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Opinion
David Fickling

We Could Be Approaching Peak Beef

China’s appetite drove consumption in recent years but will diminish as population decline sets in. 

Imported Australian beef at a supermarket in Shanghai.

Imported Australian beef at a supermarket in Shanghai.

Photographer: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a human face biting into a burger — forever.

That’s certainly a popular view of the way the human diet is headed. As the world’s population grows and incomes rise, we’ll inevitably eat far more beef — the meat that’s considered the most expensive and prestigious in a remarkably wide range of cultures.