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The astonishing rise of chicken meat, in 1 chart

Beef is no longer what's for dinner.

FlowingData's Nathan Yau on Tuesday took four decades of food availability data tracked by the United States Department of Agriculture, which he writes can be used to estimate consumption habits, and turned them into easy-to-digest charts that tell the story of Americans' relationship with a variety of different food groups.

In the protein category, chicken has risen from fourth place behind beef, pork, and eggs in 1970 to take a commanding lead in the current era. Americans still do eat a whole lot of beef, of course, but it lost its top spot in 2004, with its availability declining 31 percent between 1970 and 2019. And considering that chicken is a little less politically divisive than red meat these days, a reversal seems unlikely. Take a look at all of Yau's charts at FlowingData.