Eating is getting expensive.

Food prices and related commodities are increasing in both cost and value. Grains particularly have become more diversified in use and consequently, more expensive. Once relatively inexpensive animal feed, grains such as corn are now progressively utilized for biofuels dictating steep inclines in grain markets and up-charges to end-use consumers.
The price of beef is following suit, up 17% since 2013, and averaging two-dollars per pound more than at this time last year. The cattle industry is bracing itself for more government help/hinderance than ever before including EPA proposals to further protect endangered species as well as air and water concerns that coincide with increasing cattle head numbers.
Governmental micromanagement of farms further exasperate the cost of foods required to thrive. In an effort to thwart another Dust Bowl, farmers have been given subsidies guaranteeing profitability despite yields. But what would the marketplace look like if consumers determined what and how much farmers produced rather than subsidies that cost the taxpayer billions and reduce farmers to corporate welfare recipients?
The USDA’s ninety-three thousand employees spent $1,200 per U.S. household in 2014. Conservative estimates on USDA employee to working farmer ratio are 30:1. More aggressive statistics cite as few as 11.4 farmers per USDA employee. Do our farmers need that much government guidance? Doubtful.
The French may have coined the term "bureaucracy" in 1810, but the U.S. government has since perfected the concept.
I’ve written before about purchasing beef in bulk from a reputable local farm. Fred (my first victim), the black angus whom I filled my freezer with this past fall is still plentiful despite the fact that there are six people in our family, all of whom are big protein eaters. That initial purchase of Fred was a pricey one but when all was said and done, I had 230 pounds of very high quality beef for $5.21 per pound. Considering 85% lean ground beef is going for $4.99 at my local grocer this week, I’d consider Fred a prudent purchase because not only did I get a glut of ground beef, I also secured 170 pounds of steaks and roasts cut to my specifications. It was pre-wrapped, labeled, frozen and delivered by nearby Roseda Farms who also sells their beef wholesale to trendy restaurants in town such as Level, in Annapolis.
Of all the cuts purchased with Fred, I’ve been most surprised by the versatility of the Chuck portion, the shoulder area of the cow. Chuck compromises nearly 25% of the edible carcass, so I’ve been able to experiment a bit and found it to be especially delicious when cooked low and slow on the grill. And you don’t have to purchase a Fred of your own to get a great price on Chuck. It averages between $4 and $5 per pound at the grocer, much less that standard grilling meats like steak or brisket. So for a winter BBQ on a dime, I recommend getting more acquainted with "Chuck".
In the past, lowly Chuck was destined for death by Crock Pot. But in a PJ Media Lifestyles piece published today, I suggest coaxing out Chuck’s dense buttery flesh by way of a sympathetic smoke on your standard grill. Here’s how….
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