Sunday, February 2, 2014

Organic Egg Shortage: Free Market Failure

The Market Basket grocery store in New Bedford posted this sign recently apologizing for an industry-wide shortage of organic eggs. The shortage has also been reported in places like New York City.

According to the Wall Street Journal last year, the invisible hand of the free market isn't working:
The Farm Belt isn’t going organic fast enough to keep up with surging consumer demand, forcing makers of organic foods from milk to deli meats to look abroad for key commodities while struggling to recruit skeptical farmers at home. The U.S. is the world’s largest producer and exporter of corn and soybeans, but organic supplies, which are used largely as animal feed for production of organic meat and dairy, are hard to come by here.
We shovel billions in taxpayer subsidies to corporate farm interests and they can't even make enough organic eggs to sell us. Great system, huh?

If you can't find organic eggs at the grocery store, use the USDA's Farmers Market Search to track down some local eggs. Or for the really ambitious, look into getting some backyard chickens.
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