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Corned beef, which accounts for less than one percent of overall beef sales in the U.S. throughout the year, sees an increase of nine percent each March from St. Patrick’s Day celebrators. However, this St. Patrick’s Day, falling on a Friday, left Catholics without a chance to enjoy a traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef and cabbage. But now, Reuters reports that at least 80 of the nearly 200 U.S. Catholic dioceses have issued some form of exemption, allowing Catholics to enjoy corned beef for the day. For example, one archdiocese in Nebraska says Catholics could eat beef on March 17th if they abstained from it on March 18th, and another in Texas says Catholics could eat corned beef provided they substituted a comparable penance. However, to be sure, it’s best to check with your specific church. The largest U.S. corned beef producer, Colorado Premium, accounts for 30 to 40 percent of about 70 million pounds of corned beef consumed on St. Patrick’s Day. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says St. Patrick’s Day and the Fourth of July are the top two holidays for U.S. beef consumption at home.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.

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