From food fraud to the rising cost of eggs, CNBC Marathon explores why food prices are soaring in the U.S. The food in your kitchen cabinets may not be what it seems. Fraudsters motivated by economic gain secretly infiltrate the global food market through a variety of means, including counterfeits, dilutions, substitution and mislabeling, according to the Global Food Safety Initiative. This may not only harm consumers’ wallets, but it can also put public health and safety at risk. Consumers paid $4.30 on average in December 2022 for a dozen eggs compared to $1.80 in 2021. There are 373 million laying hens around the United States as of January 2023, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). After hens lay eggs at a farm, they get graded by the USDA and put into cartons, sold to retailers, and then purchased by you, the consumer. Eggs are an about $10 billion industry with nearly 13% growth annually in profit from 2017 to 2022, according to IBISWorld. But it’s a volatile one that is sensitive to market changes or environmental factors. It’s also an industry with its fair share of controversy.