Where's the beef

A blog about business and economics.
July 27 2012 1:50 PM

The Case of the Missing Beef

Dairy cows eat after being milked at Kelsay and Son dairy farm on July 20, 2012, near Whiteland, Ind.
Dairy cows eat after being milked at Kelsay and Son dairy farm on July 20, 2012, near Whiteland, Ind.

Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Here's something weird. In its July 2012 Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Update, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced some revisions to previous statistics, including a huge downward revision to 2011 beef production stats from 36,195 million pounds to just 26,195 million. That's a lot of beef!

Pork was also revised downward but to a much smaller degree—the kind of thing that you expect to happen with data collection. So if you happen to have 10 million pounds of beef stashed away somewhere, please let the Agriculture Department know.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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