NPR Reports on History of US Meat Consumption

In three recent reports, the news organization dissects the evolution of Americans’ relationship with meat.


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This week, NPR examined the history and impact of meat consumption in the US, analyzing the economic and social factors that affect the Standard American Diet. According to the media organization, the US has the second-highest average meat consumption per capita in the world, weighing in at a whopping 270.7 pounds per person per year—168.2 pounds more than the world average. Experts partially attribute this phenomenon to the country’s high overall level of income, noting that meat consumption tends to rise as countries’ economic conditions improve. However, the reports note that the country is in the midst of a historical shift: a new study released this week says US meat consumption—particularly that of red meat—is on the decline, primarily due to Americans’ desire to eat healthier.