Regular(4/3) – Bird Flu Causes ‘Egg Shock’ in Japan

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Egg prices 'expected to soar' in Japan after record cull of 10 million birds | CNN Business


1. The wholesale price of eggs in Japan has almost doubled over a year, some supermarkets are running out of eggs, and restaurants are taking eggs off their menus. Japan is in a situation some are calling an “egg shock.”

2. According to a recent survey from Teikoku Databank, 18 out of 100 major Japanese restaurant companies have now taken eggs off their menus. They all blamed a serious shortage of eggs and high prices.

3. Even McDonald’s has decided not to offer a special spring egg item in 2023, while the Sukiya restaurant chain has raised the price of its gyudon beef bowl with raw egg.

(1)Do you often eat eggs? What’s your favorite way to have them?

(2)What ingredients would you find it most difficult to live without?

4. The weak yen and the war in Ukraine are part of the reason for the egg shortage, since they have made the grain used to feed chickens more expensive.

5. But another major reason is bird flu, a type of influenza that affects both wild birds and poultry — birds like chickens, ducks, and turkeys that are kept for their meat and eggs. Since October 2021, bird flu has been spreading around the world in the worst outbreak of the disease in history.

6. And it has come to Japan, where — according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries — over 15 million birds have been killed to stop the disease from spreading.

(1)Do you ever buy groceries online? Why? Why not?

(2)Have your grocery shopping habits changed in any way in recent months?

7. Agriculture minister Tetsuro Nomura said in January that it could take from six months to a year for the supply of eggs to return to normal. However, Japan is just one of 76 countries hit by bird flu.

8. According to the World Organization for Animal Health, over 200 million birds have died either from the disease or because they were killed to stop it from spreading. And The New York Times reports that the US government is now considering flu vaccinations for poultry.

(1)What are your thoughts on Japan’s “egg shock”?

(2)Does it surprise you that so many restaurants have taken eggs off their menus?

(3)How does high inflation affect the economy and the people in it?

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