Shortage of Steak


Say it isn’t so!

Upscale steakhouses around the country may be experiencing a rise in cost and a decrease in availability for some of their top-notch steaks.

It’s become such an epidemic that classic steakhouses, such as Peter Luger’s in NY, have been forced to introduce new menu items. In 120 years, Peter Luger’s has never introduced a new steak…until now!

But why is this happening? According to the NY Sun

The production of ethanol, which is made from corn, is one major reason classic cuts of prime beef are becoming more and more expensive, an analyst at the cattle market analysis firm Cattle-Fax, Tod Kalous, said.

Corn is the primary feed for cattle that produce USDA-grade prime beef. Corn is also the main ingredient for what many believe is the fuel of the future, ethanol. The production of ethanol has not only increased the demand for corn, it has made harvests more profitable for farmers, who receive the fruits of government subsidies when it is sold to ethanol producers.

Even with the price of prime beef so high, and with Mr. Kalous predicting continued high prices, most steakhouses have yet to pass on the brunt of the drought to the customer.

And according to NY Mag

Peter Luger’s menu has changed about as much as Stonehenge: You can get a porterhouse steak, lamb chops, hash browns, and tomato-and-onion salad. Technically, there’s salmon on the menu and maybe a few other sides, and they did add bacon, but the genius of the place has been in its simplicity. But as of last month, a rib-eye steak, a relative bargain at $38.95, is for sale. (The slim, seldom-ordered single strip steak is the same price.) It’s the restaurant’s first new steak in 120 years. Why the sudden change?

Simply said, there just aren’t enough porterhouses to sate their rabid customer base and still maintain a semblance of quality.

This can’t be a good thing. And I, for one, will not be ordering a rib eye on my next trip to Peter Lugers!

Photo from Flickr.


2 comments so far

  1. aerobicmachinesachieveinfo on

    I have wondered how people loss weight dieting and exercising .
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  2. anon on

    nice plug ^ 😦

    Seeing as my truck has been running on gasoline its entire 12 year lifespan, I don’t see it suddenly wanting ethanol. I, however, would like to afford a good steak. I hope that this isn’t a trend that continues. When Americans are forced into a choice between fuel and food, “Let’s light the food on fire” seems to be a bureaucratic response typical of US government.

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