Egg Recall, Cages and the Bottom Line

The FDA has announced a voluntary recall of eggs produced by Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa due to potential salmonella contamination. (There have already been some confirmed cases.) Sold under the brand names Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralphs, Boomsmas, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps, the eggs were were distributed in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa but may be sold nationwide. Not all Wright County Eggs are being recalled only those with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. For more information, visit http://www.eggsafety.org/.

Eggs are breaking news elsewhere in the country too. The New York Times recently reported that Ohio just banned new cages for egg-laying hens following pressure from animal welfare advocates. This follows the recent news that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California signed a law mandating that eggs sold in California would, by 2015, have to come from eggs whose cages meet minimum space requirements.

So will all of this lead to higher production costs that will be passed to the consumer? Who knows? But interestingly, outspoken author and food advocate Michael Pollan recently discussed our country's continued reliance on cheap food. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he tried to provide some mathematical perspective, noting that even if eggs cost as much as $8 per dozen, a two-egg meal would still only cost $1.50.

Egg-eaters have plenty to think about while preparing their morning omelets.

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Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule. Read all of Cheryl's iVillage posts here.

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