5 Ways To Eat Less — But Better — Meat

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
I’m a butcher and a meat-eater, but I eat much less meat than you'd think. I’m not going to go vegetarian anytime soon, but there are a host of reasons — from personal health to health of the earth — to reduce how much we eat.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Americans — we’re about 313.9 million strong — eat 265 pounds of meat per person per year. Compare that to the global average of 92 pounds per person per year. That’s 83 billion pounds of meat per year just in America alone. Here’s a visual way to think about it: 265 pounds is basically the hanging weight of a large-ish whole pig.
This is a staggering number, even before you throw in all the ways those industrial farms we’ve invented to meet that demand are mucking up our planet, not to mention our bodies.
Just because I work with meat on a regular basis doesn’t mean I have to — or want to — eat meat all the time. And, if the slow decline in beef, chicken, and pork consumption in America over the past 20 years is any indication, I’m not the only person who wants to change how (and how frequently) I consume meat. The primary path I have taken — and encouraged others on — is to eat “better” (and more costly) meat, but less of it, That’s easier to integrate into your life than you might think, and here are five easy (and delicious!) ways to get you started.

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