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Steak Your Claim: Beef Consumption By Country

on August 15, 2017
Steak: It’s what’s for dinner… if you live in one of the top 10 countries producing beef, at least. While it might be tempting to assume that the United States is home to biggest beef-consuming populace, this is not actually the case. The U.S. does hold the title for most meat consumption per capita if you look at the international spectrum, but with a diverse population that merges cultural and dietary needs and interests perhaps more than any other country in the world, the United States is not at the top of the list of those countries that eat beef the most. In fact, Uruguay and Argentina outpace the U.S. by far in terms of national beef and veal consumption. While it’s difficult to determine how much of this beef eaten is actually served in steak form, one can assume that Argentina’s rich history of preparing diverse cuts over a charcoal flame is well-represented in any parrilla, or steakhouse, around the country. Other countries in which steak is a notable part of the culinary history and cultural heritage, in general, include: The United Kingdom: In the UK, over two million cattle are slaughtered each year, and British restaurants alone boast incredible cuts from Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cattle breeds. New Zealand: The country has held a competition to find the best sirloin steak in the country for about a decade, dubbing it the “Steak of Origin” competition. Australia: New Zealand’s neighboring nation has an entire corporation devoted to overseeing the production and export of Australia’s meat production. Ireland: A massive contributor to The United Kingdom’s beef supplies and Ireland’s own economy, the Irish beef market ships over 50% of its exported beef to the UK. The United States: Clearly, a no-brainer for anyone who has spent significant time in the United States. Americans produce more beef than any other agricultural meat, and serve their steaks a variety of ways with a variety of influences from around the world and North America. Some factors which contribute to how much is eaten in a country are heavily related to the agricultural opportunity and development available to that country’s working class. Cattle farming requires open space and a fairly heft industrial operation if it is to be done in any sort of large volume. And while there are plenty of independent farmers bringing quality beef in small quantities to farmer’s markets around the world, the fact is that in many areas there simply isn’t enough space to farm cattle in quantities suitable to serving the population. In these cases, dietary options with lighter agricultural demands such as chicken, fish, or vegetarian meals tend to become more of the staple. In other parts of the world, they have simply developed diets with less emphasis on beef or, perhaps, meat products in general. This can happen because of agricultural, theological, or any number of a variety of other reasons. One thing is for certain, if you do want a quality steak prepared with worldly wisdom and a passion for quality steaks (and all foods), just visit us at Atlas Steakhouse!
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