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Beef for Dinner? Not So Much Anymore

Beef for Dinner? Not So Much Anymore

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. 

This is despite the fact—as the Atlantic Wire points out—that the iconic ad campaign by the National Livestock and Beef Board in 1992 told us all that "beef is for dinner."

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.

D February 15, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I believe the consumption of meat has declined because of health concerns and because people are more aware of the horific conditions under which most animals are raised. I grew up on a farm and have seen some really nasty brutal things. Getting meat to the table is not a pretty process. I like steak and chicken as much as anyone else but I have to admit I do feel a twinge of guilt eating it at times. I have chickens (egg layers) on my horse farm. They are intelligent creatures. I'm sure they have feelings and emotions much like we do. I could never butcher them. Beyond all the issues of killing a living creature to eat it, science has overwhelmingly proven that a plant based diet is much much more healthy. I think the general popluation understands that and some folks are starting to adjust their diet accordingly.

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