Beef ranchers are complaining that the domestic market is “withering,” and therefore the quality of meat will decline.
This, of course, assumes that we’re not smart enough to buy better beef. From many perspectives – that of the person who wants only organic beef; that of one who wants only local beef; that of one who wants grass-fed beef, or “natural” beef, or humanely raised beef, or all of the above – the price of “normal” (that is, industrially-raised) beef is already too low. Suppose one wanted higher quality beef, and were willing to pay for it? Suppose one were willing to eat less beef in order to keep one’s food budget more-or-less stable? Wouldn’t a decline in industrially raised beef be OK? And who cares if it becomes even “worse?” It’s already produced with almost no concern for quality.
I suggest that these ranchers who are losing “the motivation to raise high-quality meat” start raising truly high-quality meat: grass-fed, free-range, and drug-free – and charge higher prices for it. There is plenty of evidence that the market is there, even for supermarket customers. If Americans can only afford meat if they eat less of it, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Because less meat of better quality is the only way to keep from poisoning the planet and ourselves.
(Photo Credit: _BuBBy_ via Flickr)