High cost of beef

The production of 1kg of beef creates more greenhouse gas emissions than motoring for three hours while leaving the lights on at home, according to a new study conducted in Japan.

The country's National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Tsukuba, examined CO2 emissions emitted by way of methane from beef cattle; the energy required to create the beef, including feed production, husbandry, transport, slaughtering, butchering and packaging; plus the environmental effects of production methods.

Said the study: "The results showed that the total contributions of one beef calf throughout its life cycle to global warming, acidification, eutrophication and energy consumption were 4,550kg of CO2 equivalents."

It added there was also 40.1 kg sulphur dioxide and 7 kg of phosphate produced, plus 16.1 GJ (gigajoules) consumed "bringing an average beef cow to market."