"Cheap" Beef Now More Expensive Than The Better Stuff

The last few years have been tough on just about everybody and many of us have reacted by scaling back, buying generics instead of brand names, eating cheaper cuts of meat instead of the good stuff. But since so many people are demanding the less-expensive beef, the lower quality meat now costs more than the better stuff.

According to the Agriculture Dept., the demand for “select” beef is so high that, as of Monday, it had an average price tag of $168.22 per cwt; that’s $.55 more than the price for the better, “choice” beef.

Explains an agriculture economist at the University of Missouri:

When the choice-select spread approaches zero, or occasionally gets inverted, it’s generally an indication of weak demand — consumers not willing to pay more for the good stuff.

Experts say the reversal is self-correcting, since people will just choose to buy choice beef so long as it’s cheaper.

“The bottom line for consumers is that we’ll see a little bit more choice product showing up at the grocery stores,” explains an agriculture economist at the Livestock Marketing Information Center.

Americans on budgets push up price of ‘cheap’ beef [ChicagBreakingNews.com]