How Many Chickens Do You Eat A Year?

Over our morning Lattes, Super-sous and I read an article about how Americans meat consumption is on the decline, possibly in part to the Meatless Monday campaign that has been growing over the past 9 years.

In this article, which we found on takepart.com, it stated that Americans are eating .5lbs of meat a day.

Well, Super-sous and I had some fun with this fact and a lot of questions came up as well.

First, let’s see how this .5lbs of meat a day translates to the plate… or farm. (Please forgive any miscalculations, we are mathematically challenged):

If a small chicken is 3lbs, which translates to about 2lbs of meat, (and you only eat chicken as your .5lbs of meat a day) you eat approximately 91 chickens a year.

If an average steer is 1200lbs, which translates to about 568lbs of meat, (and you only eat beef as your .5lbs of meat a day) you eat approximately 1/3 of a cow a year.

If an average pig is 300lbs, which translates to about 150lbs of meat, (and you only eat pork as your .5lbs of meat a day) you eat approximately 1 (well, a little over 1) pig a year.

But then we started thinking about all the vegetarians in the USA (about 3.2%) and, well, you really can’t count about 6.5% of the population that is under 5 years of age, and what about people who only eat fish or those that eat meat only once or twice a week (and not .5lbs of it when they do)? This all adds up to… somebody out there is eating A LOT of meat. Like, an entire cow + a few pigs + hundreds of chickens a year a lot.

For the health of this country, I’m glad to see that meat consumption is declining because I hope this means people are enjoying more seasonal produce and whole grains. I also hope that Meatless Monday’s doesn’t mean less meat and more convenience processed foods in our diets.

At the end of the day, fresh food is best for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Because really, do we need to consume more than our own body weight in meat a year?

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