And, pretty soon they'll cost less than a burger.
I've sat mostly quiet over the last few years, wondering how something as American as the hamburger could so easily become the focus of so much attack? What in the world happened?
Over the last decade, we have heard story after story questioning the safety, efficacy and quality of this distinctly American product. Whether you enjoy a burger on the grill, meatballs in the crock, hamburger (helper) on the stove, a quick burrito in the microwave or a family size helping of meatloaf in the oven, most Americans thoroughly enjoy -- if not cherish -- their ground beef.
But, we also have to pay for it. In recent years, the cost of ground beef has increased substantially. And, in the coming years, it now appears; the cost of this product will increase even more. This is because of the extraordinary amount of effort (and science) that is now required to process beef.
From slaughter and processing to the kitchen table, billions of dollars have already been spent making ground beef as safe (and as perfect) as it can be.
But perfect is relative, I suppose; and the onslaught of unfounded criticism continues. Set aside the occasional but continuing ramblings about whether ground beef is good for your heart (it is) or whether it increases your risk of cancer (it wont), additional heated debate persists regarding its overall safety and now -- it would appear -- its color. And, thus, the industry is once again confronted with yet another unfortunate example of reactive sensationalism quickly outpacing reason and science.
Will the madness ever stop?
Probably not. So, I wont spend any time here repeating or expanding upon the expert explanations regarding what, exactly, LFTB really is. It is beef. And, that issue, I think, is settled. What I will say, however, is that we should be careful not to expect ground beef to become something it is not.
We are extremely lucky to have access to such a tasty, plentiful, safe and affordable product. And, frankly, the health of our nation has in many ways been built on the same ground beef we now discount.
So, back your burgers. And, if you have any doubts, just ask your kids about how boring life would become without a virtually unlimited and affordable supply of burgers, meatballs, burritos and meatloaf.
And, yes, we also need to think about those who struggle just to put food on the table. We should be very careful, in the end, not to price ourselves out of our most basic needs -- like affordable protein. As one of my readers aptly noted a few months back, if we don't get our act together soon,"maybe we'll all have to start grilling steaks on the barbecue instead of burgers [just] to save ourselves a few bucks."
That'd be something.