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Flesh and other edible parts of animals, particularly mammals, used for food. Not only the muscles and fat but also organs such as the liver, kidney, and heart are consumed as meat. Meat is valued as a complete-protein food, containing all the amino acids necessary for the human body. It is digested slowly, largely because of the presence of fats. Worldwide, pork is the most widely consumed meat; beef is second. Mutton and lamb, goat, venison, and rabbit are other common meats. The U.S. produces and consumes about a third of the world's meat, while much of the world's population eats little if any meat, though it is generally prized.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on meat, visit Britannica.com.