WASHINGTON — Making a healthy breakfast is a good way to start your day. But you may have noticed the most important meal of the day is getting pricier. That's because one ingredient in particular seems to be exploding in price.
Any recipe with eggs seems to require a little extra lettuce right now. Queries for "why are eggs so expensive" are a top search topic online. So is the price of eggs going up, and why? Let's verify.
Are egg prices rising?
Yes, on average a carton of eggs costs you a lot more than typical.
WHAT WE FOUND:
The USDA charts egg prices across the country. At the end of 2022, the average cost for a dozen large eggs nationwide was $5.40. That's about $4 more than at the beginning of the year. That's not even considering the typically higher-priced varieties, like free-range organic.
Chris Mullins with Virginia State University explains there are two main reasons for the jump in price. First, an outbreak of avian flu has devastated flocks and farms.
"That's been the big factor that's really caused a shortage of eggs," Mullins said.
Second, the increased cost to keep farms going, like grain, fuel and other resources.
"If we are in an inflated state, the prices are higher. That, coupled with less potential eggs is a perfect storm," Mullins said.
The newest USDA report out this week shows 2023 began with a dip in prices overall. Locally, we're talking about $4.65 for a carton of large eggs -- that's still about $2.80 more than the average price over the last 10 years, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
But Mullins said we are headed in the right direction.
"We hope to see that down trend to continue. That we see that maybe through the first quarter here in '23, it'll really start to go down," Mullins said.
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