• Kim

Break Up With Beef to Save Humanity?

To many Americans, the idea that "beef is bad" is preposterous. And to many policy-makers, the idea of "eating down low on the food chain" is the pet cause of the upper-middle class and Blue State baby boomers.

But a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences puts hard data behind the idea that reducing meat-consumption would have an outsized, positive impact on food security and human health.

Some key take-aways are:

  • A plot of land that produces four grams of protein from beef farming would generate 100 grams of protein from plants.

  • Reducing beef consumption alone would free up enough land that every two Americans who quit beef would save enough resources to feed a third person.

  • If Americans gave up all meat products, the country could generate enough food to feed another 350 million Americans.

  • The opportunity costs of meat production exceed the cost of all food waste.

  • Taxpayers would save as much as $80 billion dollars by eliminating a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and by mitigating the public health problems that come with a meat-heavy diet.

Read the full study here: Shepon et al., The Opportunity Cost of Animal-Based Diets Exceeds All Food Losses, PNAS, Mar. 26, 2018.