February 24, 2015

2 Min Read
New video debunks the myth about water usage in beef production

Although the Meatless Monday trend appears to be waning a bit, the misconception that eating a burger is bad for the planet must be addressed. And it’s particularly pertinent these days in light of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendation last week to avoid red meat for sustainability reasons.

READ: 3 ways the government committee got it wrong on the dietary guidelines

According to a checkoff-funded website, Facts About Beef, “It takes 441 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of boneless beef. Farmers and ranchers are committed to water conservation and have reduced the amount of water used to raise beef by 12% compared to 30 years ago.”

READ: 6 reasons to ignore the “Cowspiracy” and eat a burger.

In addition, a recent Meat Mythcrushers video from the American Meat Science Association addresses the misconception that beef production is a huge waste of water.


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The video features Jude Capper, a sustainability researcher, who debunks the myth that it takes a whopping 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. While that figure may have been accurate 40 years ago, with today’s sustainable and efficient beef production system, it truly only takes 441 gallons of water to produce that pound of burger.

READ: Conventional beef found to be more environmentally friendly

More than that, Capper says the most sustainable beef choice is corn-finished beef, which is good news for ranchers raising conventional beef. This information might be confusing for consumers led to believe that natural, grass-fed and organic are the best choices for their health and the health of the planet. However, the efficiencies of corn-fed beef are indisputable.

READ: Is organic better than conventional?

Watch the following video and let me know what you think in the comments section below. Be sure to share today's blog on your social media outlets, as well. To view other Meat MythCrusher videos, click here.



The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.


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