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January 11, 2012 / George

American Meat Consumption Is Plummeting

This is great. I’ve been eating less and less meat over the years, often going for days to weeks without any.  But this surprises me:

Until recently, almost everyone considered their dinner plate naked without a big old hunk of meat on it. You remember “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner,” of course. How could you forget? And we could afford it: our production methods and the denial of their true costs have kept meat cheap beyond all credibility. American hamburger is arguably the cheapest convenience food there is. This, in part, is why we spend a smaller percentage of our money on food than any other country, and much of that goes toward the roughly half-pound of meat each of us eats, on average, every day.But that’s changing, and considering the fairly steady climb in meat consumption over the last half-century, you might say the numbers are plummeting. The department of agriculture projects that our meat and poultry consumption will fall again this year, to about 12.2 percent less in 2012 than it was in 2007. Beef consumption has been in decline for about 20 years; the drop in chicken is even more dramatic, over the last five years or so; pork also has been steadily slipping for about five years.

via We’re Eating Less Meat. Why? – NYTimes.com.

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One Comment

  1. Rhenie / Feb 8 2012 11:41 am

    “If we didn’t need so much land in delnvopieg countries to feed our cows, the people there might be able to use it to grow food for themselves.”I agree that changing consumer habits here would effect changes in the structure of decision-making in agriculture in other parts of the world. But it’s not obvious to me what those effects might be. I don’t think I could even predict whether they would alleviate or aggravate Third World poverty. What are your reasons for saying that the answer is clear and clearly positive?

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