Letters to the Editor

August 1, 2014

The price of beef

Beef and pork prices in Tarrant County are indeed increasing — whether it’s at Smokeys, Riscky’s or Railhead or TGI Friday’s or Whataburger — but when discussing this trend, it’s important to note the impact federal regulation has had on the increasing cost of food commodities. (See: “Short supply of beef and pork sends prices soaring” July 25)

Beef and pork prices in Tarrant County are indeed increasing — whether it’s at Smokeys, Riscky’s or Railhead or TGI Friday’s or Whataburger — but when discussing this trend, it’s important to note the impact federal regulation has had on the increasing cost of food commodities. (See: “Short supply of beef and pork sends prices soaring” July 25)

Undeniably, environmental factors such as drought have worsened the issue, but for the last eight years, the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) ethanol mandate has consistently contributed to volatility in food and commodity prices by mandating an ever-growing amount of corn be used for fuel rather than food.

According to PwC, the mandate costs chain restaurants $3.2 billion a year, which is over $18,000 annually per restaurant. Because corn is the primary feed grain in animal agriculture and is the basis for America’s food supply, the RFS is raising costs for other food items, including chicken, beef, eggs, potatoes and others.

Though we can’t control factors such as drought, we can certainly control laws which regulate our nation’s economy.

It’s time for Congress to take the Renewable Fuel Standard off the menu by repealing this impractical and unworkable law.

— Robert J. Green,

Executive Director,

National Council of Chain

Restaurants, Washington, D.C.

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