According to recent U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts, poultry may overtake other meat — beef, lamb, mutton, pork and veal — in the American diet by 2018.
On a per capita basis, poultry is expected to set historic highs, reaching 106.9 pounds in the next decade. Beef and pork consumption, on the other hand, will hit lows in 2013 and remain below 1980s levels.
Poultry has several advantages over other meat in the current environment of skyrocketing grain prices, according to the report, including greater efficiency in converting feed to meat and shorter periods to slaughter. "The poultry sector adjusts faster than the red meats sector to higher feed costs," said the USDA. These advantages will keep poultry ahead even as chicken exports remain mostly static over the next ten years when compared with beef and pork shipments.
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