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Could Americans’ appetite for steak and burgers be diminishing? Maybe Meatless Mondays are to blame but recent figures from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) show consumption of red meat and poultry is declining among Americans.
The drop in consumption is a reflection of the troubled economy, as well as reduced meat production and an increase of U.S. meat exports, according to the High Plains/ Midwest Agricultural Journal.
"We know that when costs go up, things like the house payment and the car payment are not flexible, so the only place where you're flexible in your budget is with the food dollars," said Tammy Roberts, nutrition specialist from the University of Missouri Extension. "The most expensive food you buy at the grocery store generally is meat, so people stretch the meat and buy less,” Roberts added.
Red meat consumption is down 12 percent from what it was back in 2007, according to the USDA. This means the average American is consuming about 23 pounds less beef than they were five years ago. Eating less meat may not be a bad thing. For years, nutritionists have advocated the benefits of reducing animal fats. Aside from doing your body good, eating less meat also helps the environment.
These benefits have been championed by Meatless Mondays, a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.