Argentina loses its love of beef – Telegraph

Argentina’s consumption of the country’s world renowned beef has slumped after President Cristina Kirchner claimed that chicken is healthier and pork can improve your sex life.

Steaks from cattle reared on the Argentine Pampas have long been a fixture on the menus of leading restaurants around the world.

But the amount of beef being eaten in the domestic market has gone into sharp decline.

Last year Uruguayans overtook their neighbours as the world’s biggest beef eaters per head and new figures show a further drop in Argentine consumption.

In the first four months of this year Argentines ate nearly ten per cent less beef than in 2010 — equivalent to 51.6kg (114lbs) per head annually, according to Argentina’s Meat Industry Chamber.

The figure in Uruguay is around 59kg (130lbs) per head annually, still well short of the 69.4kg (153lbs) figure of Argentina in 2007.

Meanwhile, consumption of chicken in Argentina has increased by a third in a year to 37kg (82lbs) per head annually — four times as much as 30 years ago.

Sales of pork have also benefited from the decline in beef, rising eight per cent over the past five years.

Analysts point to the fact that tough curbs imposed on exports of beef since 2006 have led to a sharp drop in the number of cattle being slaughtered and a big rise in domestic prices as many farmers have instead concentrated on soy beans.

But Ms Kirchner also played her part in persuading her compatriots to eat less red meat and try a more varied diet.

Speaking in January last year she told leaders of the pig farming industry that “pork consumption improves sexual activity” adding that “it’s a lot nicer to eat a bit of barbecued piglet than take Viagra.” Days later she praised chicken as “very healthy” and “recommended” for the diet of women rather than large amounts of red meat.

via Argentina loses its love of beef – Telegraph.

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