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NewsBites November 2016 Issue

Reversing Trend, US Meat Eating Jumps

So much for the notion that Americans had hit "peak meat" and are beginning to eat less. After US meat consumption dropped in 2014, led by lower intake of red meat, some industry observers speculated that our taste for meat had topped out. But new data collected by Rabobank, a food and agriculture research firm, suggests otherwise: Last year, US per capita meat consumption actually rose at a higher rate than any other year over the past four decades. Americans averaged 193 pounds of meat per person, 3.7 pounds per week.

Some observers, however, noted that the increase was largely driven by consumption of chicken, which got a boost from an oversupply that pushed down prices. Americans ate nearly twice as much chicken - 89 pounds apiece - as beef (54 pounds) and pork (50 pounds). So it could be that we're shopping for bargains rather than becoming more carnivorous.

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