September 14, 2022 13:10
Rice is no longer the staple and mainstay of Koreans, who for the first time eat more meat than the iconic grain.
The Hanwoo Association, which represents the interests of the trade in prized indigenous beef, on Tuesday said annual per-capita meat consumption of 56.5 kg has overtaken per-capita rice consumption of 54.1 kg for the first time this year.
The association attributed the increase to a more westernized dietary pattern.
In the lean times of 1970, each Korean consumed a mere 5.2 kg of meat, but that had risen to 31.9 kg in 2000. Meat consumption jumped to a whopping 54.3 kg in 2020.
Per-capita beef consumption increased about 11-fold from 1.2 kg in 1970 to 13 kg in 2020. Meat consumption increased 0.89 kg on annual average from 1970 to 2000, but jumped 1.12 kg a year thereafter.
Rice consumption faded apace. In 1970, each Korean consumed as much as 136.4 kg of rice, but that dwindled drastically to 93.6 kg in 2000 and 57.7 kg in 2020. In other words, Koreans are eating less than half the rice they used to eat 50 years ago.
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