Drought And Disease Surge Food Prices To New Record

Monday, April 14, 2014
By Paul Martin

Daniel Jennings
April 14, 2014

The United States is facing a serious shortage of beef and pork that has led to major increases in food process that likely will get only worse.

Beef prices have hit an all-time high in part because the Californiamega-drought has reduced cattle herds to the same size they were in 1951, The Los Angeles Timesreported. The situation is made worse by fast-food giants such as McDonald’s which are buying up vast amounts of beef to turn into hamburger.

The California drought is the worst in recent history and perhaps the worst in centuries. The price of “all-fresh” USDA choice-grade beef is $5.28 a pound, compared to $4.91 the same time last year and $3.97 in 2008.

Suppliers of beef are more likely to save their beef for large companies such as McDonald’s who buy bulk at reduced rates. That leaves small restaurants and stores last in line – forcing them to raise their prices, too.

“This whole thing now is being driven by hamburger,” Jerry Haines, the general manager of R.C. Provision Inc., a Burbank, California, maker of deli meats, told the newspaper. He was forced to raise the prices on his menu. “You take all the McDonald’s and Burger Kings across the United States; the amount of meat needed to make those hamburgers is forcing the value of other cuts of meat to go up.”

Beef Prices Rising Dramatically

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