Kenya’s love for Kienyeji eggs and why less technology costs more

Stumbling upon my neighbor quarrelling the house-help for having fed her children the eggs that are not kienyeji because they are cheaper stopped me mid-step. I mean, what is all the fuss for? They all are eggs laid by hens.

That was my take on the matter until she said that these other eggs are laid by genetically modified hens and the eggs are, therefore, from GMOs and have chemicals and lack proper nutrition.

Whether you like them scrambled, poached or boiled, eggs are a great source of high quality protein. They have also been part of our diets since the dawn of time.

Genetically modified foods have been a matter of controversy across Kenya because they provide opportunity to promote sustainable food production. On the other hand, they come with potential health risks associated with their consumption.

It is, therefore, inevitable that consumers feel anxious about the genetically modified foods. This has in turn, affected their attitudes and behaviours towards choice of food. Studies suggest that the anxiety felt by the consumers about food may be greater when the risk of consuming the food occurs involuntarily, regardless of their actions or choices. 

Read also: Scarcity pushing Kienyeji eggs to the quail moment

Consequently, they also get anxious when they perceive it to be impossible for them to control the risk involved with eating the food or if the risk is substantial. Also, if the food is influenced by factors that seem to beyond scientific understanding, then they experience anxiety.

For example, the thought of eating eggs made in the labs. Thus, the hazards from eating foods originating from technologies is associated with a higher level of risk perception.

My neighbor perceived the eggs from local breeds to be of a higher level of risk to the health of her children. However, she was not the only one who preferred eating kienyeji eggs and only resort to eating the other eggs when it is unavoidable.

“I just prefer eating the kienyeji eggs. They are sweeter and even have a stronger aroma,” said Mama Ryan.  She further explained that the eggs also give a greater sense of being full for long when compared to the other eggs.

The unavoidable circumstances arising from this common preference in the wake of declining supply of the kienyeji eggs is that prices have gone through the roof.

Wholesalers are fetching prices of above Kes600 which has meant retailers are going towards Kes700 a tray, making it a meal that is select for the few wealthy Kenyans who can still afford to make healthy choices rather than be forced to alternatives due to price.