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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

As eating habits change, expect more meatless meals

After weeks of holiday extravaganzas, it’s no surprise that eating less and exercising more are two common New Year’s resolutions. Cutting back on meat is often part of a plan to establish healthier habits in general and data show that many Americans have already begun the reduction.

It’s a matter of health for some; for others it’s environmental and ethical concerns, primarily the sustainability of the land and humane treatment of animals. For over 10 years, the Meatless Monday campaign has promoted non-meat meals at least once a week, and in many families it has caught on. Another reason for the dip — total US beef consumption has fallen from a peak of about 28 billion pounds in 2007 to 25.8 billion pounds in 2012 — is that beef squeezes the family budget and takes longer to prepare.

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