Photo via Flickr user Daniel Zemans
Banking, the auto industry, and cheese; all cornerstones of the American economy and all industries that have benefited from federal bailouts in the face of potentially disastrous market changes.Well, we can now add eggs to that list, as the USDA has just announced plans to buy $11.7 dollar worth of eggs and egg products, FoodDIVE reports. This comes one week after the USDA also announced it would buy 11 millions pounds of surplus American cheese for $20 million in order to help alleviate producers who are dealing with record-low prices and high surpluses.
So, is the USDA planning on making a gigantic omelette with $31.7 million worth of eggs and cheese? Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you feel about the redistribution of wealth, these eggs will instead be going to American families in need and food banks.
Much like the dairy industry, egg producers are also feeling the crunch lately after a significant drop in demand and price. Last year was a rough one for the egg industry, as a bird flu outbreak caused prices to skyrocket, even surpassing the price of chicken meat. But prices collapsed soon after, when supply returned to normal but demand did not. Now, producers are sitting on a massive surplus that will be purchased by the federal government and put to good use.Needless to say, this federal assistance was music to the ears of egg producers. "We are also pleased USDA will purchase both shell eggs and processed egg products," United Egg Producers President Chad Gregory said in a statement. "This balanced approach will be beneficial at a difficult time for the egg farming community."The USDA's $20 million cheese purchase is also destined for food banks and families in need, meaning that thousands of underprivileged Americans will finally get their fair share of breakfast sandwiches.