Myth Busting: Lean Beef Costs More

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Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You know that many of America’s favorite (and most popular) cuts also are lean. “That’s great," you might say. "But aren't the lean cuts also the most expensive?” Quite the contrary! In fact, the leanest cuts in the meat case are often some of the more affordable. Great news all around!

Based on retail scanner data from October 2012, beef prices average out at about $1.10 per 3 oz. serving. In fact, some of the most popular lean cuts are priced very attractively. For instance, top sirloin steak (one of the most versatile cuts around) is about $5.12 per pound, which equals $1.28 per 3 oz. cooked serving. Chuck pot roast (which often ranks as the top selling cut in the country) is about $3.66 per pound, or only about $0.91 per 3 oz. serving!

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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
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