Chicken has become the nation’s most available meat source. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
The supply of chicken available to eat in the United States continues to outpace beef, according to new food availability data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. In 2021, 68.1 pounds of chicken per person were available for human consumption, on a boneless, edible basis, compared with 56.2 pounds of beef.
The availability of chicken began to increase in the 1940s, overtaking pork availability in 1996 and surpassing beef in 2010 to become the meat most available for U.S. consumption. Since 1980, U.S. chicken availability per person has more than doubled from 32.7 pounds.
There were 47.5 pounds of pork available in 2021, after fluctuating between 42.4 and 49.9 pounds per person over the last four decades, according to USDA.
Per-person fish and shellfish availability data are available only through 2019, when 19.1 pounds were available per person in the United States, up from the low of eight pounds in 1943.
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National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.