Feeding a Hungry Planet?

This morning I read this in an industrial ag publication:

Overall per-capita meat consumption (pork and poultry) was up 5% in the U.S., the biggest increase since the 1970’s. The big driver in 2015 was the 7.3% increase in pork production….The production of meat in the U.S. is expected to grow 2.5% this year (2016) with similar increases in 2017 and 2018. Odds don’t favor foreign markets absorbing our production increases. Instead, the industry will be looking for further consumption growth in the U.S. By the end of the expansion cycle in 2018, however, producer profits may be harder to capture as retail prices will have to be lowered to spur consumers to eat more meat and poultry.

Let’s translate that. Despite already having the highest per-capita meat consumption on earth, Americans just bumped their meat eating up another 5% and are set to increase it yet another 5% over the next two years. Despite the nearly universal consensus that Americans need to reduce their meat consumption (for lots of reasons, not the least of which are the adverse health consequences of meat-rich diets), the industry expects that after a 3-year ten percent increase in consumption, they will have to lower prices to “spur consumers” to eat even MORE meat.

And here’s the biggest and most important take-away of all: even as the industry says this out of one side of its metaphorical mouth, out of the other side it continues to repeat the mantra of industrial agriculture: “Our high-intensity animal confinement facilities, our assembly-line slaughter houses, our taxpayer-subsidized GMO pigfeed corn, our massive ‘lagoons’ of liquefied pig shit–all are necessary because we have to (wait for it) feed a hungry planet.”

Shaking my head.

cafopigs.jpg

cafo-pigs