Is it price or environmental protection? The French media believe that, no matter what the reason, it is a good thing that the French eat less and less meat. According to a BFM TV report on the 23rd, since 1998, per capita meat consumption in France has gradually declined, and has now fallen back to the level of the late 1970s. According to the report, the consumption of beef has been declining, the consumption of chicken has increased, and the greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and poultry farming have also been reduced a lot.
In order to fight the new crown epidemic, the city of Lyon recently launched a “meat-free campus meal” that has caused huge controversy. But Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transformation and Solidarity, Melanchon, chairman of the left-wing “French Unyielding” Party, and many ecologists all support the idea of reducing meat consumption because it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the 2019 meat consumption data released by the French Ministry of Agriculture, the average per capita consumption of meat in France that year was 86.3 kg. This data is the same as the European average, but much lower than the Spanish (average 100 kg). This is the first time that the French have returned to the level of the late 1970s after reaching their peak meat consumption (94.1 kg) in 1998. The analysis suggests that there are many reasons for the decrease in meat intake: the increase of vegetarians and flexible vegetarians, and the voluntary abandonment of meat in order to protect the environment or follow medical advice.
However, a survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with a consumer survey agency shows that the key factor leading to the change in French meat consumption habits is still price. In 2009, the price of pork in France was only half of that of beef. By 2019, the price of pork had risen by almost 50%, from 6.4 Euros (per kilogram) to 10.1 Euros. The average price of chicken in 2019 was only 7.3 euros, which is 27% cheaper than pork. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand the increasing consumption of chicken meat. In addition, a survey also shows that the people who eat the most meat are often those with the lowest income. According to occupational classification, the average daily meat consumption of French adults is ranked as workers, farmers, artisans, merchants, and high-level employees.