Would crops fed to cattle be used more effectively by feeding people?

Fact Check - Would crops fed to cattle be used more effectively by feeding people?

Would crops fed to cattle be used more effectively by feeding people?

11th April 2022

Depending on whose estimate you take and how cattle are reared, it takes 20-40 kilos of feed to produce one kilo of beef. Those estimates often lead to the claim that if that feed were given directly to people it would nourish them more effectively. There are two simple reasons why this is wrong.

  • 90% of what cattle eat globally is inedible by humans – more than half of it is grass
  • If we used the 10% that IS edible by humans, for example soy or corn, it would not be as nutritionally effective as beef

Cattle feed other than grass can consist of the pulp that remains from sugar beets after production, the residue left after corn is used to make ethanol or the stalks left when corn is processed to feed people. Feeding these things to cattle not only prevents waste, it converts it into valuable protein, vitamin B12 and Zinc – all vital parts of the human diet.

And as for the argument that land used to rear cattle would be more effectively used to grow crops… Well that’s another story.

Read more here.