Where's The Beef?

By: Hal Eisner

There was once a commercial in which a sweet elderly lady would screech "Where's the beef!!??!?" It's a line from a memorable spot that may come to mind when you see people grilling hamburgers and steak.

Historically, Labor Day is for honoring the Labor Movement in America. But, it's also for relaxing, going to the beach, barbecues and tailgating parties like they have at Angel Stadium before the game. And, this was a good day for that since it's the Dodgers and Angels were set to face each other. And, the weather was awesome!

It's no surprise that the fans here in blue like the Dodgers. Those in red are true blue... make that true red... Angel fans.

A lot of them were also grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and, painfully aware, of the rising price of beef.

In Ventura County at Green Acres Farm Market customers getting ready for their barbecues were buying up price steaks and the like.

And, all of this as Bloomberg News reports Labor Day barbecuing just isn't what it used to be. They say barbecue grill equipment sales are down. And, those escalating beef  prices? Dick Rhoads, who owns Green Acres, says its because of three things:

  1. A drought in the midwest
  2. Farmers using corn for ethanol and feeding cows hay instead
  3. And, supply and demand driving the price into the stratosphere...

Says Rhoads, it's “the most I’ve ever seen it. I’ve been in the meat business for 60 years”

The prices were up there. $23.98 a pound for Filet Mignon. New York steak… $17.98. In some cases, Rhoads says, prices are double what they should be if things were normal.

But, customers were still buying. Donna Maschicado said she and her husband Gus were getting ready for a barbeque party and added "“Obviously, it bothers you to spend that much, but you have to... to throw a party!”

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