There are so many different ways to think about this question!

The simplest way to answer is to look at the average individual consumption of meat and then multiply that by family size (since we have so many different sized families). In 2018, the average American ate 222 lbs of meat or 0.6 lbs per day. So we can say that an average family of four consumes about 888 lbs of meat in a year (or 74lb per month). To capture a wider range, we can also say it is somewhere between 700 and 1000lbs of meat.

Interesting fact: In America, the most eaten type of meat is chicken, with beef in second and pork in third.

Now that we’ve given a simple answer, we can think outside the box a little. Let’s say you’re stocking up for an emergency and want to make sure that you have enough calories to support your family for a whole year. If that’s the case, then we’ll need to think about calories.

A very rough number that we can work with is that a lb of meat contains 1000 calories. Keep in mind that meat calories depends a lot on the volume of fat. Higher fat meat contains more calories. But using 1000 as a middle range number we can then determine that the average child could get enough calories from about 1lb of meat per day, the average woman could get enough calories (1500) from 1.5lbs of meat, and the average of man could get enough calories (2000) from 2lbs of meat.

You can adjust the numbers for your family accordingly, but let’s take a family of four with two adults and two children. The man would need 2lbs x 365 days or 730lbs per year. The woman would need 1.5lbs x 365 days or 548lbs per year. And each child would need 365lbs per year. The total would then be: 730 + 548 + 365 + 365 = 2008lbs of meat.

So as you can see, while the average family of four is only eating 888 lbs of meat per year, they are getting less than half their needed calories from meat. If they were to get all their needed calories from meat, then they would be eating about 2000 lbs per year (or 168lbs per month).