Smuggling eggs: What people will do these days to get eggs

Jan 20, 2023, 9:30 PM

egg cartons are pictured in a store fridge, there is currently an egg shortage...

Eggs for sale at Reams Food Store in Sandy on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. ABC News correspondent Alex Stone tells KSL NewsRadio the demand and price of eggs has gotten to the point where some people are trying to smuggle them into the country from Mexico. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The egg crisis is spiraling out of control around the country with the cost of eggs skyrocketing at the grocery store. And people are now smuggling eggs into the country.

ABC News correspondent Alex Stone joined Inside Sources hosted by Greg Skordas on Friday to discuss the situation.

“But I mean this story right now is pretty bonkers,” Stone said. “What people are paying and what they’re willing to do for eggs and what the price is.”

He says the problem goes back to avian flu. Stone says 58 million birds are believed to have been infected in the United States. 

Stone says most of the eggs consumed in the country are two to three weeks old by the time they get to the grocery store. And come from big farms in the Midwest.

“And that’s where the avian flu has just exploded,” Stone said. “So, they’ve been wiped out.”

Smuggling eggs into the country

However, the prices appear to be coming down somewhat. Still, Stone says he has learned from the U.S Customs Border and Protection, that the agency has seen a huge increase of people trying to illegally smuggle eggs in from Mexico. To be exact, Stone says the agency has seen a 120% increase in the last few weeks. 

He says US citizens are crossing over the border into Mexico where there isn’t a lot of regulations and plenty of eggs. They then attempt to smuggle them back into the country.

“Which is illegal,” Stone said. “They’re agricultural products. You’re not allowed to do that. But they’ve been seizing a lot of eggs along the border.”

He says there a lot of people who live near the border in San Diego, and frequently cross over into Tijuana. Additionally, he says there are people who live on one side of the border and work on the other. 

Skordas asks, “What’s the future?”

“The worst of this seems to be subsiding right now,” Stone said. “And again, mainly in the Midwest. There are a lot of farms in the West that smaller farms have done just fine.”

Stone says he has heard of stories where farms are selling “cracked and dirty” eggs for $2.50 a dozen.

“And people have been lining up to get those,” he said. 

Egg crisis seems to be improving

He says consumers are going to see more eggs in stores now than they would have in late December. Prices are still up, however, wholesale prices are coming back down as suppliers are coming back online. 

“It’s kind of like the toilet paper of early in the pandemic,” Stone said. “We’ve gotta have something to freak out about, right? And right now, it’s eggs.”

Still, Stone says Americans are eating more eggs now than they used to as a healthier alternative. 

“So, you get his supply and demand out of whack,” he said. “Where the demand is super high, and supply goes way down, and you see what we’ve got right now.”


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Smuggling eggs: What people will do these days to get eggs