Taxing Cows to Lower Greenhouse Gases
March 11, 2018
BBQ Beans and Greens
June 30, 2018
The 80/20 Rule Applies

Big Beef Eaters & Greenhouse Gases

There is new evidence to indicate that beef eaters who consume the most beef also generate the most greenhouse gases.  In line with our earlier discussion about the proposed tax on cows in Denmark - to help reduce greenhouse gases – it might not be a bad idea to tax cows in the U.S.A.
The research comes from a new study on greenhouse gases. Written by by the University of Michigan and Tulane University it’s located here: ( It matched self-reported diets and their carbon footprints. It indicates that 80% of all the greenhouse gases generated and linked to dietary habits occur through the actions of only 20% of major beef eaters. The 80/20 rule applies.
There’s good and bad news.
The bad news: The study, published in Environmental Research Letters found that people who routinely consume beef burgers, steaks, and beef ribs contribute the largest portion of greenhouse gas generation. The researchers looked at “diet-related emissions” and concluded that 20% - just 20% - of American beef eaters were responsible for some 80% of beef-eating-related greenhouse gases.

The good news: The study points out that if the big beef eaters would lower their daily caloric intake and it was accompanied by equivalent shifts in domestic food production – a change that would bring about both personal health benefits and planetary benefit – by moderating their beef consumption, the United States could meet 10% of the targets for greenhouse gas reductions negotiated under the Paris Climate Agreement

The research complements a growing insight that links beef consumption with greenhouse gas emissions. The study is unique in that it looks at what people actually eat, rather than USDA data, which is more oriented towards the movement of commodities through the economy.

You can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by your own dietary intake of beef by taking The Pledge: - it’s easy, and important. Save your health – and the health of planet Earth. Everyone can do his or her part.

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1 Comment

  1. Margie says:

    I like the article