“Diseconomies of Scale”: High-tech Versus Low-tech Supply of Eggs - "An egg in the supermarket uses 350 times as much energy as a locally produced egg"

Traditional housing for chickens in Zembe, Mozambique. By Ton Rulkens – Traditional housing 2

The industrial path results in a dollar cost at the supermarket check-out that is at least twenty times that of the local path if a labour cost is included, and 100 times if one is not. The multiple for energy costs when the industrial total ends at the factory out-gate is about 166 kJ/4.3 kJ = 39/1. A complete account which added the energy costs of waste disposal and transport from the supermarket to the household, etc. might raise the cost for the industrial path to above 1.5 MJ per egg, i.e., to the region of 350 times the energy cost for the alternative path.

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