New Study Is Bad News For Beef Producers

  • Print


Updated: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:00:51 CST

Some shocking news for the state's ag producers. A new study suggests beef production may be worse for the environment than other protein sources.

The study appeared in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study says livestock based food production causes about one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions and is the key land user and source of water pollution by nutrient overabundance.

The study looked at five animal categories: dairy, beef, poultry, pork and eggs. Beef was consistently the least resource-efficient in all four categories.

The study found that producing 1 megacalories of beef requires 28 times the average land of other animal categories. It also requires 11 times the amount of irrigation water. Beef production requires 5 times the amount of greenhouse gases. Finally, the study found it requires 6 times the reactive nitrogen than the other animal categories.