Lifestyle

The eggs mystery is cracked

I recently read that 70 to 80 billion eggs are expected to be produced in the United States this year. Translated to dozens, which is the way most of us buy our white-shelled wonders, that totals roughly 6.6 billion dozen. I don’t care what anybody says, that adds up to a pretty big soufflé.

My brain wanders off on unpredictable tangents, and I got to wondering where all those eggs go. I consume a couple dozen each year, usually fried in butter with a light dusting of pepper and ground okra. Let’s say that everyone who feverishly pages through this newspaper looking for my column consumes the same amount. We’ve still only accounted for two dozen, leaving roughly the same 6.6 billion dozen that we don’t know much about.

Let’s see if we can figure out where all those eggs go. Numbers are fun to play with. The government does it all the time.

Some of the eggs probably break before they reach the store. Perhaps a lot of them crack up that way. Possibly 2 billion dozen are lost in that fashion, leaving 4.6 billion dozen.

Eggs get decorated for Easter. There are an awful lot of children in this country. Maybe another billion dozen are consumed in that fashion, leaving us scratching our heads and wondering what happened to the remaining 3.6 billion dozen.

It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that some of the eggs which make it into the home refrigerator eventually spoil and are thrown out. If that’s a frequent occurrence, we might account for another two billion dozen.

We’re etting closer. Down to 1.6 billion.

Maybe someone is hoarding eggs in an effort to drive up the price? You know, like years ago when the Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market. If that’s going on, we may have identified another 1.5 billion dozen. (I estimated a limit of 1.5 billion dozen for a hoarder by assuming nobody has a fridge which would hold more than that.)

The last 100 million dozen eggs are likely the result of an error in the government’s projection of annual production. We all know how fuzzy they are with math.

I feel better now that I’ve successfully figured out where all those eggs go.

Loren Fairman, a freelance humor writer, lives in the Federal Way area.

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