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America’s Appetite Increasing

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Video published October 12, 2009 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Joanne Faryon, KPBS reporter and host of Project Envision, talks about how our increased meat consumption influences the food chain and our health.

We’re about two and a half weeks in to our food series. We’re following our dinner from the plate to the field and farm, although most of our journey is leading us to the factory. Most of the chicken you buy was likely raised on a factory floor. The beef that you’re eating, probably fattened in a feedlot. Even the fish you’re consuming, most of it is mass produced in a fish farm.

What we’ve learned so far – it’s really money and demand that’s driving this food chain. We’re eating so much more then we used to. In fact, we’re eating almost twice as much meat as we did 100 years ago. In the U.S., we consume more poultry than any other meat – 74 pounds per person. Beef is second at 62 pounds, and we eat about 17 pounds of fish each every year.

We're getting fatter as a nation and in some cases it’s even making us sick. Investigative reporter Amita Sharma filed a story this week about obesity and diabetes rates in National City. They’re so much higher than in the rest of the county and it can all be linked to diet.

Stay with us in the days ahead. Amita will be back to tell us why so many of the oranges we buy here in the county are from Australia, and I’ll be back to tell you more about chicken and labels, and what happens to an old dairy cow in California. That’s coming up, so keep watching here at


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