Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Brazil's beef industry is one of the largest in the world, and with a beef-hungry domestic market of almost 200 million persons, it doesn't require exports to sustain itself, although Brazil does export a large amount of beef. Unlike American grain-fed feedlot beef, the majority of Brazilian beef is grass-fed, and only 4% of beef cattle spend time in feedlots prior to slaughter. Significantly, BSE is unknown in Brazilian cattle due to the vegetarian diet of Brazilian cattle.
Because of my impression that Brazilians eat a tremendous amount of beef, I decided to find out where Brazilians stand in per capita beef consumption. I found data on the site of the USA Census, which compares per capita consumption of beef worldwide. The data dates from 2000, but I don't imagine that comparative rankings have changed significantly since. Brazilians eat 32.3 kgs (70.84 lbs) of beef annually per capita, less than Americans at 45.3 kgs. (99.66 lbs), but almost the same as Canadians at 32.1kgs. (70.62 lbs). However, nobody eats beef like the Argentinians, the world champion beef eaters, not surprisingly. The per capita consumption in that beef-crazy country is an enormous 70.2 kgs (154.44 lbs)!