The High Price of Quality Beef

by updated 2011/03/19

Cute CowsI eat a pretty healthy diet, usually choosing the best options even when they are more expensive. But with beef, etc. often we simply can not afford the price. Actually when I look at photos like the one to the left, I question why I eat beef at all.  But, at one of our local markets it here, the price of the same cut was like this: Regular, feedlot, mass produced was about $5.00 lb.  Organic, grass fed was about $16.00 lb. Fortunately I don’t eat a lot of meat so I don’t loose sleep over not being able to afford the grass fed beef.  I recently noticed the store no longer carries the grass fed because “it didn’t sell”. Discouraging, but the same thing happened a while ago at a local outlet of a big chain grocery.  This store actually has a good selection of organic or healthier products, even setting aside several entire cooler and freezer cases for dairy and other perishables.  But they also could not keep the unfrozen grass fed beef since at many times the price of feedlot beef, it simply did not sell.  I asked about bringing in frozen cuts, but they said that would just sit and take up freezer space.  I suspect the stores looked at it as a specialty item and marked it up accordingly, but they deny this, saying that their cost was that high.  Too bad as I bet it would have sold at 7 or 8 dollars per lb.

Will Sig
1 Tony McGurk

There’s a rural current affairs TV show we watch each Sunday called Landline http://www.abc.net.au/landline/ & I am always amazed at the low price the farmers actually get paid for lamb, beef, pork etc compared to the ridiculously high prices we pay at the butchers or supermarkets. It’s those downstream from the farmers making all the big bucks while our farmers continue to struggle on. I would prefer to eat organic meat & vegetables too but the high prices make it just too expensive for us.

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2 Stefanie N.

I believe that if people were truly present to what they were eating – where it came from, how it was processed, what the effects of their choices were, etc. – that they would make very different choices. The fundamental shift in thinking, eating, preparing food is the tricky part. One could eat less meat (of better quality) if one knew other viable, satisfying, affordable options for the times that cheaper meat were normally eaten. Sounds like the subject of a whole book.

Hi Will – I haven’t been around for a while. Your blog looks great.

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3 Jasmine

You are right here, for sure! I have two little girls and I don’t want them filled with processed MSG or HFCS so why would I feed them meat that is stuffed full of who knows what? I have always payed just a bit more, paying close attention to what we are feeding our kids. It is important! And if the organic beef was only $7, even if it was $9/lb, I would still purchase that instead. But who can afford $16/lb? Seriously, what are these guys thinking!?
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4 Will

Some of the better quality steaks are more like 30 to 40 dollars per pound. Maybe worth it, but perhaps a BMW is worth it too but I have to drive a Toyota.

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5 Anonymous

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6 Anonymous

This store actually has a good selection of organic or healthier products, even setting aside several entire cooler and freezer cases for dairy and other perishables. But they also could not keep the unfrozen grass fed beef since at many times the price of feedlot beef, it simply did not sell.

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7 Kitt

We have spent a pretty penny on so called grain fed cow. I’m not so sure it was, it was the most fatty cow I had ever had and not impressed. I will continue to look for a grain fed cow farmer, only because I know when I do find one it’ll be well worth the money. My parents have bought el natural in WA and they swear by it, both pig and cow.

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