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Inflation comes home to roost

Staff writer

The memes documenting the cost of a common household item are funny — doctored photos of chickens decked out in diamonds and pearls and saying they know their worth.

What’s not been funny has been the cost of eggs, which went up 60% in 2022, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bird flu and inflation have been named as prime suspects for the price increases, though some lawmakers have called for a price-gouging investigation.

Greg Carlson, co-owner of Carlsons’ Grocery, said prices seemed to be on the way down.

“Over the last two weeks, they’ve dropped 80 cents a dozen,” he said. “My cost went down another 40 cents this week. Things are looking up.”

The price of eggs prompted some people to start buying from backyard sellers.

Becky Vannocker, who lives south of Hillsboro, has sold eggs for several years.

“I’ve picked up several new customers lately — most definitely,” she said. “We usually get two dozen a day. If we have an overabundance, all we have to do is put it on Facebook.”

Barbara Spohn’s son in Tampa started selling eggs when he was in seventh grade. He’s a sophomore now.

“We only sell them to friends and family, teachers, and people we work with,” she said. “He’s got a pretty good following.”

Their eggs go for $1 a dozen.

The national average retail price of eggs increased to $4.25 a dozen in December from $1.79 a year earlier.

Julie Klenda’s J&V Cackleberry Farm in Lincolnville sells to Carlsons’, Dale’s in Hillsboro, and Barnes Heartland Foods in Herington. It sells several cases — 30 dozen eggs in a case — a week.

Klenda also sells bigger eggs at $3.50 a dozen to people at her office.

“I have my usuals and have picked up a few,” she said.

Last modified Feb. 1, 2023

 

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