Mexico Struggles Under Egg Shortage

Hoarding drives up prices during shortfall
Wikimedia/Batholith

Mexico isn’t the first place we think of when eggs come to mind, but that country has the highest per-capita egg consumption of anywhere on Earth, which has resulted in hoarding and skyrocketing prices during an ongoing egg shortage after about 11 million chickens were slaughtered back in June.

A bird flu outbreak earlier this summer led to the chickens’ executions, but now there aren’t enough eggs to meet demand, and the price of eggs has doubled since June, according to CBS News.

"Eggs, as you know, are one of Mexicans' most important foods and make up a core part of their diet, especially in the poorest regions of the country," said President Felipe Calderon. In Mexico, people consume an average of 350 eggs per person each year, which is 100 more than in the U.S.

President Calderon announced Friday that there would be $227 million in emergency financing to try to halt the problem. He said the government had already begun importing eggs from the U.S. and Central America.

Officials blame some of the shocking price increases on speculation and hoarding, and Calderon said the government would be spending inspectors to stop speculators from hoarding all the eggs.

Mexico City sent trucks of eggs into working-class neighborhoods to sell eggs at less than half the current price. According to CBS, thousands of people lined up for about two hours to get them. Isidrio Vasquez Gonzalez was among them, and the 43-year-old cook spoke fondly of the versatility of eggs.

“You can make eggs with anything — scrambled eggs with pork rinds, eggs with beans, green chiles, poached eggs, green beans with eggs, eggs with tomato sauce,” he said.

He has a point. If you’re somewhere with plentiful eggs, check out some of our best egg recipes for other inspiration.