Quick: What’s the most commonly shoplifted item in America? Batteries? Makeup? Candy? According to the Food Marketing Institute, it’s meat. Didn’t used to be. A couple years ago, meat took a back seat to cough medicines, which were often stolen by meth chefs. But when those medicines went behind the counter, meat was promoted to first place. So who’s lifting rib-eye? The occasional kleptomaniac, starving student, or dude on a dare, sure, but the bulk of beef is pilfered by house mums. Slate:
Though men and women shoplift in equal numbers, such aspirational meatlifters are most likely to be gainfully employed women between 35 and 54, according to a 2005 University of Florida study.
So apparently the practice is not only more widespread than I would have thought, but apparently commonly practiced by a demographic I would never have suspected. Which got me thinking: What percentage of Birdhouse readers are clandestine meat poachers?