Just in case you haven't been following the news about the impeding egg-pocalypse in the US, let us quickly sum it up for you: our egg situation is fucked.
To back up, it all started back in April when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ordered 5 million chickens on an Iowa farm to be killed in order to prevent the spread of avian flu. Well, that did little to stop the recent outbreak, and now at least 48 million birds have been killed to date, according to the latest figures from the USDA. The disease has spread across the Midwestern states and over to the West Coast, affecting farms in Washington, Oregon, and California.
Because nearly three-quarters of those chickens were egg-laying chickens or breeding chickens (as opposed to those raised for their flesh), chicken meat prices have remained relatively stable while egg prices have skyrocketed, nearly doubling in recent months.
"In June, producer prices for eggs for fresh use surged 71.7 percent in price from May," reported CNBC last week. "Consumer prices are also jumping with one USDA report for daily New York eggs showing large Grade A and USDA Grade A egg prices at major chains rising to a range of $1.99 to $3.49 Friday from $1.99 to $2.79 to a year ago."
And you know what that means? Eggs are officially more expensive than chicken meat.
Your mileage may vary, of course—the figures released by the USDA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics and compiled by Quartz represent a nationwide urban average, not the prices at your corner store.
Still, those prices are nothing to sniff at. (We refuse to say "no yolking matter.") Chinese-American chain Panda Express started replacing the egg in its fried rice with corn. Whataburger shortened (albeit temporarily) its breakfast hours due to the shortage. Frozen dessert chain Rita's opted to temporarily replace its frozen custard with eggless soft-serve, much to the chagrin of its loyal customers.
Perhaps less significant for Americans but more disastrous for our neighbors across the Pacific, our lack of chicken feet to export has forced China to start sourcing from Brazil.
We'd offer an upshot if there were one. You could always go vegan, but if tofu scrambles aren't your steeze, just be careful when you're making your sunny-side ups. Those things could be worth more than your (very, very shitty) car one day.