This Is How Much Beef The Average American Consumes Every Year

Beef is a staple in many Americans' diets. Still, beef and poultry are declining in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The website states that the U.S. consumers' access to red meat and poultry per pound is 0.2 pounds lower in 2022 than in 2021. Perhaps this statistic is a result of the rising costs of beef or because of an increase in plant-based meat alternatives.

According to CB Insights, the demand for plant-based meat is rising. In 2020 alone, vegan meat sales increased by 27%, soaring to $7 billion worth of sales. Companies are striving to gain customer attention, using marketing ploys and television shows as inspiration to boost sales for their meat-inspired creations. Like for instance, the new plant-based "Stranger Things" Crazy Crispy Chick'n Nuggets that are being sold at Walmart (via Eat This, Not That!

But despite these unique vegetarian creations, beef continues to remain a popular meat within the U.S., with consumption amounting to 58.4 pounds in 2020 (via Statista).

Here's the beef

In recent years, burgers, steak, bacon, and other meat products have been scrutinized for health and ethical reasons. Harvard states that a high intake of red and processed meats increases the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The university suggests consuming just two to three servings of meat per week. They also say to consider meat a luxury, making it a side dish instead of a staple food. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends consuming no more than three 12 to 18 ounce cooked cuts of red meat per week.

According to Business Wire, the plant-based market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19% from 2022 to 2027. Why are people leaning toward vegan alternatives as opposed to beef? Hospitality and Catering News claims that plant-based food options are more eco-friendly and emit fewer carbon emissions than beef. 

Vegan options are more affordable for families, a considerable benefit considering food prices in April 2022 saw the most significant 12-month increase since 1980 (via U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). So, the next time you're at the grocery store and temped to grab some meat, you may just want to purchase some vegetables instead. Your heart and your wallet will thank you.