What would you pay for a pound of hamburger, chicken breast or steak? Is it more than last month? Less? About the same? According to the last Food Demand Survey from Oklahoma State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, consumers reined in the purse strings over the past month when it came to purchasing popular items at the meat case.

The monthly survey of approximately 1,000 individuals collects data on consumers’ willingness-to-pay for a variety of food items, notably a variety of popular meat items. While the latest survey shows an increase in consumers’ willingness-to-pay for chicken breast (at $5.09 per pound compared to $5.02 in December), steak, hamburger, pork chops and deli ham were all down between about 1 percent and about 10 percent.

The OSU survey each month asks a variety of ad hoc questions to respondents, and in January, the first ad hoc questions related to consumer support or opposition for a variety of government policies, ranging from a tax on sugared sodas (60.91 percent opposed) and a ban on the sale of raw, unpasteurized milk (40.95 percent opposed) to calorie limits for school lunches (30.89 percent opposed) and a requirement for school lunches to include two servings of fruits and vegetables (16.07 percent opposed).

The final question asked respondents whether they had read any food or agriculture-related books in the pasture. Most than 80 percent said they had not. Fast Food Nation, Food Inc., and Omnivore’s Delimma were each mentioned as books that respondents had read.

To read the full Food Demand Survey, click here