HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Is it just me, or is grass fed starting to not be premium thing?

  • 8

Am I going crazy, or is the price difference between pasture-raised animal products and their CAFO... equivalents (sorry, passionate issue for me) starting to not be there? It's at the point where I'm looking the ground beef at the neighborhood Giant and all I can't help but imagine myself asking Mr. Corporate Dude, "you know, for 50 cents more , I can get 100% grass-fed ground beef from cows that have never seen a CAFO, yet alone GMO grains and HFCS sweetened food-like substances, right"? I look at the steaks and I feel like the prices are gaining up on the pastured stuff, to the point that some meat restriction could let me eat all pastured product with little extra cost. Hell, eggs are just frigging stupid now. Organic eggs runs at 5.50 a dozen for me. Geezus friggin christ, I know I can get a dozen pasture eggs from chickens that have actually seen the sun for less than that and I can get them soy-free for two bucks more.

Some yeah, am I crazy, or is the expensive and premium pasture raised products starting to not be so premium?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Question for you, do you really believe the person in your neighborhood Giant store? Is it grass fed and grass finished? bet he doesn't know. Also, for you 50 cents per pound is small but, for lots of families on a budget it's huge.

    1. I buy grass fed when I can and the price is definitely different than grain fed, by a long shot.

      1. I've only found grass fed at Costco and Whole Foods, and the price premium is definitely still there.

        1. Price of corn has trilped. It's driving up the cost of a lot of what you see in the store. The culprit is ethanol and the Government subsidies driving it.

          1. Depends on where you are and where you shop. Demand in my small food town brings the price of organic fruits, vegetables and meat pretty much in line with the lesser stuff.
            Buy local from your independent grocer or farmer's market. Help the cause.

            1. Begin with what is "grass fed beef". Used to be called Southern Beef, Texas Beef or dog food. Production costs are low and margins are, now, high.

              Next, where we live we have seen a very strong resurgence of corn fed beef at our butcher and Whole Foods. My only take is people spending $30+/pound want beef that tastes good and has a texture they associate with premium beef. However, your observation on the narrowing of the price difference could very well be the reason. On the other hand, at least the beef we're buying, grass fed certainly does not command a premium, quite the other way around.

              More and more people realize "organic" has no meaning beyond a marketing term. Sort of takes the religion -- perhaps margin -- out of whatever is being labeled organic.

              Last, even in the USA, there are people who know what a good egg looks like when opened/cooked, chicken, pork or dairy products taste like and the textures and tastes of excellent produce. In my perhaps misguided view of the marketplace, this group has found that "natural" products are just as poor quality as all the others. Again, sort of undermining any rationale for premium pricing.

              To me, the pricing of these products has little to nothing to do with production costs. Its, as pricing usually is, what the consumer will pay. Appears to be less of a premium these days.

              1. You do know that most grass-fed beef is still finished on feed lots, right? It is just about what age/weight they are moved. If you read the Whole Foods info on its grass-fed beef, for instance, they candidly admit that their standard is that the animal is raised on pasture or range for 2/3 of its life. I'm sure this reflects the reality that there is little 100% grass-fed beef available and it is too expensive to sell at a price that most consumers will pay, even at Whole Foods prices. There are some producers raising 100% grass-fed. U.S. Wellness, for instance. But if you do the math, it is $25 per pound for the cheapest cut.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Just Visiting

                  Not if you ensure it's 100% grass finished, but of course those cuts are quite the premium still