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Fish, chicken get more space on plate

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WEST LAYFAYETTE, Ind., Sep 27, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Over the past 30 years Americans have shifted from heavy beef consumption to more poultry and fish, Purdue University researchers said.

"We looked at USDA per capita consumption data from 1970 to 1999, and beef consumption decreased while pork consumption stayed about the same," said agricultural economics researcher Christiane Schroeter. "Poultry had a huge increase in consumption, and there also was a slight increase in fish consumption.

The shift excelerated in the mid-1980s.

The researchers said beef and pork were first and second in per-capita consumption among the four meat groups before 1985, but by the late 1980s poultry had surpassed pork and was nearly equal to beef at the end of the 20th century. Microwaves, fast food, health information and more women in the workforce all were factors in boosting chicken and fish consumption.

Americans eat about 70 pounds of beef a year, 67 pounds of poultry, 50 pounds of pork and 15 pounds of fish per capita.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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