Military looks to beef up meat buying

Monday - 8/13/2012, 7:30pm EDT

By LOLITA C. BALDOR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - It appears that Meatless Mondays haven't really caught on in the U.S. military.

The Pentagon is looking into increasing its meat purchases to take advantage of lower prices and to help ranchers struggling with drought.

Under orders from President Barack Obama, the Defense Department may buy more beef, pork and lamb to fill its chow halls around the world.

America's service members already devour 94 million pounds of beef, 64 million pounds of pork and 500,000 pounds of lamb each year.

The worst drought in decades is devastating the midsection of the U.S., drying up pastures, and slashing expected corn and soybean production. As feed costs spike and grazing lands die out, ranchers are selling more livestock, driving the prices down for now.

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