betacity


eight times more energy
September 26, 2011, 5:30 pm
Filed under: betaCITY | Tags: , , , , ,

Excerpts from Cornell Science News, Press Release on farming and consumption practices in the US:

Animal protein production requires more than eight times as much fossil-fuel energy than production of plant protein while yielding animal protein that is only 1.4 times more nutritious for humans than the comparable amount of plant protein.

[…]

Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption. About 26 million tons of the livestock feed comes from grains and 15 million tons from forage crops. For every kilogram of high-quality animal protein produced, livestock are fed nearly 6 kg of plant protein.

[…]

On average, animal protein production in the U.S. requires 28 kilocalories (kcal) for every kcal of protein produced for human consumption.

[…]

Nearly 7 million tons (metric) of animal protein is produced annually in the U.S. — enough to supply every American man, woman and child with 75 grams of animal protein a day. With the addition of 34 grams of available plant protein, a total of 109 grams of protein is available per capita. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) per adult per day is 56 grams of protein for a mixed diet.

[…]

If all the U.S. grain now fed to livestock were exported and if cattlemen switched to grass-fed production systems, less beef would be available and animal protein in the average American diet would drop from 75 grams to 29 grams per day. That, plus current levels of plant-protein consumption, would still yield more than the RDA for protein.

Cornell Science News, Press Release:  U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists
Future water and energy shortages predicted to change face of American agriculture

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