High Meat Prices Cause Climbing Food Costs

Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 3:38pm

The cost of food is going up and higher meat costs are leading the way. The Arizona Farm Bureau Federation puts the cost of a typical market basket of 16 items at $52.64, nearly 10 percent more than at this time last year. For instance, a pound of ground chuck is up 15 percent. Bureau spokeswoman Julie Murphree said the increases reflect higher costs to ranchers.

“Certain regions of the country were experiencing drought, of course they had to pull back on their herds," Murphree said. "You know there's a cost to feed them. And you didn't have the availability of feed like you typically do.”

And it’s not just beef costs that are skyrocketing. The cost of deli ham spiked 90 cents a pound and boneless chicken breasts are up significantly. But Murphree said the higher costs for other meats are linked to beef. She said as the cost of beef went up, shoppers found alternatives, creating demand and driving up those prices.

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