Friday, September 23, 2011

The $10 Hot Dog

We have hot dogs.

100% grass fed, certified organic hot dogs. Made from beef whom have been outside the majority of their lives, on pasture with lots of room to run and nap in the sunshine and chew cud. These hot dogs come 8 in a package which is vacuum sealed with the appropriate USDA inspected, MOSA certified labels. Labels that include the wonderful ingredients that make them organic. Spices which include coriander, nutmeg, mustard, salt and pepper with flavorings of cane juice, paprika, garlic and onion powder.

Each hot dog is 6-8 inches long , there are 8 in a package and each package weighs about 1.25 pounds.
There are no additives. No hidden ingredients. No waste parts of other animals like chicken feet, goat lips or rice cereals. They are 100% pure beef hot dogs.

What would YOU pay for these ?

The good news is you will not have to pay $10.00 for a pound of our pure beef hot  dogs. The reality however is, if you buy from us you will need to pay $8.50 which is just .49 cents less than a pound of our T-bone steaks, one of the finer cuts of beef. How can that be ? Well it's because of many factors.

The cost of organic hay, organic straw, fences, waterers,  fuel to get the animal to the locker and back to our farm store ( a 70 mile round trip) are just a few factors. In addition, there is the cost of our annual organic inspection, the 40 cents per package for the vacuum wrap and the additional $2.50 per package for all the organic seasoning , curing and cooking done by the locker.

We struggle with the fact that we have to charge $8.50 in order to meet our expenses and still have a little left over as "profit" for all the manual labor involved in the 18-24 months of caring for a steer before he is big enough to be butchered. And yet, yesterday, when a customer came to our little store and my husband accidentally told him the price for the hot dogs was $10.00  for one pound ( because I had not yet put the new price on our price list for him to refer to) the customer paid that $10.00 without a single comment.

I guess that is what he thought they were worth.

Of course the way to decrease this price would be to decrease expenses. Instead of raising just 30-40 beef a year we could increase our numbers to 300-400 a year  and eliminate pastures altogether. We could raise them all on a concrete feed lot like 9o% of all beef farmers do in the US decreasing the cost of electric fencing, pasture rent, and pasture seeding. We could drop our organic certification, feed poor quality hay and grain and cram 15 cattle on our livestock trailer , when going to the locker, instead of just 2-3, to save gas. We could feed our herd growth hormones to unnaturally increase their growth and decrease the amount of time we are feeding them

We could also call ourselves Oscar Meyer and be done with it.

Instead, we look closely at ways  to decrease expenses WITHOUT compromising the quality of our meat or the humane care of our livestock. And regarding the customer who overpaid us the  $1.50 ?  We'll apologize and pay him back next time he comes in our store. We owe him more than just money, we also owe him a debt of gratitude that he would value our hard work so much. Its makes working long hours every day to raise good food, just a little bit easier.

PS. If it makes you feel any better, (I know it helped me) I did a little market research checking 20 websites,  and discovered nationally  that organic hot dogs average $8-$15 a pound. Imagine that


  1. My mouth is watering. I bet these are the best hot dogs ever.

  2. Wow Karen, that was fast ! The ink on my post wasn't even dry yet. The hot dogs are very good but very different from what we grew up with. I like to eat them cold like jerky. But I'm just lazy that way.

  3. That's a $1.06 a dog plus a few cents for the bun and a few more for the condiments. If I buy a hotdog at Rockies (and you can bet they are NOT organic) it will cost me a tick over $4.00 and while good they are not great. I think you have the better bargain. The difference being that Rockies is junk food and yours is FOOD.

  4. Thanks MBJ. Thats another wonderful way to look at it. If you lived closer I'd fix you one of our hot dogs right now

  5. Steak in a tube. The colour looks great too. As beef jerky is a rare favourite of mine, I'd probably also pay the $10.

  6. They certainly look deliciously appetising. The rubbish we get in tins alleged to be hot dogs here is just made from rubbish!

  7. I could kiss you

    you got a simple "i'm sorry" from tom!!!

    not a mean feat!

  8. My mouth is watering too, LOL. I appreciate your struggle with your price and also that you are so conscientious about it. If only everyone was the same way.

  9. I hope to make it down there soon to pick up some beef, milk and soap soon...It has been far to long!