Prime Rib Consumption Declining

Brian Gallagher writing for The New York Times:

The popularity of prime rib exploded in the United States after World War II. The United States was the world’s dominant superpower, the economic future looked bright, and beef — which had been rationed for years — was back on the table.

Amy Bentley, a professor of food studies at New York University and the author of “Eating for Victory,” called the cut “a powerful symbol of abundance.”

“That big roast in the middle with the side dishes was a symbol of a meal that was fit for Americans,” she said. “‘Freedom From Want’ was Norman Rockwell’s way of describing it.”


[I]n 1976, per capita beef consumption in the United States peaked at about 90 pounds a year, and it has been going down ever since. Today, that figure is about 60 pounds per person a year, according to the U.S.D.A., though in the Midwest, the region that consumes the most beef in the country, that figure is higher historically.

When I first came to Washington in the late 1970s, The Prime Rib was a very popular restaurant. Throughout the years, The Prime Rib has been my go to restaurant for important occasions. I still like it, but don’t often go. Times have changed and yet I miss it.

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