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Beef Prices May Be Higher, But Here Are 5 Reasons To Eat It Anyway

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Despite high beef prices, consumers don’t have to settle for chicken this grilling season. Here are five reasons why I think our consumers will continue to support their favorite protein.

If you’re like me, you grill year-round, but for the rest of America, grilling season will soon be upon us. Can’t you just smell the ribeyes sizzling? Unfortunately, with beef prices so high, grilling season might look a lot different this year for Americans watching their food budget.

 

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Bon Appetit magazine recently published an article entitled, “This Is Why You’ll Be Eating A Ton Of Chicken This Year.” The article warns consumers that drought might be raising the price of lettuce and oranges; while porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in pigs is bumping up the price of pork. Plus, items like limes and coffee might cost a little extra this year as well.

Of course, the first item on the expensive food list is beef. Here is what the article had to say about beef:

“At $5.28/lb., the retail price of beef hit a record high this February—in large part thanks to side effects caused by ongoing droughts and extreme weather across the U.S. As of January, the number of American cattle herds were at their smallest since the 1950s, and the long, cold winter — and subsequent frozen grazing conditions — made it tough for some cows to put on weight. So when can we expect the prices to drop again? Probably not this year. According to the USDA, beef prices are projected to rise 2.5%-3.5% over the course of 2014.”

Thus, budget-conscious Americans might have fewer choices when it comes to their protein decisions this summer. However, it’s our task to show our consumers that the extra money is well spent. Here are five reasons why I think consumers should choose beef over chicken this grilling season:

1. Taste

A little salt and pepper is all it takes to make beef taste amazing. Chicken, on the other hand, needs seasoning and sauce. As Troy Marshall aptly puts it, “Chicken is just a carrier for the special sauce.”

2. Versatility

Most folks see chicken as the ultimate in versatility. After all, you can make it taste like whatever you want, depending on the enhancements you use. However, with breasts, drumsticks and wings as your three main choices, that can get boring quite quickly. Beef has endless possibilities with many cuts and cooking methods to switch things up. And these choices come at many different price points; so, with a little creativity, consumers can get the best bang for their buck with beef. Check out these "grill once, dine twice" recipe ideas from the South Dakota Beef Industry Council. 

3. Wow Factor

Nobody celebrates a major milestone or special event with chicken. Actually, maybe they do, but I certainly don’t know them. Steak is the protein of choice for romance, celebrations, anniversaries, date nights and grill-outs. When you want to please that special someone or entertain a large crowd, beef brings the “wow” factor.

4. Tradition

Despite today’s high prices, many consumers have deep-seated traditions with beef. For instance, our family makes beef chili and stew in the crockpot every time we work cattle. Roast beef sandwiches are our favorite way to serve a big crowd. Steaks thrown on the grill are the best way to end a long working day. And there’s nothing easier or more affordable than grilling a burger patty or two when you’re short for time and need something quick and tasty to eat. Beef has been a go-to protein for Americans for so long, I don’t see them ditching it now just because of price.

5. Nutrition

Here are the facts: Beef is a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with zinc, iron and protein, as well as healthy fats and many cuts that can be a part of a healthy diet, beef is a super food!

Our task is clear, but our challenge is great: Despite this grilling season’s rising price tag for beef, we need to get to work to promote our product and keep it at the center of the grill and the center of the plate this spring and summer. These five talking points might be a great way to help us accomplish this task as we move into summer grilling season. Share this blog post on your social media sites to help get the conversation started!

The opinions of Amanda Radke do not necessarily reflect those of beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 6

on Apr 29, 2014

We grill year round also Amanda. Always a spare bottle of propane here to make sure the grill is ready for when the power goes off too.

on Apr 29, 2014

Even though this is a beef publication, I don't like to see articles like this trying to run down other meats (chicken in this opinion piece). With the scary situation that the animal health world is in, we all need to work together and not take shots at each other.

Casper (not verified)
on Apr 30, 2014

I'm a rancher descending from a long line of cattlemen. Beef is always for dinner here. I've always preferred beef and felt chicken "was for the birds". I do however wish you could point out the positives of beef without running down other products. I'm not talking about the mega farms but the few family run poultry farms left in the country. They're hard working folks who face the same challenges and deserve our mutual respect.

on Apr 30, 2014

Is it possible for people to stop being offended about every little thing? It's opinion, folks, and a widely held opinion that beef and the taste of beef is preferred as a protein in the U.S. Saying that doesn't imply that chicken is diseased, or unethical, or loaded with this or that bad thing, or that the live fowl are mistreated, or they're degrading the environment. Chicken is chicken; you have to add taste to it; that's the way it is. That's not running anything down.

on Apr 30, 2014

I did not see one thing in this article that ran down chicken. The author pointed out that beef taste better than chicken witch is no big surprise beef actually has flavor where chicken is bland. Now chicken with something else on it is good and I do eat it once in a while but I am with the author and most other people beef is my first choice.

on Apr 30, 2014

Fire up the barbie!

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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