Think food costs are up? AMI video addresses myth

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Meat costs a lot more than it used to. That’s the idea the American Meat Institute addresses in its latest video in the Meat MythCrushers series, but it factors in more than just a price comparison to the good ol’ days.

Dr. Steven Lonergan, Iowa State University, tells AMI’s Janet Riley the U.S. food production system is a “modern miracle” for efficiently producing meat for U.S. consumers at a relatively low price compared to other parts of the world.

The video on food prices speaks to consumers concerned with higher meat and poultry prices brought on by multiple years of drought. Lonergan acknowledges food prices are higher due to weather conditions affecting feed prices, but compares current prices to 1980.

When looking at meat costs as a percent of the grocery budget, 31% of the average grocery budget was spent on meat in 1980, but today it’s about 21 percent.

When breaking down meat prices by specific products and directly comparing prices, Lonergan explains the cost of a pork chop from 1980 to now is down 38 percent, while steak and ground beef prices are down 25 percent and 20 percent respectively.

The video also compares the percent of disposable income spent on food in the U.S. compared to the rest of the country. The U.S. (6 percent) pays 4 percent less for food than most European countries (10 percent) and much less than Kenya, where consumers spend 45 percent of their disposable income on food.

Lonergan credits efficient livestock production and processing facilities for reducing waste and keeping U.S. food costs lower than other parts of the world.



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Jerry Bishop    
Salem, Ar  |  March, 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Compared to other items, beef and meat in general is a very good buy!


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