Eggs are pricey right now. That’s if you can find them at the store.
The price of eggs went up 49.1% from December 2021 to November 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It’s due to a combination of factors including a deadly avian flu going around , high demand, and increased production costs for farmers.
More than 57,800,000 birds in 47 states have either died due to a bird flu virus infection or have been killed due to exposure of infected birds since early 2022, according to January 10 statistics from the CDC.
That’s a record, marking this the deadliest outbreak in history.
So when can we expect to see prices fall?
“The best projections right now from USDA is that egg prices will be down by 50 percent or 75 percent at the wholesale level early this year, this spring or summer,” said Daniel Sumner, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of California Davis.
“As of right now, we’re expecting prices to come down very rapidly, but still not get back to normal, if I can call it that, until 2024,” he said. A big factor in this timeline will be how long it takes to get the flu under control.
“Within the system we have to build. Now, fortunately, if this were beef cattle, it takes years and years to grow a cow. It takes weeks and weeks to grow a hen,” said Sumner.
In the meantime, there are substitutes you can use in place of eggs. For animal protein, you can eat other meat.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says many items can be used in place of eggs, depending on the situation.
Tofu can be a good alternative for scrambled eggs and boiled eggs. When baking, chia and flaxseed gel can be a good replacement for binding. Powdered egg replacers are also recommended.
To add richness when baking, mashed banana, applesauce, garbanzo beans, or pureed avocado can be a good substitute.