How much water does it take to produce a pound of beef?

How much water does it take to produce a pound of beef?

New meat mythcrushers video answers a common question about water use in beef production

The newest video in the Meat Mythcrusher series addresses one of the most commonly seen myths in the media: how much water it takes to produce a pound of beef.

Related: Mythcrusher Video Focuses on 'Meatless Monday'

While one often cited statistic suggested it could take as much as 2,400 gallons of water, sustainability researcher Jude Capper, Ph.D., explains that the real data shows the amount is much smaller, it requires 441 gallons to make a pound of boneless beef – a fraction of what is often claimed and far less than many other popular consumer products.

NAMI's Janet Riley discusses meat production with sustainability researcher Jude Capper, Ph.D.

"While higher numbers cited may have been accurate 30 to 40 years ago," Capper says, "the modern beef industry is so efficient in the way it feeds, breeds and cares for the animals that it is able to use far fewer resources today than ever before"

Capper notes that many common items take significantly more water to produce including cotton t-shirts which take more than 700 gallons of water to produce or a car which can take 39,000 gallons to produce. Capper says consumers who want to buy the most sustainable beef should focus on corn finished as opposed to grass finished beef.

Related: AMI Videos Address Animal Antibiotic Use Misconceptions

The Meat MythCrusher video series is produced by the North American Meat Institute in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association.

Source: NAMI

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