What Things Cost: Chicken

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I went to the grocery yesterday to buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a tandoori-like recipe. The price for two smallish breasts, raised free-range and never given antibiotics, was twelve dollars. Yes. $12.00.

Wowzer.

I’ve been buying chicken all along. Maybe I haven’t bothered to notice the price before now.

But before someone tells me to buy thighs, I’ll admit I don’t like them. Thighs have a gamey taste that no amount of marinade can hide.  It’s breast or nothing. And since I already had the Greek yogurt and seasonings in the cart, I paid the price.

But I was curious. When did chicken get so high?

Back in 1989, I stopped eating red meat. My rationale? I was convinced that the growth hormones and antibiotics given to corn-fed beef contributed to obesity in humans. No studies—just my opinion. I didn’t eat pork or lamb. I lived in the Midwest, so good fish was difficult—okay, impossible–to find. What’s left? No, not turkey. I was cooking for one.

Chicken. Not once did I stop and think. Back then, chickens were given grain to eat and shot full of growth hormones and antibiotics. Darn. Chicken wasn’t healthy enough to make it the centerpiece of my diet.

But oh well. Water under the bridge. But, still curious about the cost. How much has the price of chicken gone up since chicken farmers stopped buying feed and growth chemicals?

Ta-da. The price has doubled since 1989. Curious yourself? Take a look at the data at the Official Data: Economy, Inflation, and More website.

Not out of line according to the inflation calculator found at the US Inflation Calculator. What used to cost $1,000.00 in 1990 costs $1,929.20 in 20018.

In other words, the price for everything has almost doubled in the last 30 years.

If prices keep rising at the same rate, I wonder whether two chicken breasts will cost $24.00 in 2050.