If you’re eating meat in the near future, there’s something you’re likely to notice: prices are going up. According to the USDA, overall grocery prices in the U.S. are expected to be 3.7 percent higher in the coming year than they were in 2018.

And meat prices are certainly the biggest culprit. According to a Gallup survey, Americans have reported that they’re typically spending about $4.70 a week for meat. (They usually spend less when hunting and fishing, and higher, depending on where you live.)

The price hike in this particular industry, which is what all foods that can be eaten raw or cooked need to do, is due to rising grain prices. The rise of global industrial production of grain, which feeds animals, has made it impossible for many to get their regular diet of corn and soybeans, which can now be grown much more efficiently by modern farming techniques.

Luckily, it’s important to remember that, when prices rise, it’s good for the sustainability of an industry. The USDA tells The Christian Science Monitor that if the price of grain was to increase, “consumers would still be able to eat their recommended amount of protein from meat, poultry, and fish per week and avoid an overall reduction in protein intake or a greater number of calories from animal sources.”

One interesting study cited in an article about the meat prices, by the United Nations, indicated that prices do not affect the way people eat (though the study did contradict its findings, which indicated food prices negatively affect consumption.) When consumer prices on meat rise, that’s a good thing. And at the same time, prices at the local farm store are still affordable.

As Dean Soucek, owner of Dean’s Meat Market in New York City, told the HuffPost: “The market has not raised the prices on the meat, as yet, but there are already a lot of specialty supplies for sale at the store. But I do get a lot of phone calls requesting a specialty steak.”

Read the full story at The Christian Science Monitor.

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