Meatless Mondays not by choice - The Packer

Meatless Mondays not by choice

08/02/2012 07:21:00 AM
Tom Karst

Klag points this truth out to Vilsack, noting that recent USDA food price forecasts estimate consumer beef prices will increase as much as 5% next year.

“Eliminating meat one day a week is a practical way for Americans to keep those escalating costs in line with their household budgets,” Klag wrote Vilsack.

So true, Mr. Klag.

Some in the produce industry have embraced “Meatless Monday.”

For example, Potandon Produce LLC., Idaho Falls, Idaho, promoted Klondike Brands Potatoes by each Monday in July tis year by featuring a meatless recipe on its website, with potatoes as an alternative to meat.

I would love the luxury of  breaking out a couple of 16-ounce steaks every Monday and grilling them on the Weber. More than likely, that won’t happen. Excepting an occasional “splurge” on a McDouble burger at lunch, budget-friendly baked potatoes and a  garden salad may make it on the menu instead. Rest assured, I won’t be holding greenhouse gases against the meat industry, however.

Consumer beef prices increases of 10% in 2011, a projected 3.5% to 4.5% in 2012 and 4% to 5% next year leave the meat industry vulnerable to erosion of demand from budget-sensitive consumers like me.

By way of contrast, fresh fruits and vegetables showed more modest price increases of 4.5% in 2011, a projected 1.5% to 2.5% this year and 2% to 3% inflation forecast for next year.

You know that consumer perception that fruits and vegetables are “expensive”? Wait till they visit the meat counter.

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Sarah Ayala    
Portland, OR  |  August, 03, 2012 at 09:58 AM

I cook a vegetarian meal at least once a week but neither the environment or cost of meat was on my mind when I started. I've always been a big veggie consumer but mostly in the form of salads (pre-kids and living in a hotter location) now with a family to feed and in a cooler climate I wanted to expand my repertoire to include local produce and more variety (salads are also hard to puree for babies!) With the help of a weekly delivery box of a local veggies and using several of the great vegetarian websites and blogs out there we're consuming even more veggies than ever and in much more interesting ways than daily salad.

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