You may have read a number of reports recently regarding egg shortages. A widespread and ongoing outbreak of avian flu has disrupted the supply of eggs. How the shortage of eggs is impacting on the Chinese community in the UK?
To cope with the current egg shortages, which has seen some empty shelves, supermarkets across the UK have introduced temporary limits on the number of eggs customers can buy, to try and ensure availability for everyone. Asda, Morrisons and M&S have introduced a limit of two boxes of eggs per customer due to unprecedented demand.
In the past few weeks, eggs were very scarce in the supply market. The owner of a Chinese restaurant in London Chinatown told me: “The recent shortage of eggs that the UK has been experiencing for a long time has made it difficult for the restaurant to get eggs, or we have to pay very high prices to buy them. This has resulted in many of our dishes not being able to be prepared, so we had to increase the price of some dishes to reduce the cost of operation.”
“Before that, we had a lot of dishes containing eggs that sold very well and were very popular with customers. After the shortage of eggs, many customers would rarely order those dishes because the price had risen some. Sometimes when there are no eggs in the kitchen, these dishes will be crossed off the menu.” The Chinese restaurant owner said.
In addition, some other restaurants have also replaced the dishes that need to be made with eggs with other dishes. For example, some brunch restaurants replaced the eggs in the set meal with bacon or sausage to make up for the inability to supply eggs to customers.
Eggs are good source of protein, with a medium egg containing around 6g of protein. They’re quick to cook, versatile and can be enjoyed at any meal in the day. But there are lots of alternative sources around if you find them hard to come buy, including pulses and veggie proteins such as tofu.
When Chinese people cannot buy eggs or the price of eggs rises, in order to supplement the protein needed by the human body in daily life, people will buy tofu made from soybeans or mung beans. Tofu has a high protein content and is of better quality than the protein found in grains and is close to the protein found in meat. Every 100 grams of tofu contains 15.7 grams of protein.
But my Chinese friends said: “For Chinese baked goods, the impact of the egg shortage is so great that many baked goods cannot be made at all because substitutes are hard to find.”
Nobody knows when the egg shortages will end as so many of the contributing factors are still ongoing, such as the war in Ukraine, rising prices, the cost of living crisis and avian flu. Although the government has tried to reassure the public that the shortages will be a short-term issue.
Eggs are indispensable ingredients in Chinese cuisine. If this is the case for a long time, egg shortages will largely affect Chinese community in the UK and imperceptibly change some of our daily eating habits. Everyone hopes that this crisis can be solved as soon as possible. After all, eggs are very important for the nutrition needed by the human body.