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Ground Beef Prices

Sunday I wanted to get a pound of 80/20 Ground Beef (chuck) to make stuffed peppers. Unless you bought the jumbo pack of 4# or more the price was $4.29#, Yikes! This is run of the mill GMO corn fed beef from a middle of the road(price wise) supermarket. Just a few years ago it was regularly on sale here for $.99 cents. It's funny that I bough a USDC Choice sirloin steak with decent marbling for $4.99. Ground beef is a staple for people on a tight budget along with chicken and pork. Decent fish is now very expensive.
Americans by far spend the least amount of their income on food than any country in the world and the government says there is minimal inflation but that's not I'm seeing in the grocery aisles.

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  1. I don't see ground beef prices that high, especially not for 80/20. Fish is pricey.

      1. In a word -DROUGHT :( Those beef (and other prices) are just going to keep climbing. There are learned scientists around who are saying we're in the beginning of a 100 year drought.

        5 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          IDIOTS. All of them.
          The Ogallala is running DRY.
          We are burning our seed corn, so don't be surprised if the drought ends, and the beef prices are still high.

          1. re: Chowrin

            Could you please give me links that show that the Berkeley and other researchers are incorrect? TIA.

            1. re: c oliver

              http://water.usgs.gov/edu/gwdepletion...
              http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/w...

              I'm not saying that there isn't a drought. I'm saying that there are bigger issues that play more of a role in predicting future prices for beef.

              1. re: Chowrin

                Ah, I understand what you're saying now. Thanks for those links. And here's one regarding CAs use of water for agriculture:

                http://www.water.ca.gov/wateruseeffic...

                I don't know that one is a bigger issue than the other but when we have a drought like this one then it becomes even more important to be water wise.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Cali's drought is less of a long-term issue. Unless you like almonds. (that said, if it lasts 10 years, that'll shoot stores like costco in the foot).

        2. I would've guessed americans spend more of there income on food then most countries. Other then maybe Europe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: daislander

            Here are a couple of articles with the statistics, the US is way down on the low end of the percentage of annual income spent on food.

            http://wsm.wsu.edu/researcher/WSMaug1...

            http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marbl...

            1. re: weezieduzzit

              yes of course makes sense. I was thinking that americans spend more of there income on 'extra' food then most countries. of course because they have more money to spend.

          2. I can get 80/20 ground beef on sale at Harris Teeter this week for $2.49 a lb, but I believe your price is pretty close to their non on sale price. At Wegmans it's a little cheaper and I believe their regular price is something like $3.79 a lb. I agree that when I moved out on my own again a year and half ago I was surprised at how expensive ground beef was. I can get boneless skinless chicken breasts everyday at Harris Teeter for a $1.99, and that's not a family pack price either. I would've expected ground beef to be less than chicken.

            14 Replies
            1. re: SaraAshley

              Factory farming of chicken is and will be less expensive than cows.

              1. re: c oliver

                I don't know. I think of how when I'm in a restaurant, typically speaking, assuming all other ingredients are equal, I'm going to pay more for a chicken dish than a dish using ground beef.

                1. re: SaraAshley

                  I don't eat ground beef dishes in restaurants because we grind our own, but burgers can be sky high in plenty of places. And the dollar menu at McDs in our area anyway is no long a dollar. In addition, perhaps chicken dishes have more expensive ingredients. ???

                  1. re: c oliver

                    I'll give you an example. Anytime I'm in some hole in the wall Mexican place, if I'm ordering say, tacos, to get them with chicken, always seems to be more than ground beef ones.

                    1. re: SaraAshley

                      Probably because chicken is more "popular" and chop meat is the automatic default.

                      Beef is always supply and demand in the grocery business; so if there is a drought, or an overabundance after slaughter, the price will be affected for the time being. It changes a lot more often than pork or lamb, which is more of an annual thing, so give it a few weeks and then stock up when the price is more to your liking.

                      1. re: coll

                        Unfortunately Calif. ranchers are already selling off parts of their herds. There's no grass in their pastures and they're having to pay really high prices for hay. The farmers are facing the same thing. Bone dry fields. The Sierra Nevada snowpack provides 50% of CA's water. It's at 12% of last year and last year was a very dry year. If the scientists are correct and this is the beginning of a 100 year drought, then this is just the beginning of something that's going to get a lot worse.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Time will tell. You think this is forever? That would be scary. This isn't the first time we've gone through a cycle like this.

                          1. re: coll

                            *I* don't think it. Scientists are studying tree stumps in CA lakes. From that they can see how long it's been since it was like this (500 years) and how long it lasted (100 years). This is a HUGE issue for the whole country really. Scary indeed.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              that's well into little ice age territory? we ain't got the meteorological stuff to be like that again.

                              Don't matter if it's one year or ten, the almonds wont' be back anytime soon.

                      2. re: SaraAshley

                        The difference is that the chicken you're ordering comes from a single muscle, in all likelyhood a breast. Typical, standard ground beef is what's leftover after cutting away steaks and roasts, etc.
                        Chopped and formed mcnugget chicken is the chicken equivalent to ground beef - and I bet you'd think that was pretty gross in your enchiladas.

                        1. re: caganer

                          This is why it makes no sense to buy ground beef. It takes no time to grind one's own

                          1. re: magiesmom

                            We grind our meats but not everyone wants another piece of equipment, even if it's not the KA mixer with attachment. I do it but there's simply no comparison in the taste and texture. And while far, FAR from a germophobe, I like knowing that what I'm eating came from a particular part of a single animal.

                        2. re: SaraAshley

                          You have a serious shortage of good hole in the wall Mexican if the options are made from chicken or ground beef.

                  2. re: SaraAshley

                    Here's my lesson from a prior thread that tries to explain what you are seeing

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9284...