Do Americans Really Consume Less Red Meat in the Summer?

Conventional thinking is that Americans eat less red meat in the summer. Restaurant menus usually reflect this by offering less red meat and more chicken and fish. Is this seasonal change in menu selections based on solid facts?

Americans buy large amounts of red meat in the summer from grocery stores. There are a few items such as stewing meats and chili grind that sell more readily in the colder months, but sales of steaks, sausages, ribs, and many other cuts of red meat sell quite well during the hot months of summer.

Why then do restaurant summer menus feature less red meat? We theorize that this perception of food preferences began in the far distant past when the lack of refrigeration made it difficult to preserve red meat during the warmer months of summer. Certainly, the European attitude that game meat is best offered in the fall and winter is based on centuries of hunting tradition.

Just as it is no longer necessary to butcher farm animals in the winter, high quality game meat is now available throughout the year. In fact, fresh wild game meats are often of the highest quality from April to November when these animals are receiving the very best nutrition.

Think about how seasonal availability (and your use) of fruit and produce has changed during the past fifty years through international shipping. Fresh wild game meats from Broken Arrow Ranch are also now available throughout the entire year.

We recorded record sales of antelope meat in the summer of 1997. Our customers told us that their patrons are attracted to the veal-like texture, low fat content, and pleasant light flavor. They also commented that consumers do not think of antelope in the same way they think of venison from deer. Offered with appropriate seasonal light sauces and garnishes, our antelope meat can provide you with a menu item that will command the highest price (and profitability) on your menu.