What Our Gargantuan Appetite for Meat Says About America

It Symbolizes Affluence and Social Status, Showcases Regional Differences, and Reveals Shifting Attitudes Toward Health

Americans have always been distinguished by their love of meat. Where does that love come from?

One short answer: our ethnic heritage. Among whites, the English and Germans were two of the greatest meat-eating cultures in Europe.

But that answer is about as satisfying as an overcooked steak. So there is a longer and tastier explanation: Americans’ relationship to meat production and consumption is long-standing, and built on core beliefs that meat is not only tasty but essential to good health and an indicator of economic well-being. Indeed, Americans and …

Do You Know How Your Steak Was Killed?

Independent South Dakotan Buffalo Ranchers Don’t Shoot Their Meat, They Harvest It

With my wife Jill, I own a herd of 500 buffalo who range across 25,000 acres of western South Dakota. They eat only grass and have the freedom to move …

More Poultry, More Problems

Christopher Leonard Says Your Chicken McNuggets Are Bankrupting Rural America

Waldron, Arkansas is in the middle of nowhere. But because it’s home to a Tyson Foods poultry plant that processes 1 million birds a week, it’s also ground zero for …

Meet Your Meat

What You Ought to Know About What You’re About to Eat

Visit your local supermarket and an array of packages of shrink-wrapped meat glints from refrigerated cases. Meat in America is typically cheap and plentiful, delivered to your plate through an …

Where Nobody Knows That Chicken Is King

The Meat Racket

In changing the way America produces meat, big agribusiness has also changed America’s heartland. Former Associated Press reporter Christopher Leonard visits Zócalo to discuss what we should know about the …