Effect in January
State Senator Pushes for Cage-Free Eggs in New Mexico
Economics of Food Production and Inflation
Inflation is Eating Your Groceries
How ELD Mandates Impact Food Security
Inflation Related to Overregulation and Logistics
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