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The World According to Putnam

March 05, 1992|CANDY SAGON

Here are some interesting tidbits from the most recent USDA figures on American consumption:

* Cheese consumption is on the rise. In 1990, American consumed nearly 25 pounds of cheese per person. The biggest increase was from Italian cheeses, particularly mozzarella.

* Per-capita consumption of poultry products has increased steadily since the 1970s, reaching 64 pounds by 1990. By weight, chicken consumption has increased the most in the last 20 years, equaling 21 pounds per person in 1990. But on a percentage basis, turkey has risen faster, more than doubling during the past 20 years to 14 pounds per person.

* Annual egg consumption has dropped from 276 eggs per capita in 1970 to 187 in 1990.

* On a per-capita basis, Americans went from consuming 214 pounds of whole milk in 1970 to only 88 pounds in 1990. Skim milk increased from 12 to 23 pounds, and low-fat shot up from 30 to 98 pounds in 20 years.

* Per-capita consumption of fresh fruits rose 18 pounds from 1970 to a total of 90 pounds in 1990. This stemmed entirely from the increasing popularity of fresh non-citrus fruits, particularly bananas, apples, grapes, pears and strawberries.

* We're drinking less coffee (down from 35 gallons per capita to 27), but we're still getting our caffeine from an increased consumption of chocolate and soft drinks.

* Soft drinks seem to be the national beverage. Each American consumed nearly 43 gallons in 1990, nearly double the amount recorded in 1970. Compare this to apple juice (2 gallons), citrus juices (4 gallons), tea (7 gallons) and milk (26 gallons). The only other beverage that came close was beer at nearly 35 gallons, up slightly from 31 gallons in 1970.

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