“Farm to Table” restaurants are misleading

Think you’re eating local and fresh at the growing fad of “Farm to Table” restaurant?
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McDonald’s Quarter Pounder Getting Bigger

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Good news for cattle farmers and bad news for those addicted to the “Quarter Pounder”
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U.S. Beef Herds Will Expand in 2015

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One area of economic data I follow is where corn is being sold to. Recent data has pointed to farmers raising cattle which means an expanding beef market. I did some research and found this forecast at FarmandDairy.com:

U.S. Department of Agriculture semiannual report that cattle numbers have increased by slightly more than 1 percent following seven years of decline.
The most significant expansion has been in beef cows, which were up 2 percent from the previous year, the USDA said.
There were 610,000 new beef cows added nationally. Hurt said the expansion is likely to continue through most of this decade.


One reason for the expansion is prices farmers are getting for beef:

“These were led by record-high cattle prices in 2014 with finished cattle averaging near $155 per live hundredweight and Oklahoma 500-550 pound steer calves averaging $250,” Hurt said.

How Much Food Does it Take to Feed 2 College Football Teams

outback bowl
Outback Steakhouse sponsors the college football bowl game “Outback Bowl”. The Aubrun Tigers take on the Wisconsin Badgers and will be played on January 1, 2015. The two teams meet for dinner sponsored by Outback Steakhouse and here is how much food was there via the Bleacher Report:

Outback Bowl dinner for Auburn & Wisconsin: 750 pounds of steak, 900 lbs. of ribs, 750 lbs. of chicken, 1,600 shrimp, 1,200 lbs. cheese cake.

2014 Corn & Soybean Yields Explode

corn harvest
Harvest season is wrapping up across the nation. Here is some Indiana and national stats gathered up from various sources around the internet:

Corn for grain production will set a new record in 2014 at 14.5 billion bushels on fewer acres planted compared to 2013. World corn production is also setting new records.

Soybean farmers are now expected to harvest 3.96 billion bushels, up 31 million bushels from the October estimate. Fifteen states including Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota are expected to report records for the amount of soybeans grown per acre with the average yield at 47.5 bushels per acre. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 83.4 million acres, unchanged from last month.

(Indiana) Corn yield was unchanged from last month’s projection of 186 bushels per acre. This will be a record corn yield for Indiana if realized. Corn for grain harvested acres was 5.75 million acres. Total production is still expected to weigh in at a record-breaking 1.07 billion bushels. Soybean yield at 54.0 bushels per acre was unchanged from last month’s forecast. This yield if realized will be a record for soybean yield in Indiana. The soybean harvest is anticipated to rake in 296 million bushels, which would make 2014 a record production year.

H/T Hoosieragtoday.com for recent numbers

$385 Steak Now in New York City

Empire Steak House Offer Kobe Beef

Empire Steak House, owned and operated by the Sinanaj brothers, announced it will offer the hardest-to-find steaks in United States – imported certified Japanese Kobe tenderloin and ribeye. A choice of an 8-ounce tenderloin or 10-12 ounce ribeye will be priced at $385 and $375, respectively.
Kobe beef is a cut of meat from a special breed of wagyu cattle, called Kuroge. It is the only beef with unsaturated fat, which is filled with Omega-3 and Omega-5. Fed with rice straw that fortifies the cow’s stomach, soy, wheat, beef, and other secret ingredients in Japan, these cows are 30 percent larger than U.S. cows before slaughtering at 30 to 34 months of age, rather than the typical 18 to 20 months of age in the U.S.

Read the rest here

Inflation Hits Five Guys Burgers

The best indicator of inflation is the prices you pay for everyday goods. I have a saying, the best economist is the consumer. Most consumers will self monitor the prices paid on goods they frequent. The picture below is a 2012 menu from Five Guys Burgers. The address is listed on top of the store location and the date of print is lower right hand corner.
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I decided to go to the store website of the same address online to compare prices. You can view it yourself here at this link. Here are the price comparisons of 2014 and 2012.

Hamburger $5.79/$5.19 14.4% increase
Cheeseburger $6.49/$5.89 10% increase
Bacon Burger $6.69/$5.99 11.6% increase
Bacon Cheeseburger $7.29/$6.49 12.3% increase

Not all price have gone up. Drinks and fries have stayed the same. Hot dogs and Sandwiches have also increased.