I Want 1 lb of Ground Beef, Not 1.2 or 0.83!


Yesterday was grocery day. I know what you're thinking – what fun!

Anyway, one of the items on my list was a pound of ground beef. I've never paid much attention to this before, but while looking through the pile of packaged ground beef I couldn't help but notice the vast price discrepancies between packages. Some of the packages differed by almost $1.

Looking closer at the packages, I could not find one package of meat that was actually 1 lb! I started to wonder why this huge variance exists and I quickly came to the conclusion that grocers and butchers simply don't care to be more accurate.

Consumers don't seem to mind getting a little more, or a little less; they'll cook and eat the package. Grocers charge by weight so they don't care either; at the end of the day they are going to get the same amount of cash for their stock of ground beef. The result is that neither the consumer or the provider experience any real waste.

The only problem is that I can't think of any recipes, packages of taco seasoning or cans of sloppy joe that calls for ‘approximately' 1lb of ground beef.

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Luke Van Dongen
Luke, an auto industry engineering veteran, blogged here from 2005 to 2006.


  1. I guess all we can do, as consumers, is to complain, but good luck finding a real live butcher in most grocery stores. Most of the meat is centrally butchered and packaged outside of most big chain grocery stores (Wal-Mart did this mainly to avoid unionization, I believe).


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