The Egg Crackup

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American egg consumption has slumped significantly from a mid-century high:

In 2013, the average American ate less than one egg per day (roughly .68), according to unreleased data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Back in 1945, at the peak of American egg consumption, the average American cracked open well over one full egg per day (1.15 to be precise). That’s almost 70 percent more than today.

One big reason:

“Eggs are a fairly price-sensitive foodstuff,” David Harvey, an agricultural economist at the USDA, told Quartz. “Egg consumption is affected not only by the price of eggs, which has been rising, but also the price of competing protein products, like meat, which have been falling.” That dynamic helps explain why egg consumption peaked in the forties: The answer might lie in wartime rationing. “My suspicion is that people were consuming more eggs around the time of World War II, because meat was being so heavily rationed,” Harvey said.