High beef prices have some turning to venison
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Americans love their beef. We eat an average of 14 pounds per year. But unlike some things that we buy at the grocery store that goes up and down, beef prices have stayed at one level.
"They've been consistently, consistently high," said Aaron Johnson, a Professor of Economics at Darton College.
Beef rose by an average of 6 percent in October.
That's much higher than for groceries in general, which rose a little over 1 percent.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures everything that a typical consumer would buy, rose 3.5 percent.
The reason for the rise in beef prices?
"Weather's played a big factor," said Professor Johnson.
The drought in Texas kept the beef herds smaller than usual, and there's another factor as well.
Growth in other parts of the world like Asia.
"That's causing an increase in demand for food in general and that's driving up prices for everyone," Johnson explained.
With the price of beef still going up, some people are turning to an alternative meat.
In this case, the other red meat is venison.
Deer processors like Joe Aldridge are popular this time of the year.
"We had several people this morning and it's been a pretty good year to us so far," he said.
While processing a deer can be fairly expensive, depending on what kind of meat that you want, you get plenty out of it.
"Generally, you can figure about 30 to 40 pounds of meat per deer," said Aldridge.
If stored properly, the finished product can be in your freezer for a while.
"You can figure a couple of years to a few years out of the vacuum packed," said Aldridge.
And all of that venison could come in handy, because prices for beef are not going down anytime soon.
Which means that processors are going to remain busy for a while to come.
Aldridge says it takes about six to eight days to process a deer.
He says little is wasted.
Even the skin is used for things such as gloves.