Calgarians worried about soaring meat prices

Some Calgarians are struggling to buy meat and groceries amidst another price hike in the new year. Henna Saeed talks to a food expert and asks some Calgarians how they are finding affordable meat in the city.

Keeping your freezer stocked is becoming more difficult for Calgarians as the price of beef, poultry, and other meats rise across the city.

While some go through the hassle of shopping around, others are forced to buy the only groceries they can get their hands on, which are sometimes expensive.

Some Calgarians are taking to social media to vent their frustrations about the affordability of meat at the grocery store.

Chaz Smith with BeTheChangeYYC says he’s worried about the “ridiculous” prices for some foods.

“I am worried for us all – I went grocery shopping yesterday – I have to admit the prices for much of my regular food has gone up in cost at a ridiculous pace … had to say no to lots of regular items,” Smith tweeted.

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, says meat is already expensive and a variety of factors have led to another price hike.

“Chicken has historically been a very affordable source of animal protein, it’s also quite expensive, especially out west since the avian flu has impacted both the poultry and the egg sector as well. So that’s why we’re seeing an increase in animal protein prices, generally speaking, and it is of course after the holidays, and people are looking at winter months,” Charlebois said.

“I went to Superstore tonight and it was cheaper to buy breaded chicken than actual regular chicken thighs,” Twitter user The Cranky Coffee Junkie said.

“It massively is something that really just affects all of us and it’s really frustrating. It’s a time killer to find affordable meat. It’s just extremely aggravating,” Ilia Kevin, a Calgary student told CityNews.

Some Calgarians said they rely on apps like Flashfood, which scan nearby grocery stores for discounts, in order to afford buying meat such as chicken.

Smith says he didn’t end up buying chicken during his last trip to the grocery store because it was so pricey.

“Actually, chicken was the one item that I did not buy because the prices were so high, I could not believe it — $32 for chicken breasts and other pieces not much cheaper. Also, [have you] seen the cost of butter lately?” Smith tweeted.

According to Charlebois, the only way to beat rising food prices is to plan your grocery store trips and shop around.

“Food rescue apps like FoodHero, Flashfood, Too Good To Go — that is probably the best way to have access to affordable meat products. You have to consume those products very quickly because the packaging date is quite old. And those deals, you want to go after, because you can actually save quite significantly.”

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