French meat consumption drops by 12% in 10 years

Many French people have significantly reduced the amount of meat they eat, leading to an overall drop of 12% meat consumption in France over the past 10 years, a new study has found.

The research from life study centre Credoc (Centre de Recherche pour l'Étude et l'Observation des Conditions de Vie) found that the average meat consumption per day has reduced from 153g in 2007 to 135g in 2016.

People are eating less charcuterie and less red meat, the study suggested, and choose high-quality meat more often (when they do eat meat).

Yet, the study found that during the busy week, people are more likely to reach for processed, convenience food, and only choose better-quality meat produce at the weekends.

Commenting on the study, nutrition specialist Dr Arnaud Cocaul said that the overall decline in meat eating was due to rising “awareness” of the health and environmental factors involved.

Some reports have suggested that rising prices and economic constraints may also be a factor.

According to official guidelines, an individual should eat no more than 500g of quality meat, and no more than 150g of processed meat or charcuterie (not including cooked ham) per week.

Dr Cocaul said: “This represents four portions of steak per week per person, which is completely reasonable. [But] you need to be careful with charcuterie.”

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