The Hidden Cost of Grocery Store Beef

Erin Parisien Uncategorized 3 Comments

How Our Beef Compares

I’m often asked how our beef compares to grocery store beef. It’s a great question, but comes with a very complex answer. The short answer is: We don’t. The long answer, I could probably write a book about, but I’ll give you my professional opinion and focus on what I believe makes the biggest difference – how our beef is aged.

When most people pose the “how do you compare” question, they are not so much asking how our beef compares to grocery store beef, but rather, how our prices compare to grocery store prices. And wouldn’t you know it, evaluating the prices is no doubt the most intricate aspect of comparison. Comparing the two goes beyond looking at the price you see on the label and involves evaluating the aging methods used and their subsequent effect on beef prices.

Grocery store beef, as far as I have encountered, is exclusively wet-aged, as opposed to our dry-aged beef. Wet-aged means that primal (large) cuts of beef are vacuum sealed and left to age in a refrigerator, retaining a considerable about of its original moisture. Dry-aged beef is aged before the primals are broken down and packaged, and results in a large amount of water loss – reportedly up to 30%. Both aging methods have been shown to result in tender cuts of beef, however, the water loss that comes with dry-aged beef results in a more concentrated, flavorful cut of beef. Those that have tried our beef no doubt have tasted this difference!

To better explain how these two aging options affect the price of beef, I’ll toss some numbers into the mix to help show the difference– because it makes a big one!

Since dry-aging pulls so much moisture out of the beef before it’s packaged, you actually pay for more water with grocery store beef compared to our beef– about 20% more! To factor grocery store, wet-aged beef prices to an equivalent dry-aged beef price, multiply the price you see by 1.20. To help apply those numbers, at the end of 2016, grocery store retail cuts of beef averaged $5.96/lb, our farm store cuts average about $7.03/lb. If you multiply the grocery store average of $5.96/lb by our factor of 1.20, you get a new average of $7.15/lb. So, while grocery store prices appear cheaper initially, always remember that you pay for about 20% more water with grocery store beef than you do with our beef – which actually makes it more expensive!

In addition to providing you with more beef vs water than the grocery store, our beef offers a number of other benefits as well. Our beef comes from animals that were born and raised exclusively on our farm, so we know absolutely everything about our beef! Since there is no longer a requirement for a Country of Origin Label (COOL) on store bought beef, it’s impossible to tell just where that beef came from – let alone how it was raised.

Furthermore, processing facilities have been known to use Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) when preparing shelf-ready beef cuts for grocery stores. What this means, is they add a gas to the packaging to help preserve the beef, and give the illusion of fresh beef. Our beef is cut, wrapped and frozen all on the same day to ensure a fresh product – no preservatives, no additives, just good beef.

Our good beef comes from feeding a non-GMO ration, our beef is antibiotic-free and we never use growth hormones. Also, our 100% Black Angus beef, coupled with the dry-aging method we use produces an amazingly flavorful, tender cut of beef. Lastly, shopping locally has an immensely positive impact on the local economy, especially since local businesses recirculate dollars spent at their businesses at a rate about 3.5 times that of chains!

I hope this provides an insight into how our products compare to those you find in the grocery store, and how the aging method affects the pricing that you see. So, the next time you catch yourself wondering how our beef prices compare to the beef prices you see in a grocery store, just remember to add 20% to the grocery store price and that will result in an equivalent dry-aged beef price – and don’t forget to keep in mind all of the incredible benefits you receive from buying our locally raised, dry-aged beef!

Farming for you,

If you found this information helpful/informative, please let me know! Also, I would love to hear what other questions you have and what questions your friends and family ask when you tell them about our beef. It helps tremendously in generating new content and keeping the information we share useful to you!

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