Brazil is a great country with fantastic food and diverse culture. One of the most well-known facts about Brazil is Churrasco, the Brazilian BBQ style, an ancient (and delicious) tradition loved by Brazilians that is mainly based on beef. It brings the question: do Brazilians eat a lot of beef?
As a general rule, Brazilians eat a lot of beef. The average consumption per person is 26,4 kg per year. However, this represents a 14% reduction compared to 2019. The reason is higher prices after the pandemic. Still, Brazil is the 4th country in consumption and the world’s largest beef exporter.
Do Brazilians Eat A Lot Of Beef? (Infographic)
Brazilians eat a lot of beef. It’s the favorite protein option in the country (and the fifth most-consumed food). It loses only to Coffee (technically a drink), Rice, Beans, and Bread. Beef is widely consumed all over Brazil, especially in the Midwest, South, and Southeast regions. In the North and Northeast, fish is usually the preferred protein.
Whether on weekdays or weekends, the first choice of meat tends to be beef for most Brazilians. I mean “tends” because the price can limit a vast part of the population, as red meat is way more expensive than chicken, pork, or eggs (another traditional source of protein in Brazil). Therefore, the most common way to eat beef is with rice, beans, fries, and a salad on weekdays. One of the most classic combinations in Brazilian cuisine that can be eaten at home, in buffets, or even the traditional “Prato Feito.”
On weekends Brazilians enjoy the time off by drinking beer (icy cold) and eating a good old Churrasco, which traditionally is mainly composed of red meat. On Saturday lunch, the traditional option is Feijoada, which can take some beef in the stew, but most of the meat used is pork. However, on Saturday nights and especially Sunday lunch, a good old barbecue Brazilian style occurs.
Beef Is The King Of Churrasco, The Brazilian BBQ
Churrasco is a national passion—the absolute favorite (and best) way for Brazilians to eat beef. The same way Italians have incredible dishes that involve a lot more than “just” pasta or a good lasagna, as time passed, Churrasco stopped being cattle worker food and became an authentic tradition, an important moment for family and friends.
Back in time, while the men would butcher, prepare and season large cuts of meat to roast over the fire, the women and children would prepare side dishes and desserts. It’s a beautiful moment of hospitality, the perfect occasion to bring people to your home, either to celebrate life, watch a game, have fun, or just as a great excuse to drink lots of beer and get drunk with your friends (that’s my favorite).
As the blog Flavors of Brazil once said, “churrasco can mean simply “grilled meat” but it more commonly means a prolonged weekend meal for family and friends consisting of several portions of meat grilled over wood or charcoal, outdoors, accompanied by numerous appetizers and canapes, side dishes, relishes and pickles, and lots and lots of icy Brazilian lager-style beer.” To learn more about Churrasco, check this complete article explaining all about the Brazilian BBQ style.
Brazilians Love Beef, But It’s Expensive
Brazilians may love some red meat, but they have been eating fewer steaks in the past couple of years. The most recent statistics show that the average annual beef consumption per person suffered a 14% reduction compared to 2019. The consumption of beef now is at the lowest level since 1996, the beginning of the National Supply Company’s (Conab) historical series.
The rise in beef led Brazilians to look for cheaper options, including chicken and pork. In addition, the consumption of eggs, which Brazil hardly exports, reached the highest level in 20 years. Despite it sounding alarming, the reason is simple to understand: the pandemic shook the world economy, and with Brazil, it was no different.
People are making less money, and inflation hit the meat prices here hard, especially beef. With an average consumption per person of 26,4 kg every year, Brazil is the fourth country that consumes most beef globally. Despite the pandemic, inflation, and high prices, we literally can live without a good old Brazilian-style BBQ, especially in hard times.
Brazil: World’s Largest Beef Exporter
Brazil is the largest beef exporter globally, with 2.2 million tons exported, which represents 14.4% of the international market. Then come Australia, the United States, and India. In addition, the Brazilian herd, estimated at 217 million head, was considered the largest herd of cattle in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Although the country is the largest producer of cattle in the world, when we add the production of poultry and swine, the country occupies the third position in the world in the international market. Chicken meat is considered an essential food for domestic consumption and exports. Brazil has the fourth-largest herd of chickens in the world, with 5.6% of the world’s total. The highlight for the three largest herds: China (19.2%), Indonesia (14.7%), and the United States (7.5%).
About swine, Brazil, in 2020, reached the third position in the world in production, with 41 million heads, that is, 4.4% of the total. The highlight is China, with 41.1% of the world herd, followed by the United States (8.4%).
Finally, another interesting fact about Brazilian agribusiness is that the country is the fourth-largest grain producer globally and the third-largest producer of fruit. Last year, it became Soy’s largest producer and exporter, with 126 million tons produced and 84 million exported. In addition, the country is the largest producer of Sugar and Coffee.
What is the most eaten meat in Brazil? Beef is the most eaten meat in Brazil, followed by Chicken, Pork, and Fish (not widely consumed). Beef is an essential part of the diet of the population and the most used meat in Churrasco, the Brazilian-style BBQ, a delicious national passion.
How much beef do Brazilians eat? As a general rule, Brazilians eat a lot of beef. On average, about 26,4 kg per person every year. Brazil is the fourth country in consumption and the world’s largest red meat exporter. The main reason is that meat is the main ingredient of Churrasco, the Brazilian-style BBQ.
How much meat do Brazilians eat? Brazilians eat a lot of meat, about 26,4 kg of beef every year per person. The main reason is Churrasco, the Brazilian-style BBQ, one of the most important traditions. However, beef is expensive, so Brazilians also eat a lot of Chicken, Pork, Fish, and Eggs.
Rice Guide: Is Rice Popular In Brazil? (A Brazilian Explains)
Farofa Guide: What Is Farofa? The Most Popular Brazilian Side Dish
Churrasco Guide: What Is Brazilian BBQ Called? (Churrasco Guide)
CNN Brasil: https://www.cnnbrasil.com.br/business/consumo-de-carne-no-brasil-cai-ao-menor-nivel-em-25-anos-com-disparada-de-precos/
BBC Brasil: https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-59653752#:~:text=O%20consumo%20vem%20caindo%20h%C3%A1,menor%20valor%20em%2012%20anos.