Bird Flu Isn't Affecting Consumption
It would make economic sense for something like the bird flu to cause a decrease in demand for poultry. This is true in some European countries, but surprisingly, U.S. consumers do not seem to be affected by the pandemic. Analysts have been worried that news of the bird flu would be damaging to the U.S. poultry industry, but so far chicken consumption has not dropped below the seasonal dip that occurs after summer grilling season is over. We've seen the same thing in the case of mad cow disease. Knowledge of the disease hasn't decreased the consumption of beef in the U.S. either. It's interesting to see the value consumers place on different pieces of information. We know we are at risk of getting sick - possibly even dying - but it doesn't affect our consumption of food. Our utility or benefits outweigh the risk of getting sick.