By Tim Jimenez

 By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The trip to the grocery store has gotten a lot more expensive, especially when you head down the meat aisle.

USDA officials say right now beef prices are at a 27-year high.

The USDA says February beef prices averaged $5.28 a pound, up a quarter since January and the highest since 1987.

“I see it as the perfect storm that we don’t want to live but we’re going to have to live this year and I don’t think it’s going to go away,” says Shawn Padgett, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with George L. Wells Meat Company in Northern Liberties.

They’re the middleman, between slaughterhouses and hotels and restaurants. She says this supply and demand problem is a few years in the making.

“Terrible droughts, terrible high grain prices. So, a lot of the farmers were forced to sell their herds off and get out the business so there’s less cattle numbers,” Padgett said.

Along with high fuel prices and growing exports to countries like China, throw in a virus killing millions of pigs and you have lower supplies of pork as well, and all of that then stresses poultry. It’s certainly not a cheap time to be a carnivore with no end in sight.

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