Food prices are soaring across the board but beef, in particular, is getting much more expensive.
The owner of the Arroyo Grande Meat Company tells KSBY that the price of prime rib has gone up $2 per pound in the last month.
"That's huge because that's our number one item," said Henry Gonzales, owner of Arroyo Grande Meat Company. "That's a humongous jump because I can only go so high and, people say, so long."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects the wholesale price of beef to rise by another four to seven percent in April.
"A couple years ago is when it all started, so we're kind of used to being kicked around," said Gonzales.
The rise in prices is changing how people buy beef on the Central Coast.
"People are wanting not just to buy local, but to stock their freezer. They want beef and they want to make sure they have it," said Gonzales.
So what's driving the increase?
"There's so many variables that have come up over the last few months with fuel prices," said Tony Toso, President of the California Cattlemen's Association. "The COVID thing hasn't helped getting labor to process animals, to truck."
The California Cattlemen's Association says that a big culprit is high gas prices.
"For a cattle producer to send his animals to the Midwest, I ran the calculation a couple of days ago, it's a 27 percent increase in trucking prices from last December to today," said Toso.
Experts add that high demand coupled with panic buying is also pushing up prices.
The federal government wants to drive down prices by building more processing plants in the Midwest.
Experts say that beef prices likely won't go down until gas and labor costs do the same.