I saw this graphic on meat consumption in the US since 1909 at a couple of different sites (NPR and Pricenomics). The numbers on the vertical axis represent "US Meat Consumption, pounds per person".
Neither article pointed out the obvious: What happened in the mid to late 1970's with the consumption of beef to cause it to peak and start a rapid decline from its previous 30 year sharp ascent?
|Source: NPR via Pricenomics|
""Aggregate income in the United States, in 1972 dollars. went from $1122.4 billion in 1970 to $1480.7 billion in 1980 - a 32 percent increase. Personal income similarly increased over the period from $869.1 billion to $1209 billion. However, average real spendable weekly earnings peaked in 1972 at $97.11 and declined fairly consistently to $83.56 in 1980 - a decrease of 14 percent (fig. 1). In the critical period, 1976 to 1980, average real spendable earnings went from $91.42 to $83.56 - a 9 percent drop.""
""Divergence between the beef price index and the chicken price index was not great between 1973 and 1977 (fig. 2). Subsequently, however, the beef price index increased at a fairly steep rate, reaching 270.3 by 1980 compared with 190.8 for chicken - a gap of 79.5 points. Between 1975 and 1980, the price index for chicken increased by 17.5 percent, the beef index by 59 percent.''
""Beef prices began to increase at a noticeable rate in 1977, and by 1980, the beef price index was 61 points higher than that of pork (fig. 2).""