A prolonged drought has caused a shrinking of livestock herds and driven US beef prices to record highs, despite increasing demand. This is making it difficult for individuals like Mary Skinner, a 69-year-old shopper outside Grand Central Market in New York, to get her daily protein intake as ordered by her doctor.
“I used to be able to sometimes buy ribeye steak but… I’m now eating a lot more ground beef.”
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the headline rate of inflation has slowed in recent months, with a 3.7 percent reading in September year over year. However, steak prices remain high, recording an increase of 9.7 percent.
The average price for this American staple has increased by 27% in the last three years.
“It’s gotten to a point where I’ve started buying more things that can be slow-cooked, because from a price perspective, you’re getting more affordable stuff,” said another patron, who declined to share his name.