Food Trends

Eggs now more expensive protein than chicken in the US

Eggs are now more expensive than chicken meat.

Eggs are now more expensive than chicken meat.  (iStock)

The incredible edible egg is getting incredibly expensive, thanks to the lingering effects of the  avian bird flu. 

According to the latest figures from the USDA, at least 48 million birds have been killed in an attempt to quell the outbreak—over 70 percent of which were egg-laying hens or chickens used to breed egg-laying hens. The soaring price in eggs has now made it more expensive than chicken breasts on a “protein per dollar” basis for the first time in U.S. history, according to Quartz.

A USDA large egg, about 56 grams, has about 7 grams of protein, and 280-grams of chicken breast contains a little over 69 grams of protein, according to the USDA. The retail price of chicken in has fallen in recent months, to about $3.175 per pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average price of a dozen eggs is averaging $2.47 meaning that 10 dozen eggs would cost $24.76-- but seven pounds of chicken breasts would cost $22.23.

In some places, a dozen eggs under $2.50 could be a bargain. Last month, egg prices soared 84 percent, hitting record highs of over $3 a dozen in some markets, USA Today reported in June.

The increase in egg prices has led to some big changes in the food industry. Grocery chains like H-E-B have started rationing eggs—up to three cartons per customer as a time. 

Whataburger has limited breakfast hours to curtail egg sandwich orders and Panda Express has now replaced the egg in its signature fried rice with corn kernels—much to the dismay of fast Chinese food fans everywhere.