It is estimated that more than 17 pounds (8 kg) of grain feed is required to produce 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of beef. By comparison, poultry requires about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of feed to produce 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of meat. As demand for beef and other meat grows worldwide, critics say that diets high in animal protein are damaging to the environment because of the amount of resources — such as grain, water and land — that is used to produce it. To reduce the use of resources, some farmers have experimented with high-protein grain mixes and other feeding production methods to increase the weight of their cattle.
More about beef:
- About one-third of all grain worldwide is fed to cattle and other livestock.
- Some supporters of the campaign to decrease meat consumption recommend insects as an alternative protein source because they require fewer resources. For example, it takes 3.75 pounds (1.7 kg) of feed to produce 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of crickets.
- It is estimated that about 972 gallons (3,682 liters) of water are used to produce 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of boneless beef, from irrigation of land to processing the carcasses.