Top 10 Most Consumed Meats In The World (Updated 2023) (2023)

Top 10 Most Consumed Meats In The World (Updated 2023) (1)

If you’re growing tired of eating the same old protein day in and day out, then you may wonder what other popular proteins you are missing out on.

While there are some staple meat products like beef, chicken, and pork, there are also a variety of other types of meat.

Where you live and the culture you belong to might determine the type of meat you eat the most.

You can expand your culinary horizons by discovering and trying some of the other most consumed meats in the world.

What Are The Most Consumed Meats In The World? (Top 10)

1. Pork

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One of the most popular, and thus consumed, meats in the world is pork.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization states that at 36%, pork is the most commonly eaten meat in the world.

There are likely a few reasons why pork is so common.

For one, pigs are easy to raise.

While they do require a lot of food, they’re not as difficult to raise as some other animals.

They also don’t take quite as much time to mature as other animals.

As such, they’re relatively cheap to raise comparatively.

Since they’re cheaper, more ranchers have access to them.

Countries that might not have a lot of money can usually still raise hogs for slaughter.

Pigs are also bigger than many animals and thus, they contain a lot of meat.

It’s a bit easier to feed a large number of people with a pig than it is a chicken.

Pigs are smaller than cows, however.

They don’t need quite as much room to maneuver or forage.

As such, it’s cheaper for ranchers to raise pigs since they don’t need a lot of land.

That also increases the chances of more people becoming hog farmers.

Finally, pigs give birth to several piglets at one time.

Their numbers multiply quickly.

Pork is an economical meat.

As such, the rich and poor have an easier time buying it.

Since it’s more accessible, it’s one of the world’s most consumed meats.

2. Chicken

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The second most consumed meat in the world is chicken.

Chickens are highly valued for their small stature and ease of raising.

Besides providing meat, chickens also produce eggs.

One factor behind chicken’s popularity is the fact that you can house several chickens in a single coop.

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Depending on the coop’s size, you might even be able to breed them regularly and have a steady supply of chicken meat.

Too much crowding, however, can increase the chances of chickens becoming ill.

Because they’re quite small, you don’t need much land to raise chickens either.

Even in urban settings, it’s not uncommon for people to raise chickens in their backyards.

If you have free-range chickens, then you might need a bit more space than you would if you hand-fed your chickens.

Another benefit of chickens is that they don’t take long to mature.

Because they’re small, it only takes a few weeks before they’re ready for harvest.

As such, it doesn’t cost a lot of money or time to have a chicken reach maturity.

That increases the quantity of chicken meat available on the market.

Since raising chickens is relatively cheap and easy, poor countries as well as rich ones are capable of raising them.

That means that large quantities of the meat are usually accessible across the world.

Add accessibility to delicious flavor and tons of different ways to cook chicken, and you get a very popular type of meat.

3. Beef

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Beef is the third most commonly eaten meat in the world.

Some countries eat more beef than others.

Beef tends to be a bit more expensive than other types of meat.

Part of the reason is that it’s expensive to raise cattle.

Ranchers use a complex diet to help fatten cows up, and the diet is dependent on the type of cow.

Fat content in meat is important.

It helps give the meat some flavor.

Too much fat, however, can also be a problem since it means there isn’t much meat to eat.

As such, ranchers have to be mindful of the diet that they feed their cows.

Problems that affect agriculture can also impact the price of beef.

For example, if a drought occurs in one part of the world, then farmers might be unable to grow crops that typically are used for animal feed.

As a result, it becomes more expensive to feed cows.

Since the farmer is paying more money to feed cattle, they’re going to sell their meat at higher prices.

Those high prices can prohibit some people from buying beef.

As such, beef isn’t quite as popular as other types of meat.

Even if everyone enjoys it, not everyone can afford it.

In addition to agricultural problems, cows also only give birth to a calf or two a year.

It’s not as easy to replenish their numbers as it is with pigs.

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Cows also take longer to grow and mature.

It might be a couple of years before they are considered suitable weight-wise.

All these factors make beef more expensive.

Since beef is more expensive than other types of meat, it isn’t as accessible to some people.

4. Goat/Sheep

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Although goat and lamb aren’t quite as popular in the United States as other types of meat, they are quite popular in other countries.

Since some countries can’t afford the high price of raising cattle, they instead raise goats or sheep for meat.

Some consider them miniature versions of beef cattle.

Other countries don’t have the right environment for cows to flourish.

It might be too mountainous or rocky.

They might not be able to grow the kind of foods that cattle prefer.

There are plenty of reasons why some countries might not invest as much in beef cattle.

Instead, they prefer to raise sheep and goats.

Sheep are helpful since they can also provide wool.

Goats also produce milk which can be made into goat cheese.

Middle Eastern countries tend to enjoy lamb.

