Maybe it’s the economy. Or perhaps it’s the growing concern over the environment.
But one thing is certain: Meat is not as popular as it once was.
Just five years ago, chefs were raving about the popularity of pork belly, the squishy, fatty pork treat that was plunked in menus at fancy restaurants.
According to the Daily Livestock Report, which pulled together USDA data, the average American will consume 12.2 percent less meat and poultry in 2012 than he or she did in 2007.
The report, put out by the CME Group, which publishes market data, blamed part of the decline in meat’s popularity on higher prices caused by higher feed costs after the growth of corn-based ethanol.
NPR had a different take, saying that it’s simply a trend away from consuming meat, in part fueled by Meatless Mondays and the flexitarianism movement, which refers to vegetarians who occasionally eat meat.
Meatless Mondays is an initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health designed to help people reduce meat consumption by 15 percent for health and environmental reasons, according to the website.