The Great Egg White Shortage Of 2014 Is Here, And It's All Our Fault

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There are few things worse than throwing away perfectly good food. But one worse thing would be a food shortage and concurrent skyrocketing prices as a result of throwing away said food. Which is that's exactly what's happening now, resulting in an egg white shortage. The more people shun the yolk and demand egg white-only everything, the harder it is to find the the egg white delicacy — so when you can get your hands on some, it's significantly more expensive than previous years.

Last year saw an egg white craze sweep through the nation, as the negative buzz around the yolk started gaining steam. Studies found that the yolk was high in cholesterol and could contribute to heart disease, with one study even finding it was almost as bad for your health as cigarettes. Health-food nuts and celebrities quickly ostracized the egg yolk, and the rest of the world followed suit.

Then came the countless meal plans on health sites that practically forced egg whites down your throat for you. When the trend trickled down to the masses, major restaurant chains like McDonald's, Subway, and Dunkin' Donuts started featuring egg white-only sandwiches.

As a result of this anti-yolk trend, the demand for the egg white, also known as the albumen, reached fever pitch. US food price information service Urner Barry tweeted a chart that showed depleted albumen inventories...

And as demand increased, so did prices. Last year saw significant increases in price for frozen, liquid, and dried egg whites. According to Food Business News, the price of dried egg whites were four times the price of egg yolks in October 2013. One egg processor told the publication, "It’s hurt small bakeries the most," explaining that they "can’t keep dried whites in stock."

If the egg white shortage reaches dire levels, Gwyneth Paltrow won't be the only one in distress. Without the albumen, we would be depraved of a whole spectrum of delicious foods. Take a look here and try not to get teary.

Quiche

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We would really, really miss having breakfast in pie form.

Soufflé

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Egg whites are what help make soufflés rise, so without them we'd have pretty sad, flat soufflés.

Meringue

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Without egg whites, you can kiss lemon meringue pie goodbye. *Sniffle.

Crepes

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Who would want to live the rest of their lives without Nutella crepes?

Frittata

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Sure, it's the slightly less glamorous version of the quiche, but it's still a bunch of stuff stuffed into an eggy cake, so it's still pretty good.

Basically Any Pastry

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The entire country of France would panic. And, frankly, so would we.

Omelets

Duh. Without egg whites, you wouldn't have the breakfast staple of America. Although, maybe yolk-only omelets could catch on one day and balance out the world again?