Infographic: A Century of Meat Consumption Infographic: A Century of Meat Consumption
The GOOD Life

Infographic: A Century of Meat Consumption

by Nicola Twilley

March 19, 2011

The New York Times has put together this terrific infographic (view larger) that compares the per capita availability of boneless, trimmed beef, pork, chicken, fish and shellfish, eggs, turkey, and veal over the past 100 years in the United States.

As a side note, I'm curious about the inclusion of eggs. On one level, it makes sense, because The Times used USDA data to build their chart, and the USDA lumps meat, poultry, and eggs together for the purposes of its food safety inspections, dietary guidelines, and consumer hotline. But are eggs really meat?

In any case, leaving the vexed question of eggs aside, the chart does show that, overall, Americans eat nearly 150 percent as much meat as our forebears did in 1910. Interestingly, we are not the most carnivorous country in the world—that honor, as we revealed in a 2009 transparency, above, falls to Denmark. Still, given the environmental impact of raising livestock, the growth curve in our century of carnivorous consumption should not be cause for pride.

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Infographic: A Century of Meat Consumption