On the trail of Big Chicken

A neon sign depicting a rooster

We sure can stretch a dime. EVLovesNYC manages to make really good meals for around $2.30 each. If you shop and cook at home, you know that’s impressively low. 


Even so, we are still freaked out about inflation. Our weekly menu offerings include beef, chicken and vegan options and the ever-escalating costs of the meats, in particular, are ridiculous. 

The current trend of inflation in food prices started because of the supply chain issues unleashed by COVID. But something else was unleashed, too. A March 2024 report by the Federal Trade Commission reveals that during the pandemic, grocers and food suppliers raised prices not simply to cover the costs of supply chain problems, but also to greatly increase their profits. And now even though supply chains are back operating at normal levels, the food industry keeps hiking prices to consumers because, you know, greed. Margins are at an all-time high; revenues outpace costs by a mile.

Monopoly board

We were gobsmacked to learn that just FOUR companies control 85% of beef processing in the U.S. These four corporations are being sued for price fixing, or working together to manipulate the price of beef. Four companies also control the processing of almost 70% of the pork on the market and four others control 60% of the chicken. That’s a lot of meat — and meat pricing — being controlled by just a few giants. 


(None of these corporations are known for being kind employers, humane farmers or environmental stewards either. Their records in those areas constitute a truly disgusting side of the industrial meat processing story. But that’s for another day.)

a neon sign depicting a cow

EVLovesNYC is not going to stop serving meats as part of its weekly food distribution. (And to be honest, in spite of my best vegetarian intentions, I’m still thinking about the chicken tikka masala entree we were serving yesterday…) We’re not going to stop buying the best raw materials we can within our budget. And we’re not about to start charging for our meals.  


But you can bet we are rooting for the trust-busting USDA grants offered to smaller plants run by ranchers and local ag cooperatives so they can compete with Big Chicken and Big Beef. And we urge the government to step in to enforce antitrust laws and stop the corporate collusion  keeping meat prices artificially high.


If you want to know more about how the sausage is made:

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