|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
We’re Eating Less Meat. Why?
Americans eat more meat than any other population in the world; about one-sixth of the total, though we’re less than one-twentieth of the population.
But that’s changing.
...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...
...[The Daily Livestock Report] blames the decline on growing exports, which make less meat available for Americans to buy. It blames it on ethanol, which has caused feed costs to rise, production to drop and prices to go up so producers can cover their increasing costs. It blames drought. It doesn’t blame recession, which is surprising, because that’s a factor also.
All of which makes some sense.
No. It’s not the non-existent federal War on Meat that’s making a difference. And even if availability is down, it’s not as if we’re going to the supermarket and finding empty meat cases and deli counters filled with coleslaw.
The flaw in the report is that it treats American consumers as passive actors who are victims of diminishing supplies, rising costs and government bias against the meat industry. Nowhere does it mention that we’re eating less meat because we want to eat less meat.
Yet conscious decisions are being made by consumers. Even buying less meat because prices are high and times are tough is a choice; other "sacrifices" could be made. We could cut back on junk food, or shirts or iPhones, which have a very high meat-equivalent, to coin a term. Yet even though excess supply kept chicken prices lower than the year before, demand dropped.
I can add, anecdotally, that when I ask audiences I speak to, “How many of you are eating less meat than you were 10 years ago?” at least two-thirds raise their hands. A self-selecting group to be sure, but nevertheless one that exists.
In fact, let’s ask this: is anyone in this country eating more meat than they used to?