A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Americans Eating Less Meat

meat-consumption-down-012012

Don’t call it a vegan victory quite yet, but  Americans are eating less meat than we used to – 12.2 percent less than in 2007. Mark Bittman, food columnist for the New York Times, writes:

The department of agriculture projects that our meat and poultry consumption will fall again this year, to about 12.2 percent less in 2012 than it was in 2007. Beef consumption has been in decline for about 20 years; the drop in chicken is even more dramatic, over the last five years or so; pork also has been steadily slipping for about five years.

The meat industry is blaming the government for this. But Bittman says it’s because more and more of us are becoming “flexitarians” and taking up the Meatless Monday trend.

We still eat way more meat than is good for us or the environment, not to mention the animals. But a 12 percent reduction in just five years is significant … It’s something only the industry could get upset about. The rest of us should celebrate. Rice and beans, anyone?

Forbes magazine adds that consumers are increasingly concerned about the dangers of meat eating:

In 2007, Hudson Foods recalled 25 million pounds of hamburger meat linked to E. coli contamination β€” a hardly isolated event, but one that hopefully gave Americans something to think about when deciding what to have for dinner.

The American Heart Association, the Mayo Clinic and others are also weighing in with the health benefits of a reduced meat diet.

One cloud in all this is that other animals, particularly fish, are taking the place of meat on the menu. If you’re thinking of going meat free, bear in mind that the best way is to switch to a plant-based diet.