Meat consumption in the world: out of control

Okay, we know: already many times in this blog we talked about the importance of decreasing the consumption of ingredients of animal origin in our diet. Choosing as much as possible foods of plant origin is, beyond ethical considerations, much better for our health and for our planet.

This is why with Bivo we have developed a complete, healthy food made exclusively from natural ingredients of vegetable origin.

Someone thinks that there is no emergency, nor at the level of effect on the environment (unfortunately there are still people who deny the very existence of global warming … and the obvious effects in everyday life are not enough to make them change idea), nor at the level of effect on health (despite, for example, all the objective data on the increase in obesity and cardiovascular diseases).

In this article then we talk about a different point of view. Let’s see what the real data of animal meat consumption in recent decades are. We will also talk about what the estimates are for the future.

First, let’s start with some impressive historical data:

-world meat production from 1961 to 2014 more than quadrupled.
-European meat production from 1961 to 2014 more than doubled. In the USA it increased by a factor of 2.5. In Asia it has increased 15 times.
-production of all major farm animals has increased. However, the increase in the number of chickens slaughtered every year is impressive. In 1961, over 6 billion chickens were slaughtered. In 2014 the figure is over 62 billion. Over the same period, the number of pigs slaughtered each year went from 375 million to almost one and a half billion pigs.
-if we consider the kilos of slaughtered meat, the chicken is going to reach the pig. Out of more than 315 million tons of slaughtered meat every year, today we produce more 109 million tons of chicken meat, more than 112 million tons of pork.

We continue talking about the future, which is estimated by authoritative institutions (such as FAO and World Economic Forum) on the basis of complex forecast models and which describe in scientific reports how the market demand for meat will evolve and its consequent production based on the current trends of market.

Some evidence:

-future estimates speak of over 375 million tons of meat that will have to be slaughtered per year in 2030 (with an increase of more than 20% compared to today’s consumption)
-China alone will consume over 100 million tons of meat in 2030
-in 2050 there is talk of 470 million tons (50% increase compared to today’s consumption)

Let’s return briefly to the topic of sustainability, both economically and environmentally, of all this. The associations in defense of the environment and animals have a very different objective than estimates based on current market trends, in order to avoid economic and environmental disasters. To ensure the sustainability of the whole system, there is talk of a target of 50% decrease in meat consumption by 2040.

How can all this be possible?

In our opinion, the only way forward is that of sustainable food innovation.

In fact, we cannot think that people simply change their tastes by choosing foods of vegetable origin. It will never be enough. We need innovative, sustainable and good solutions (like the ones we try to develop, in our small way, we at Bivo).

For those who are curious, we invite you to read the articles about the evolution of Foodtech on the “Food Innovation” section of this blog:



World Economic Forum

FAO (general data)

FAO (forecasts)

FAO (report on how market demand will be in 2050)

Summary by Our World In Data

Aim by environmentalist associations