Americans to pay almost 75% more for a turkey this Thanksgiving
Americans already saddled with inflated grocery costs will pay nearly 75% more to put a turkey on their Thanksgiving table because the spread of avian flu has decimated the amount of birds.
According to the Department of Agriculture, a turkey weighing between 8 and 16 pounds costs $1.99 per pound — up from $1.15 per pound a year ago.
The USDA figures were cited by CNBC Make It.
Other Thanksgiving meal staples have also gotten more expensive this year. The cost of potatoes rose 17.5% last month compared to September 2021.
Making gravy will also put a squeeze on Americans’ finances this year. There is a shortage of butter, a key ingredient for gravy. The shortage has fueled a 26.6% increase in the cost of butter compared to last year.
Another source of fat, margarine, costs 44% more this year compared to a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Flour, another key ingredient of gravy, saw its prices surge by 24.2% year over year in September.
Fruits and vegetables such as cranberries and sweet potatoes are 10.4% more expensive on average, according to BLS.
The US is currently in the midst of one of the worst outbreaks of avian flu in its history.
So far this year, more than 47 million chickens and turkeys have been culled in 42 states as farmers work to mitigate the spread of the pathogen.
Officials order entire flocks to be killed when the virus is found on farms. More than 6 million chickens and turkeys were slaughtered last month to limit the spread of the disease.
Earlier this week, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium announced that it had closed several exhibits and taken other precautions after one of its pelicans died from bird flu.
The zoo said one of its pink-backed pelicans that died last Thursday tested positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza.
A second pelican became ill last Friday and was euthanized.
As a precaution, the zoo has closed its Lied Jungle, Desert Dome and Simmons Aviary exhibits to the public for at least 10 days.
The Omaha zoo also took precautions to protect its birds by limiting staff access to them and requiring workers to clean their shoes before entering areas where the birds are kept.
With Post Wires