Aug 23, 2011

Price Comparison: Grassfed Beef to Processed Foods

by Tracy Youngblood
Rarely do I buy chips or candy at the store.  Usually it's for a party or similiar event.  When Matti sees the stuff in the buggy, she asks, "Where are we going?"  When she asked this the other day, I had a different answer for her.  I told her about the experiment I've been working on.

Many people new to the idea and focus of whole foods, real food or sustainable farms approach our booth, call, email or talk with me about our products.  One factor some folks choose not to try grassfed or pastured products is the price.  As I am in the typical grocery store I take note of the types of food in various buggies.  Most contain boxed, processed, high fructose corn sugar-laden "manufactured" foods and drinks.  I began to think about the choices we make.  Here are a few choice/price comparisons with our least expensive item, Grassfed Ground Beef.

Item                                 Price               Weight by pkg        Price/oz.
Grassfed Ground Beef   $4.50               About 16-20 oz.       $.23/oz.
Oreos                              $2.98                15 oz.                    $.20/oz.        
Pringles                           $1.50               6.41 oz.                 $.23/oz.
Snickers                          $4.94               22.55 oz.               $.22/oz.
Kraft Mac and Cheese    $3.72                 8.2 oz.                 $.45/oz.
Cheesy Chicken Helper  $2.88               23.6 oz.                 $.12/oz.
Red Bull                          $1.88                8.4 oz.                  $.22/oz.

As you can see, the price for locally grown, grassfed, intensively managed, hormone, antibiotic and grain free beef is relatively close to many of the items found in peoples' cart. 

It comes down to choice.  You choose with your fork.  You choose local farms, friends, whole foods, enlivening your local economy while boosting your health!  I really don't see any option here.  The point I make to people is:

We are in NO way similiar to grocery store meat, therefore our prices are higher.  If you choose to buy whole foods, prepare meals at home with an occassional dinner out, you can afford to have grassfed meat spilling out of your freezer.  When you quit buying pop, cereals, boxed dinners, chips, cookies and energy drinks, you'll have a much larger budget (and smaller waist) to shop for grassfed and pastured products.

Most of our customers are not wealthy monitarily, just a wealth of wisdom.   For them we are grateful beyond words!

You don't have to wonder which of the above product you could live the longest~that should tell you what you need to know.

Just for fun, here's the prices, by ounces, for some of our other products.
Sirloin Tip Roast            $6.85/lb.       $.43/oz.
Pastured Pork Chops      $6.25/lb         $.39/oz.
T-Bone Steak                 $11.25/lb.       $.70/oz.

We realize the YOU are the ones spreading the word about our farm and it's products.  We truly thank you for your support and encouragement.  What a blessing you are to us!

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, tell your friends about us, too.  We share up-to-date information with our Fans there throughout the week.  Prizes and giveaways too!!

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  1. Blog posts like this really bother me. Not because I don't think buying grass-finished/pastured meats is important--it's the only kind of meat I buy--but because telling people that eating a whole foods, locally sourced diet is cheaper than the standard American diet is setting them up for failure. It is not cheaper and they need to understand that going into it.

    It's true that getting all the junk food out of your cart will give you extra money to spend on higher quality foods, but those junk foods still have to be replaced with other things. Saying you can use the money you save by not buying potato chips and cookies to upgrade to grassfed ground beef ignores the fact that potato chips and cookies are not (generally) a dinner food. They are a snack which will have to be replaced with other healthier--and usually more expensive--snacks. Unless the consumer is planning to start an intermittent fasting program, all the junk foods in their cart is going to have to be replaced by healthier foods. Frozen or pre-packaged meals have to be replaced with the foods needed to prepare real meals; junk food snacks have to be replaced with whole foods snacks. You can't just remove some junk food snacks and use that money to buy more expensive meat for dinner and expect everyone in your family to be fine with less food overall in their diet.

    Our family has always been interested in health and nutrition and as we've learned more over the years, our diet has gotten better and better. We're always tweaking it here and there. We now eat only local grass finished beef and other pastured meats and eggs. Most of our fruits and veggies come from local farmers (especially during the summer) and there are very few packaged foods in our diet besides things like canned tomatoes, canned wild caught tuna, or coconut milk. We're far from perfect (whatever that is), but it's a very good diet by most people's standards. However, our grocery budget has had to increase by at least 1/3 to make all of these changes (and we weren't filling our carts with Oreos and Hamburger Helper to begin with). It's totally worth it, but it definitely isn't cheaper.

    Instead I think the focus should be on explaining to are friends and families how much healthier the diet is--for us and for our planet--and what a great investment it is in our local economy. The money we spend on high quality food now will be money saved later on doctor bills and prescription drug costs. And, in the process we are supporting local farmers who use sustainable practices. To me, that is a far more convincing argument.

  2. "...are friends..." should, of course, be "...our friends..."

  3. I wonder if the cooked weight of lean beef is enough greater to offset the raw price per pound difference.

  4. It is great to see the growth of the locally grown market in our area and the increasing availability of these products. People doing what they love to do and caring about doing the best, is SO WORTH it. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

  5. Teaching people how to plan and HOW to cook/prepare healthy meals is what is needed. The majority of people grew up with processed foods and only know how to make a few items from scratch. Most don't appear to know the nutrients of various foods, I am not referring to carbs, calories,sugars,fats, etc, I am referring to the vitamin/mineral contents of foods. They may be surprised to learn that they are not getting a variety of vitamins/minerals. Sylvia



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