Beef

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____ environmental impact of beef ____

(compared to chicken/fish/eggs, dairy, and fruits/vegetables)

Estimated carbon footprint, loss of natural habitat potential, loss of plant and animal life potential in natural habitat and/or extinction potential from making, packaging, shipping and/or using these products or services.
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+ Except for CO2 emissions, estimates are based on Habitat,_Life,_Extinction_Formulas_v2 via ecofx.org. +
Estimates do not include the possible long-term ecological effects of climate change and persistent toxins.
Formulas use "human appropriated net primary production (HANPP)" to "CO2 emissions" correlation.
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1 kg(kilogram) = 2.2 lb(pounds)     1 m2(square meter) = 10.8 ft2(square feet)
1 km(kilometers) = .62 mi(miles)     1 liter = .26 gallons


Beef - 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)
CO2 from Sopris Foundation. #ref1 1% of the CO2 from shipping to retailer.
Some of the materials used to raise 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of beef.
fertilizer, grain, pesticides, antibiotics, gasoline
CO2 released to raise 1 kilogram (2.2 pound) of beef.
22.1 kg
48.6 lb
Loss of natural habitat potential to raise 1 kilogram (2.2 pound) of beef.
17 m2
183 ft2
Loss of plant and animal life potential (in natural habitat) to raise 1 kilogram (2.2 pound) of beef.
53 kg
116 lb
How many kilogram of beef it takes to trigger 1 potential species extinction.
8.8 million

Chicken/ Fish/ Eggs - 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)
CO2 from Sopris Foundation. #ref1 3%-7% is CO2 from shipping to retailer.
Some of the materials used to raise 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of chicken/ fish/ eggs.
fertilizer, grain, pesticides, gasoline, diesel fuel.
CO2 released to raise 1 kilogram (2.2 pound) of chicken/ fish/ eggs.
5.96 kg
13 lb
Loss of natural habitat potential to raise 1 kilograms (2.2 pound) of chicken/ fish/ eggs.
4.6 m2
49 ft2
Loss of plant and animal life potential (in natural habitat) to raise 1 kilograms (2.2 pound) of chicken/ fish/ eggs.
14.3 kg
31.4 lb
How many kilograms of chicken/ fish/ eggs it takes to trigger 1 potential species extinction.
32.7 million

Dairy products - 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)
CO2 from Sopris Foundation. Includes shipping to retailer. #ref1 3%-7% is CO2 from shipping to retailer.
Some of the materials used to make 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of dairy.
fertilizer, grain, water, pesticides, antibiotics, gasoline, diesel fuel.
CO2 released to make 1 kilogram (2.2 pound) of dairy products.
4.13 kg
9.1 lb
Loss of natural habitat potential to make 1 kilograms (2.2 pound) of dairy products.
3.2 m2
34 ft2
Loss of plant and animal life potential (in natural habitat) to make 1 kilograms (2.2 pound) of dairy products.
9.9 kg
22 lb
How many kilograms of dairy products it takes to trigger 1 potential species extinction.
47 million

Fruits/ Vegetables - 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)
CO2 from Sopris Foundation. #ref1 6%-11% is CO2 from shipping to retailer.
Some of the materials used to grow 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of fruits/vegetables.
water, pesticides, fertilizer, gasoline, diesel fuel.
CO2 released to grow 1 kilogram (2.2 pound) of fruits/vegetables.
1.59 kg
3.5 lb
Loss of natural habitat potential to grow 1 kilograms (2.2 pound) of fruits/vegetables.
1.2 m2
13 ft2
Loss of plant and animal life potential (in natural habitat) to grow 1 kilograms (2.2 pound) of fruits/vegetables.
3.8 kg
8.4 lb
How many kilograms of fruits/vegetables it takes to trigger 1 potential species extinction.
123 million

Contents

[edit] Grain fed or grass fed?

References needed
This page or section needs more evidence in the form of references (preferably including "respected" sources) and/or an explanation of whose experience it is based on. If it is not based on field experience or scientific research, it should be noted as theoretical, with a clear explanation of the reasoning.


The emissions intensity of grain-fed beef is considerably lower than that of grass-fed animals, even when the full life-cycle is taken into account, but not necessarily when carbon sequestration in soils and vegetation is accounted for. Even here the situation is more complex than it appears, and accounting is tricky. The reason is that an animal fed on grains will put on weight quicker and hence be 'finished' (killed) earlier.

Also, grain is easier to digest than grass; the animal extracts more energy from the feed and less energy is 'wasted' as methane.

However, some people eat grass-fed beef for separate ethical reasons or health reasons (believing that the fats in the beef are healthier).

Even pasture raised animals may need grain or other supplements in times of drought.

[edit] Summary

The production of 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of beef results in about 22.1 kilograms (49 pounds) of CO2 emissions - including production of grains and feed, methane released from the cow's digestion adjusted as a CO2 equivalent, materials, production and shipping.#ref1 The loss of natural habitat potential from 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of beef is estimated to be 17 square meters (183 square feet).

[edit] Notes

"... a totally “localized” diet reduces GHG [green house gas] emissions per household equivalent to 1000 miles/yr (1600 km/yr) driven, while shifting just one day per week’s calories from red meat and dairy to chicken/fish/eggs or a vegetable-based diet reduces GHG emissions equivalent to 760 miles/yr (1230 km/yr) or 1160 miles/yr (1860 km/yr), respectively. Shifting totally away from red meat and dairy toward chicken/fish/eggs or a vegetable-based diet reduces GHG emissions equivalent to 5340 mi/yr (8590 km/yr) or 8100 mi/yr (13000 km/yr), respectively. #ref1

[edit] References


1. Sopris Foundation http://www.soprisfoundation.org/PDFs/DailyCarbonCalcs_May08.pdf

2. American Chemical Society http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es702969f

3. Scientific American http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-greenhouse-hamburger February, 2009 14.8 pounds of CO2 pound for pound [of beef]

4. Anderson, Kathryn (2007) Food, a paper for “Toward an Ethical CO2 Emissions Trajectory for Princeton”, p. 14: conventional beef averages 13.04 lb CO2e per lb ground beef.

[edit] External links

wikipedia:Beef