South Africans love meat, but how do we stack up globally?

10 December 2018 - 06:00
By nico gous
Few things unite South Africans like a braai.
Image: 123RF/volody10 Few things unite South Africans like a braai.

Nothing unites South Africans like a braai and good meat. So much so that National Heritage Day is also celebrated as “National Braai Day”.

But how does our love of meat stack up in comparison with the rest of the world?

Latest data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveals the consumption of beef, veal, pork, poultry, mutton and lamb.

According to the data, SA had the eighth-highest consumption of poultry, with 38.7kg per capita. Israel had the highest per capita consumption, at 58.2kg.

SA had the 16th highest per capita consumption of beef and veal (11.9kg). Argentina had the highest per capita consumption (40.1kg), with Paraguay having the second highest  (33.6kg) and the US the third-highest consumption (26.9kg).

South Africans also consumed 4.1kg of pork per capita, and 3.6kg of "sheep meat" per capita.

The data was for 2017, or according to the most recent available data per country.

The OECD is a forum where governments share data to co-operate in solving common problems and to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. It was founded in 1961 and consists of 36 member countries.

The OECD said meat consumption was related to living standards, diet, livestock production and prices.

“Compared to other commodities, meat is characterised by high production costs and high output prices. Meat demand is associated with higher incomes and a shift - due to urbanisation - to food consumption changes that favour increased proteins from animal sources in diets.”