The craving for beef.

Matt D. afn02065 at
Thu Apr 25 10:06:20 MDT 1996

Louis Proyect wrote:

>That land which can produce corn and
>beans for the downtrodden of the South is instead used to satisfy the
>craving for beef in the North.

A few thoughts on beef consumption we might discuss:

Certainly beef consumption in the U.S. is *relatively* high to
somewhere like, say, Mexico.  On the other hand, until the
past few years -- due in part, one might imagine, to the inten-
sive advertising campaign carried on by producers here --
beef consumption has been declining, even as prices have
stagnated or even dropped in some instances.

In at least some parts of South America -- Argentina and Uruguay
leap to mind -- beef consumption is extraordinarily high, higher
than in the U.S.

During the late seventies in Poland, beef consumption rose
to an all-time high -- 70 kg per person per year!!!, more than
twice the per capita consumption of Great Britain.  Indeed, it
has been suggested that the hard currency drain engendered
by beef imports was a chief factor in the fiscal crisis of the Polish
state.  This was during the period where Poland was courting
-- and receiving -- massive Western capitalist investment, and
presumably was being exposed to the concomitant cultural
influences.  What was beef consumption in East Germany during
this period?

What are the comparative ecological costs between the sort of
intensive beef production that goes on in Britain, and the ex-
tensive methods employed in much of South America?

What's the input/output ratio for beef compared to, say, chicken
or sheep?  If the ground beef consumed in the fast food industry
were replaced with ground mutton, would production costs rise
or fall?


-- Matt "The other *red* meat [get it? :-)]" D.

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