Cost of Packaging

Great bags of corned meat, but how much did I pay for the individual components within that bag?

Many pounds of corned beef are likely being consumed across the US today in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Despite the fact that I cannot remember what day this holiday falls on, even though it doesn’t migrate like other holidays, we are also celebrating the food of the day.

Rifling through a large pile of corned beef critter, it became obvious that the amount of entrapped fluid in each beef-bag was highly variable. In my favored supermarket, these were all priced by mass, with the stickers applied by the store. Seeing as they did not produce nor package these hunks-o-meat, that would suggest that I am paying for that extra fluid.

Corned beef sale tag

Corned beef sale tag

Method:

  • Select and purchase a bagged corned beef brisket
  • Extract and mass all components
  • Calculate the cost of each component
    • Based on the total cost of $21.07 for 2395 g (5.28lb) = $0.0088 / g
Mass (g) Cost ($)
Meat 2120 $18.65
Plastic wrapper 26.9 $0.24
Spice Packet 7.0 $0.06
Fluid* 241.1 $2.12
Total as Packaged 2395 $21.07

*the mass of the fluid was calculated based on the total package weight as I forgot to capture it when the meat was extracted from the package… doh…

Corned beef on scale

Weighing just the corned critter

Conclusions:

Even while I intentionally selected a package that seemed to contain less fluid than the others available, about 10% of the total cost was for the fluid that went down the drain! If you shop at a store that seems to apply mass/cost stickers based on the total weight rather than just the weight of the meat, try to find one that seems to have less liquid in it to minimize your wasted $$. But in any event, enjoy the end result (for those with pressure cookers the recipe in this book was great)!

Corned beef and vegetables

Corned beef and vegetables

 

Related Works:

Morris, Craig. March 15, 2013. USDA Blog. “How Corned Beef and Cabbage Became a Holiday Staple

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