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Egg consumption continues to decline
Here’s some encouraging news: Per capita egg consumption in the U.S. has been steadily declining for the past six years.
That’s according to a recent industry fact sheet posted on the United Egg Producers’ website, which is based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2006, the average American ate 258.1 eggs while the estimate for 2011 drops down to 246.3 — that’s nearly one dozen fewer per person.
Why are people eating fewer eggs? There’s no doubt that in the past several years the industry’s reputation has suffered as undercover investigations inside factory farms — from California to Pennsylvania to Minnesota to Maine to Iowa and elsewhere — expose the miserable, unsanitary conditions forced upon hundreds of millions of laying hens confined in tiny wire cages for their entire lives.
Numerous experts agree that this intensive cage confinement contributes to a number of welfare problems, so much so that the use of these cages was phased out of the entire European Union in 2012.
Battery cages continue, however, to dominate egg production in the U.S., and the industry has long attempted to ignore the allegations of cruelty to animals. But as a growing number of consumers discover the truth about modern egg production, we’re beginning to see real change. For example, several companies including Morningstar Farms, Lightlife, BOCA Foods and Quorn have reduced or eliminated their use of eggs and added more vegan options.
As a growing number of consumers discover the truth about McMuffins and the industry overall, the interest in leaving eggs out of our shopping carts will hopefully continue to rise. With so many wonderful vegan cookbooks, recipes, baking tips and products available today, it’s never been easier.