There’s an egg shortage in America! As Richard reported in an article in the San Antonio Express-News a few days ago, the large Texas supermarket chain H-E-B is limiting customers to three cartons of eggs to deal with a shortage caused by the avian flu. Yesterday the Washington Post carried an article with the scary headline “Egg rationing in America has officially begun.”
Egg rationing? Yikes! Chicken Little might say the sky is falling!
But really, can we call limiting consumers to three cartons of eggs “rationing”? Technically, it’s an accurate use of the word, because H-E-B is limiting the quantity people can purchase. But you tend to associate rationing with much more stringent limits on supply — like getting one pair of shoes for the entirety of World War II. Telling people they can only buy 36 eggs during one visit to the grocery store doesn’t really seem impose limits that will affect many people. Other than kids intent on mischief on a Friday night and the members of the Duggar clan, how many people buy more than 36 eggs at one time, anyway?
I like eggs. When you think about it, they’re one of the more versatile foods we consume. They’re great on their own — I like mine over easy or scrambled — but they’re also essential for baking. And they are a great source of protein.
But I’m a patriotic guy who wants to do what is best for the U.S. of A. If we’re strapped for eggs, I want to help. I’m willing to sacrifice. So I hereby agree that I will voluntarily limit my purchases to less than 36 eggs until this “temporary egg shortage” is over. And because egg prices are already skyrocketing because the invisible hand is reacting to the shortage, my patriotic gesture incidentally will probably save me a few bucks, too.