Energy Savings from Elimination of Beef Consumption By: Miss Jessica L. Bills
Research question: “If I cut beef from my diet, how much energy and greenhouse gas will I save?”
I eat approximately 4 ounces of beef per week. However, the average American eats 25.6 ounces of beef per week. That’s a big difference! To compensate for these differences I built two Excel spreadsheets analyzing:
Miles that could be driven in a car for comparative greenhouse gas emissions
Energy/ Emissions Savings by eliminating beef from Jessica’s diet:
Energy/ Emissions Savings by eliminating beef from the average American diet:
Other Frightening Facts about Beef Consumption Calories of fossil fuel used to make 1 calorie of protein for various foods:
Gallons of water required to produce one pound of various foods:
Number of people whose caloric needs can be met on 2.5 acres of land for the following foods:
More thoughts to consider: Pound for pound, beef production generates greenhouse gases that contribute more than 13 times as much to global warming as do the gases emitted from producing chicken. For potatoes, the multiplier is 57.
Beef consumption is rising rapidly, both as population increases and as people eat more meat.
Producing half a pound of hamburger for someone's lunch, a patty of meat the size of two decks of cards, releases as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as driving a 3,000-pound car nearly 10 miles.
WikiAnswers tells us that Earth is 24,901 miles around at the equator. If just 1000 average Americans stopped eating beef for one year we would save the equivalent amount of emissions to drive around the equator 66.8 times! There is some food for thought.
In Conclusion: When making dietary choices to lower your carbon footprint, keep this in mind: