It’s National Meat Month!

A chance to reflect on our meat intake
Blade Steak
Wikimedia Commons/ mywhitedevil

Blade Steak

Did you know that January is National Meat Month? Well it is, and it allows us to take a look at the amount of meat we eat, and also provides us with an excuse for eating even more than usual.

And while the leftovers from the holiday roasts are beginning to lose their luster in the back of the refrigerator, no excuse is needed to head to your favorite steakhouse or cook up a nice T-bone and raise a glass to this month dedicated to meat.

Although it may seem like Americans take the prize for consumption of everything, we actually take second place in terms of meat consumed worldwide; that award goes to Luxembourg, of all places. Here are some more interesting meat-related facts, courtesy of NPR:

·         What it takes to make a quarter-pound hamburger:

o   6.7 pounds of feed

o   52.8 gallons of water

o   74.5 square feet of land

o   1,036 BTUs of energy (for feed production and transport, enough to power a microwave for 18 minutes)

·         There are currently about 30 million head of cattle in the U.S., up from 12.5 million in 1920 but down from 45 million in the 1970s.

·         The U.S. is producing more beef now than in the '70s, however, because each cow now produces nearly 800 pounds of meat, up almost 200 pounds from 40 years ago.

·         In 1909, total U.S. meat consumption was 9.8 billion pounds. Now it’s up to 52 billion pounds, which is actually a decrease from recent years.

·         The average human eats 102.5 pounds of meat per year. Luxembourg consumes the most meat per person, at 301.4 pounds, and in India the least amount of meat, 7.1 pounds per person, is eaten. The U.S. comes in second place with 270.0 pounds per person consumed.

·         In terms of the type of meat consumed, beef and pork were tied through the 1950s, and beef became the dominant protein up until the early 2000s. Chicken overtook it as the most consumed meat just a couple of years ago. 

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