By Tony Dokoupil America is known as a nation of carnivores, devouring more pounds of meat per capita than any people in the history of the world. Back inthe average American consumed at least pounds of red meat a year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Americans want a better food policy:
Trends and Health Implications Meat consumption in the United States has nearly doubled in the last century. Americans are now among the top per capita meat consumers in the world; the average American eats more than three times the global average.
While per capita poultry consumption has increased, the majority of meat consumed is still red meat beef, pork, lamband nearly a quarter is processed meat hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, etc.
Studies give several reasons: While there is no specific federal guidance on the type or amount of Meat consumption in america meat consumption, key recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines include choosing a variety of protein foods, increasing the amount and variety of seafood consumed, reducing saturated fat intake, and increasing fruit and vegetable intake.
Public Health Concerns, from Farm to Fork Almost all of the meat, dairy products, and eggs produced in the United States come from industrial food animal production IFAP operations that confine thousands of cattle, tens of thousands of pigs, or as many as hundreds of thousands of chickens at a single facility —and produce enormous amounts of animal waste.
IFAP raises serious public health concerns for industry workers, rural communities, consumers of animal products, and the general public. The feed given to industrially-raised cattle, hogs, and poultry is specially formulated to maximize production at the lowest possible cost.
These feeds may contain antibiotics, arsenical drugs, rendered animal carcasses, and other ingredients that may lead to the introduction of harmful contaminants into our food supply. The routine use of low doses of antibiotics in feed contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Workers in IFAP operations may face numerous hazards, including toxic gases from animal waste, 6 and crowded, unsanitary conditions ripe for the transmission of diseases from animals to workers, who might then spread infections to their communities.
Workers are at high risk for antibiotic-resistant infections, particularly if they incur cuts or scrapes. Animals raised in IFAP operations may be subjected to overcrowding, confined conditions that severely restrict movement, bodily alterations without pain relief, jolting during transport, feed deprivation, early weaning, and other physical and emotional harms.
Frequent contact among large populations of hogs, birds, and humans — such as where industrial hog and poultry operations are sited in close proximity — offer ideal conditions for the generation of new influenza viruses. Manure is a valuable resource for promoting soil fertility, but the volume of waste generated by IFAP operations often overwhelms the capacity of nearby cropland to absorb it, leaving the excess to contaminate drinking water and waterways.
As a result, downstream communities may be exposed to a range of groundwater contaminants, including nitrates, disease-causing organisms, and heavy metals. People living near or downstream from IFAP operations may be forced to cope with the health and social impacts of contaminated air and water.
Odors from nearby operations are more than just unpleasant smells; they have been associated with high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and other harms. In many cases, the burden of public health harms arising from IFAP falls disproportionately upon low-income communities and communities of color — populations already affected by poorer health status and lack of access to medical care.
Disease-causing microorganisms originating in IFAP operations, including antibiotic-resistant pathogens, can enter our food supply at various points.
When animal waste contaminates water sources, for example, contaminants can be transferred to plant surfaces when crops are irrigated. Global and Ecological Concerns Industrial food animal production IFAP contributes to ecological harms that affect our land, air, and water.
Raising animals for food also has implications for global climate change, and our capacity to feed a growing global population.
Manure spills from swine operations have also been implicated in outbreaks of toxic microorganisms that resulted in massive fish kills. Growing crops for animal feed entails a highly inefficient use of water, and places a strain on diminishing freshwater reserves. By some estimates, between 1, 2 and 2, 3 gallons of water are needed to produce one pound of feedlot beef.
Animal agriculture generates a significant amount of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, and the increased frequency and severity of flooding, droughts, and other weather events expected to follow. Contrary to claims that IFAP is efficient, the vast majority of calories and protein in feed crops are lost when they are converted to animal products.
By some estimates, global food production would need to double by if we expect to feed the growing population.America is known as a nation of carnivores, devouring more pounds of meat per capita than any people in the history of the world.
But after rising for decades, our consumption of meat — and.
In , meat production remained steady at an estimated million tons; in , output is expected to top million tons. 1 (See Figure 1.) Experts predict that by nearly twice as much meat will be produced as today, for a projected total of more than million tons.
2 For more than a decade, the strongest increases in production have been in the developing world-in more meat. The untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history.
Dec 16, · The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production. Livestock production may have a bigger impact on the planet than anything else. Jun 26, · The Making Of Meat-Eating America: Lusk says that simple economics also helps to explain some other trends in American meat consumption that appear, at first, quite puzzling.
Sep 12, · Food Consumption & Demand Statistics on meat animal production; U.S. livestock outlook/situation: Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (includes current situation and forecasts) An Economic Chronology of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in North America.