The benefit of lambs is that they don’t take very long to grow.

Some people will eat lambs very shortly after their birth.

Others will wait until they reach maturity.

While you can find lamb across the world, it isn’t quite as popular in some countries as it is in others.

The same goes for goat meat.

Some don’t appreciate its flavor or texture.

Others love the taste of goat.

One of the reasons goat is popular in some countries is that it’s the healthiest meat in the red meat category.

It contains high doses of B12 and protein.

Despite having a large number of nutrients in it, goat meat is also low in fat.

While goat meat isn’t as popular in the United States as in other countries, if people begin to look for healthier red meat, it may start to increase in popularity.

5. Turkey

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Due to Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States, turkey is quite a popular meat there.

It’s also a popular meat in other countries.

The first domesticated turkeys were in Mexico, and so it remains a popular dish there as well.

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While Americans and Canadians tend to eat turkey on Thanksgiving and on other holidays, Europeans tend to eat it on Christmas.

Turkey, particularly deli slices, is also quite popular in sandwiches.

Because turkey has a reputation for being healthier than ground beef, some people have replaced beef with turkey in their diets.

Others who can’t eat pork choose to eat turkey instead.

They’ll make bacon out of turkey or use it in other dishes that typically require pork.

The flavor of turkey is unique which only adds to its popularity.

Although turkey is a bit more popular in North America and Mexico, it’s starting to become more popular in other countries as well.

6. Duck

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While you might not have duck very often at your table, it’s actually the sixth-most popular meat consumed in the world.

Duck is particularly popular in China and India.

The Chinese, in particular, prefer to eat the Pekin duck.

The vast availability of ducks is one of the reasons why it’s a popular meat.

Not unlike chickens, ducks are quite small and easy to raise.

Although they’re not as tolerant of cold temperatures, ranchers only need to install a heat lamp into their coops to keep them warm.

As such, ducks are relatively easy and cheap to raise.

That makes them accessible to rich and poor countries.

One aspect of duck meat that adds to its popularity is its flavor.

Duck is high in fat which means it is very flavorful.

It’s also high in cholesterol which means it isn’t the healthiest type of meat to eat.

That said, it has high amounts of protein and iron, too.

Duck hunting has been around for centuries—if not millennia.

Although people tend to buy duck meat rather than hunt it themselves these days, it remains a staple in some people’s diets.

7. Buffalo

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Buffalo, or American bison, is the seventh-most consumed meat in the world.

Although bison isn’t quite as popular in the United States, it is in other parts of the world.

Asian countries, in particular, eat a lot of water buffalo each year.

Like cows, buffalos produce a lot of meat.

As such, they also take a bit of time to grow and reach maturity.

Some ranchers may not be able to raise buffalo due to the expense.

Others might only be able to raise a handful.

That said, because buffalo produce a lot of meat, they’re a vital protein source.

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That’s especially true in some countries where nutritional imbalances are common.

India has a large number of buffalo but they primarily use them for milk production rather than meat production.

While you won’t find buffalo on the menu in many U.S.-based restaurants, you’ll find it regularly in Asian countries.

8. Goose

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The eighth-most common meat consumed in the world is goose meat.

In the United States, goose meat is more like a luxury type of meat.

While goose meat was popular during colonial times, its usage has slowly decreased over the decades.

Chicken and turkey became more popular.

However, in other parts of the world, goose remains a popular type of meat.

That’s because it has a lot of flavor, especially compared to chicken and turkey.

The main difference is the location of the fat on the meat.

Unlike other types of meat where the fat is inside, goose fat is actually right under the skin.

This helps spread the flavor around the meat as it cooks.

A lot of geese raisers choose to free-range their geese since it results in healthier geese that taste better and are more nutritious.

9. Rabbit

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Rabbit is the ninth-most popular type of meat consumed in the world.

Not a lot of people choose rabbit meat as their first choice.

That’s because rabbit meat has a very distinct flavor.

It’s a bit earthy with hints of chicken.

You either enjoy the flavor or you’re not the biggest fan.

China and North Korea are the biggest consumers of rabbit meat.

In the United States, there are some who eat rabbit meat regularly.

However, because rabbits don’t do well on large farms, there isn’t a lot of money to be made in raising rabbits for meat.

As such, it isn’t quite as popular.

10. Venison

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The tenth most consumed meat in the world is venison.

Venison is mostly associated with deer, but it can also come from any animal that you hunt.

As such, you can also say that venison is boar or hare meat.

Deer meat is a popular choice since they’re relatively easy to raise.

Some species don’t need as much room to live and grow as other species.

A lot of hunters will also kill deer, then harvest the meat to eat later.

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Venison, like rabbit, has a very distinct flavor that you either enjoy or don’t enjoy.

Because of that, venison isn’t quite as popular as some of the other types of meat.

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