The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Mass of US Beef Consumption

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Rehberg, Tracy. The Range of Reason. California News, November 2005. "In 2003, Americans consumed 64.9 pounds of beef per person..." 29.4 kg per person per year
Yin, Sandra. Meat Market. American Demographics, 2004. "Beef consumption fell to 63 pounds in 2001, 29 percent lower than the high of 89 pounds per person in 1976." 28.6–40.4 kg per person per year
Christopher G. Davis. Factors Affecting U.S. Beef Consumption. USDA, 2005 "Beef is a highly consumed meat in the United States, averaging 67 pounds per person per year..." 30.4 kg per person per year
Overview of U.S. Meat and Poultry Production and Consumption. American Meat Institute, August 2004. "Per capita consumption of beef reached an all-time high of 94.3 pounds in 1976 when beef supplies were at record levels because of the liquidation of the national beef herd. Beef consumption has continued to decline in the 1980s and 1990s, but over the past ten years has remained at an average of 63.3 pounds per capita. In 2002, per capita beef consumption was 67.6 pounds." 28.8–42.8 kg per person per year
U.S. Leads World Meat Stampede. World Watch Institute, July 1998.
Meat Consumption From Around the World
Country Beef
  (kg per person per year)
United States 44
44 kg per person per year

What is beef?

The domestication of cattle for food dates to about 6500 B.C. in the Middle East. Cattle were not native to America, but brought to the New World on ships by European colonists. Americans weren't big eaters of fresh beef until about 1870, due to the enormous growth of the cattle industry in the West.

Since 1910, the first year that statistics were compiled, Americans have been eating an average of 60 pounds of beef yearly. The American diet has changed considerably over the last two decades. Beef consumption has fallen 26 percent between 1977 and 1997.The reason for such decline includes new emerging products, along with more imports, growth in the "away from home food market", and increases in nutrient-enrichment standards and food fortification. Beef consumption also varies by race and ethnicity. For example Blacks ate 77 pounds of beef per person per year, followed by 69 pounds by Hispanics, 65 pounds by Whites, and 62 pounds by other races. Low-income consumers tend to eat more beef than consumers in other income households.

Each year, 35 million cattle are slaughtered in the U.S.

The mindset of Americans when it comes to their diet has also changed. In a more "weight watched" environment, people tend to search for healthier options when it comes to filling up their refrigerators.

Marcelo Bernal -- 2007