It’s no secret that Americans love chicken. From the classic comfort of fried drumsticks to leaner grilled chicken breasts, to hot wings or barbecue or chicken salad sandwiches, there’s no limit to the number of ways we can enjoy it.
It can be a health food, a comfort food, a light snack, or a hearty meal. With lower fat than beef or pork and countless ways to prepare it, it’s no wonder why it’s the most popular protein in the world. To celebrate America’s favorite protein, for over twenty years the National Chicken Council has recognized September as National Chicken Month.
ProBin is the premier bulk shipping solution for poultry and other protein products, which means that we spend a lot of time thinking about chicken. To celebrate National Chicken Month, we have a few interesting facts about all the ways we can enjoy our favorite poultry.
The Bird is Big Business
While it’s no surprise that chicken is popular, what may surprise you is just how big a deal the US poultry industry is. Over half the entrees ordered at restaurants across the country are chicken dishes.
Since 1960, the consumption of chicken has been on the rise, to the point where Americans typically eat nearly twice as much chicken as they do beef or pork. In fact, the US consumes more chicken than any other country in the world.
Putting that into numbers, the average American eats about 100.3 pounds of chicken per year. The current population of the United States is over 335 million people. That means, on average, the US consumes over 33 billion pounds of chicken every year!
Naturally, it requires a large and efficient industry to feed that many people. The US poultry industry employs over 1.5 million people all over the country. This includes over 25,000 family-owned farms which produced over 59.3 billion pounds of chicken in 2022. 16% of the poultry produced in the US is exported to other countries, so not only is the US the world’s biggest consumer of chicken, but also its biggest exporter.
Tastes Good and Good for You
As Americans continue to eat more chicken with each passing year, the consumption of red meats like beef has gone down. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a fully loaded hamburger or a big juicy steak, there are many reasons why cattle is no longer king in the US.
One of the big advantages that chicken has over other popular meats is its sheer versatility. The different cuts of light and dark meat offer different textures and flavors even when prepared the same way. And there’s seemingly no limit to ways to prepare chicken dishes, from the all-time favorite fried to stir-fry or alfredo, Caesar salads to fajitas, nuggets to hot wings. Speaking of wings, it’s estimated that over 1.4 billion chicken wings were consumed this year on Super Bowl weekend alone!
As Americans become more health-conscious, more of them turn to chicken over pork and beef as the main staple of their diet. In general, chicken has lower fat than beef or pork, and up to 31 grams of protein per serving. It’s also high in vitamin B, an essential nutrient that helps fight anxiety, stress, and even memory loss, making it good for the mind as well as the body.
Not only is chicken generally better for you than beef or pork, but poultry farming tends to be better for the environment as well. Chicken farms require less land and water and emit fewer greenhouse gasses. A study conducted from 2010 to 2020 shows that the US chicken industry produces healthier chickens than ever, with continually improving conditions and well-being while having less environmental impact.
So Many Reasons to Celebrate!
With so many reasons to love chicken, why not show your appreciation and join in the celebration? This September, you can enjoy the last days of the grilling season with a chicken cookout.
Try out all sorts of delicious recipes to get into the spirit. Learn about the hard-working farmers who keep Americans fed every day. And explore how ProBin and our innovative bulk storage containers help producers protect their shipments in order to get that delicious food from the farm to your table!