It’s almost May, which means it’s almost summer, which means it’s almost grilling season. It’s common knowledge that a smoky grill covered in burgers is one of the best smells in the world, so get ready to head to the store and go ahead, throw another steak on the grill. Beef prices are dropping, and there’s no better time to stock up.
Thanks to an increase in beef output, consumers can expect to see prices fall—and keep falling—well into the summer months. Lower corn prices means it’s cheaper for farmers to raise them. They’re producing bigger cows that yield more meat, too.
We’re also still feeling the aftermath of the 2012 drought in cattle country. When conditions got better, many farmers increased the size of their herds. In classic supply/demand fashion, a larger supply of cattle means lower prices for consumers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of ground beef has declined 9 percent in the last year. The price of steak has also dropped by 6.6 percent from the same time last year, and this means beef prices will be more competitive with cheaper meats like pork and chicken.
Demand for beef is high, too. When it’s 80 degrees in April, more people want to grill. This is good news for cattle farmers: As of April 7, beef sales for delivery were up 34 percent from the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This surplus of beef is interesting, given the fact that Americans’ beef consumption dropped 19 percent from 2005 to 2014, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. The research also found that Americans are eating less pork and chicken overall as well, although that decline is less dramatic.
Whatever the economic reasons are behind the drop in beef prices, it’s time to celebrate with a good, old fashioned barbecue! While you’re in the kitchen, here are eight summer foods that can help you lose weight.