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The Price of Real Meat is Beyond Me

Have you ever found yourself lingering in the meat section of the grocery store, staring at a piece of meat, daydreaming that one day you’d take home the choicest cut of steak or rib in the joint?

I won’t sugar coat this: I have some bellyaching to do. I guess I’m just not me when I’m hungry.

I’m one of those guys who would probably eat beef until the cows came home if only my budget would allow it. Not just for the protein but for the taste.

I’ll never be a vegan and breakfast without bologna or bacon? Forget about it.

Alas, why is it that the things you want most always cost the most but the things you hate the most are the best for your health, like those horrid fruits and veggies? I just don’t get it.

I have a dream. One day I will push a shopping cart out the grocery store’s front door, loaded down with enough red meat to kill a horse. Not a big old Morgan horse, but certainly a Shetland pony-sized load.

I don’t get Beyond Meat either. Plant based? Beyond Burgers? Beyond cow? What is beyond the taste of a healthy – well, healthy before we killed it anyway – Angus bull burger? Voted by my family as the world’s biggest carnivore on the planet, I see no future for me and Beyond meat.

As a born and bred Canadian boy, I can tell you, I’ve burned a few steaks over the grill, even burned some beyond recognition, but what I would do to a Beyond Burger is beyond the imagination and might even be illegal in some towns. Who knows.

I haven’t tried Beyond Burgers, to be fair, but I did read the packaging and there were some words on there I had to read with my index finger, something I rarely have to do and there were a lot of words there too. My motto is, if you can’t spell it, then you probably shouldn’t cook it. Real meat has its issues but at least I can spell the main ingredient: C . . A . . T . . T . . L . . E.

Only problem with cattle meat is the pricing. Have you ever noticed that – even though Canada has followed the metric system since the 1970s – grocery stores still price meat by the pound and not the metric scaling? You can get a litre of gas but you have to buy a pound of meat. If you look a bit closer you will see that the real price of a sirloin steak is not actually $3.99 a lb.; it’s $31.99 a kilogram.

Recently, as I was doing my usual drooling over the meat display, I spot a guy in a white lab coat toting enough meat on his cart to fill a Brinks truck. I could tell it was the good stuff. You know: the high-priced, quality stuff only Prime Ministers and pimps can afford.

It’s a wonder he didn’t have an armed security detail in tow.

I assumed he was the store’s butcher, and thought, “Isn’t it strange how doctors and butchers wear the same white lab coats?”

I took the plunge and popped the question:

“Do you guys do financing?”

“Say what?”

“Yeah,” I replied, deadpan. “Do you guys do financing?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“Well,” I said, “I’ve had my eye on that t-bone steak for some time now and I’d like to take it off your hands if the price is right. Any wiggle room there on that price?”

I thought to myself, “Why do I sound like Clem Kadiddlehopper, negotiating the price of a new bicycle?’”

“I assume you don’t have layaway plans here but I’d be willing to go as high as 30 clams right now and take it off your hands before dinnertime.”

“Buddy, this isn’t a car dealership you know.”

He trundled off, muttering something barely audible about “men in white coats coming soon,” and left me there to ponder my plight on my own.

Pondering makes me hungry though, so I knew it was time to go back to reality with my usual can of Heinz beans and “bakers” bread.

Not even a stick of “ Maple Leaf ‘baby bologna,’ the breakfast of this champion.

That very same stick, now six years old, was $11 in March. Now, in August, it’s $17. I know because I know my meat.

Sigh.

It’s all Beyond me.

 

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