“Fake meat” became a political rallying cry during last year’s midterm elections.

The now governor of Nebraska, Jim Pillen, himself a major pork producer, claimed alternatively sourced protein would put people out of jobs.

Despite the rhetoric, the industry is chugging along. 

Production of beef, pork and chicken is expected to increase in the years ahead, given current political and climate conditions, according to an analysis from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pork and chicken production is projected to grow by more than 10% by 2032, resulting in record highs. 

At the same time, the exporting of these products is expected to grow over the next decade, too. Exports of chicken, for example, could increase 13%, the USDA calculates.

Note: This graphic uses data from the USDA’s Long-Term Baseline projections. The data reflects “USDA’s assessment of how markets would evolve under current conditions, existing laws, and normal weather patterns,” according to the USDA’s website.

Type of work:

News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Sky Chadde has covered the agriculture industry for Investigate Midwest since 2019 and spent much of 2020 focused on the crisis of COVID-19 in meatpacking plants, which included collecting and analyzing...

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