Saturday, July 12, 2008

The cost of meat

I'm not talking about the cost of the meat at the supermarket but rather the resource requirements that go into raising the animals which it comes from.

Beef is by far the worst offender. The June 11th issue of NewScientist magazine has an article on worldwide food price increases. It notes that producing a kilogram of a cow requires about 6 kilos of grain. A kilo of a chicken requires about 2 kilos of grain, as does a kilo of dairy products. Producing a kilo of a pig only takes a little over 1 kilo of grain, making pork by far the best food meat bargain in terms of resource usage.

Ezra Klein recently ran a good post on the topic; I've borrowed the following graph from it.

UPDATE: Here's a link to an old post I wrote about the intersection of food, the environment, and being human.

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