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For the first time in 20 years, we’re eating less meat … and it’s the pandemic’s fault

July 31, 2020

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data shows that the world has reduced meat consumption.

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For the first time in 20 years, we’re eating less meat … and it’s the pandemic’s faultFor the first time in 20 years, we’re eating less meat … and it’s the pandemic’s fault

As a result of the pandemic and the loss of purchasing power, the meat consumption. A 3% drop in consumption is expected per person This is the highest decline since 2000. This problem has continued. In 2019, meat production decreased compared to 2018, which has been rare since 1961. This is expected to happen this year as well. This is a dramatic change as meat production has never declined two years in a row.

The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly closely related to the situation, but other types of variables also emerge from the analysis. An analysis of Bloomberg With data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to monitor 18 meats, three are absolutely important: Pork, chicken and beef. In the past 50 years, they accounted for approximately 85 and 88% of total production. However, it is believed that chicken consumption remains unlike the other two meats.

The production pace of these three types of meat has changed significantly. Pork and veal were consumed in 1965, chicken is currently preferred and its consumption has tripled since 1961, increasing from 11% to 34%.

The pace of production of pork, chicken and beef has changed significantly / Image: Depositphotos.com

The pig remains at 35%. However, veal is reduced as it was 39% in 1961 and 20% in 2018. The analysis is very clear, less beef is consumed than in 1961, but the consumption of pork and chicken is higher.

Veal production has an interesting impact on climate change. The emissions from production are about ten times higher than those from chicken and pork, which is due to the changed land use, as in the case of deforestation.

As from the FAOIt should be noted that beef production will hardly be reduced in 2020. Two years ago it was 71.5 million tons, and the previous year of 72.6 is estimated to decrease to 72 million tons in 2020, say 0.8%. The decline in production is attributable to pork, as it is expected to decrease by 8% from 109.8 to 101 tons compared to 2019.

This decline in production is due in particular to the fact that production is centralized in Asian countries and some of them are affected by African swine fever.

There were different ways in which production is affected. One of them is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a break in the workforce in slaughterhouses and production facilities. The closure of hospitality businesses also hurts.

Analysts confirm that at least a long-term decline in the production and consumption of these products is waiting for us. Measures to mitigate the effects of climate change affect the effects of production, just as there might be an interest in alternative proteins, such as the production of meat by plants.

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