The Egg Beat: Skyrocketing Prices, American Egg Board Tries to Crush Vegan Competitors & A Poultry Flu Apocalypse Could Change Factory Farming Forever

Current news on The Egg Beat.

The American Egg Board – an industry funded, government-appointed marketing group – was revealed last week to have conducted an extensive campaign to discredit a vegan alternative to mayonnaise developed by Hampton Creek.

US-appointed egg lobby paid food blogs and targeted chef to crush vegan startup

Reports the Guardian’s Sam Thielman:

Internal emails reveal coordinated attack by American Egg Board to quash the rise of Hampton Creek’s egg alternative in possible breach of federal regulations.

 

The American Egg Board Is Tired of Playing Softball With You People

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones provides the larger picture

Expect to shell out more for eggs, prices soar in California

Associated Press reports the rising prices are due to multiple factors:

  • an avian flu outbreak this spring that resulted in the killing of 48 million domestic chickens and turkeys, mostly in the Midwest.
  • additional costs passed on to consumers by California producers, who pay an additional 20 cents per dozen eggs for chicken feed which comes primarily from the Midwest.
  • the implementation of California’s Proposition 2, approved by California voters in 2008, which mandates all eggs sold in the state be from farms that allow chickens to move around freely. Under the law, egg-laying hens must have 116 inches of space, that deemed necessary to stand up, lie down, turn around, and fully extend their wings. Traditional battery cages provide 67 inches of space.

 

Bird flu aftershocks to drive U.S. turkey, egg prices higher

Reuters report on August 16 points to rising costs due to the avian flu outbreak and a limited supply of baby chicks and space to house them, after loss of 48 million chickens and turkeys. “Chicken and turkey producers say the egg and poultry industry faces up to two years of rebuilding to fully replace flocks.”

 

Why the Era of Cruel Extreme Confinement of Animals Raised for Food Appears to Be Coming to an End

Head of the Humane Society promotes a new Massachusetts ballot measure to “stop extreme confinement of laying hens, breeding sows, and veal calves, and to ensure that any shell eggs or whole, uncooked cuts of pork or veal sold in the state do not come from extreme confinement either.”

 

Brad Pitt Wants You to Know Something Horrible About Costco

Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Bill Maher and other celebrities have been pressuring giant retailer Costco to “stop selling eggs from hens confined in tiny cages.”

 

Costco Doesn’t Want You To Know What’s Wrong With These Eggs

Industry mouthpiece Protect the Harvest gets hysterical:

With a wonderfully alarmist visual of an American Egg, cracked down the middle. Protect the Harvest blames the “radical animal rights movement” epitomized by the Humane Society of the United States.

EGG-BILL

 

What the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history means for farms

According to this Fortune magazine report, the bird flu outbreak has alarming implications for factory farming:

“perhaps the most troubling aspect of the crisis is its implications for the viability of industrial-scale farming. The egg industry’s huge “layer operations”—the sort that house millions of birds in one place—are designed to protect birds from contamination, says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota at the University of Minnesota. The animals’ environment is tightly controlled, and workers who enter the henhouse follow special hygiene protocols; often, they must shower in and out, change clothes and wear special boots. But when a virus pierces such defenses, or when defenses lapse, having all of one’s eggs in one basket (so to speak) can make the impact more devastating.”

 

The Lexicon of Sustainability’s The Story of an Egg, from Spring 2012:

 

5 Reasons to Reach for Farm-Fresh (Pasture-Raised) Eggs Every Time

Barnraiser founder and entrepreneur Ellen Gordon Chiarello on the wonders of eggs from free-range chickens.

Meet Real Free-Range Eggs

An informative 2007 primer on free-range eggs from Mother Earth News

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