Last Monday, Dan Severson gave a guest lecture on the livestock industry in Delaware. The average annual consumption of beef, pork, lab, goat, and veal has been declining for decades, while the consumption of poultry has been steadily increasing. Food is more affordable in the U.S. than most other countries, with the average American devoting around 9.7% of their household expenditure to buying food.
Of beef cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, diary, and other livestock, beef cattle is the most common in Delaware. Beef cattle in Delaware comprise 14,000 cattle on 235 farms. The second most numerous livestock animals in Delaware are hogs, with 55 farms raising around 6,000 hogs. Approximately 3,000 sheep and goats are raised on 180 Delaware farms. Dairy has shrunk to a mere 21 farms with 4,500 dairy cows. Delaware’s dairy industry is on the decline, with many small family farms trending towards closure. Other livestock raised in Delaware includes bison, alpacas, llamas, rabbits, water buffalo, bees, deer, chicken, turkeys, and emus.
Dan also discussed modern marketing strategies and labeling, such as non GMO, gluten free, organic, antibiotic free, and all natural. Dan finds most of these labels unnecessary, as in the case of salt being labelled gluten free.