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Authored by Matthew Lysiak via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Beef prices skyrocketed to a new record high this Memorial Day weekend as industry experts warn costs could continue to rise even higher if current regulatory and economic conditions remain unchanged.

Ground beef is displayed at a butcher shop in Greenbrae, Calif., on May 2, 2024. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Recently released data shows that “all fresh beef retail value,” a composite value based on choice beef, other beef, and hamburger retail prices, shot up to $794.90 in April, according to the Economic Research Council, the highest price on record.

Further, the price of uncooked ground beef, beef roasts, beef steaks, and veal have all continued to rise in price—between .03 and 1.5 percent—from March’s record high numbers, according to this month’s Consumer Price Index.

American rancher Shad Sullivan told The Epoch Times that the sharp rise in prices can be attributed to a “withering assault” from regulators and government authorities who have played an outsized role in the unprecedented increase.

We are seeing prices at an all-time high, and it is getting close to that point when the consumer is going to say, I can’t do this anymore; it’s just too costly,” said Mr. Sullivan.

“They (officials and regulators) are trying to push these high prices as a new norm where meat is only a treat for the wealthy. That is where they are pushing us, and that is where we are going.”

Further, smaller farms are being increasingly shuttered under the weight of regulatory burden as standards recently imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency have resulted in compliance costs soaring to as high as $3 million for a single beef processing plant, according to Mr. Sullivan.

“How is the small guy supposed to compete?”

Justin Tupper, president of the United States Cattlemen’s Association, told The Epoch Times that American ranchers aren’t the ones seeing the profit from high price increases, which he attributes to several factors, including regulations and the ongoing monetary inflation that is a consequence of an increase in the money supply.

“We are cost takers, not cost makers, and everything we do costs more,” said Mr. Tupper.

The beef cattle supply has already dropped to its lowest point in decades, further contributing to the rise in the price of beef and renewing concerns over the long-term health of the nation’s farming community. A series of severe droughts, coupled with government policies that continue to favor large, industrial food processors, has reduced the nation’s supply of beef cattle to a level not seen since the early 1950s, according to Mr. Tupper.

Further exacerbating the shortage, increasing acres of cattle farms are being purchased by larger companies that, after acquiring them, often use them for alternative purposes, further decimating the supply of available beef.

Currently, the nation’s most prolific farmland owner is Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and an anti-meat activist. By 2023, Mr. Gates claimed he owned about 270,000 acres spread across 18 states.

Mr. Gates, an investor in Upside Foods, one of the two synthetic meat producers approved by the USDA, has been vocal about his belief that meat alternatives are needed to save the world from upcoming catastrophic climate events caused by greenhouse gasses.

In a 2021 interview with Technology Review, Mr. Gates said that all well-off nations need to switch to be completely weaned off of living, breathing cows.

All rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time,” Mr. Gates told the interviewer.

“Eventually that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the people or use regulation to totally shift demand. So for meat in the middle-income-and-above countries, I do think it’s possible,” he added.

However, beef cattle production constitutes a small fraction of the gasses that many environmentalists claim have had a negative impact on the planet. Just 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from beef cattle production, while energy production and transportation produce a combined 54 percent of emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Rancher Nathan Carver drops off bales of hay to feed his herd of cattle at the ranch his family has owned for five generations on the outskirts of Delano, Calif., on Feb. 3, 2014. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

However, despite the record-high prices, Mr. Tupper said that while there will always be a market for beef, he still has concerns about the future.

Beef is still the safest, best food on the planet, and that isn’t changing any time soon. It’s always going to be something people need,” he added. “Still, every generation gets further away from agriculture, and that’s a real problem,” said Mr. Tupper.

According to Mr. Sullivan, if Americans don’t stand up and fight now for their small farmer, eventually, everyone will be priced out of nutrient-rich red meat.

“Anti-meat ideology is an anti-life ideology,” said Mr. Sullivan. “If you don’t have a nation of red meat-eating men, you have a weak nation.”

“Where there is beef, there is freedom, and it will always be that way,” he added.


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