Water usage to make a hamburger?

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John SD

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Need some :help: here. A friend who is very anti-American agriculture in general, and particularly so toward the beef industry, sent me an article claiming it takes 450 gallons of water to make a hamburger. True or False :?:

IMO, the source is quite questionable and the anti-beef agenda is more than obvious :2cents: I googled and came up with many more questionable sources. Can someone provide a credible source on the topic? TIA for replies :tiphat:
 
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John SD

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presmudjo":31fkd5py said:
So ask him how many gallons of water to grow one pea?

I agree, the whole premise of the article is ridiculous, but I still would like to have some good hard facts at my fingertips to refute it with. If these idiots who put out this crap think cattle are stealing water/food from them, by all means I suggest they go out and eat grass for their main diet, just like the cattle do :p :p :p

What these people fail to recognize or acknowledge is that cattle convert grass to beef. Beef is a nutritious source of protein produced by forage and crop byproducts unable to be utilized nutritionally by humans. I doubt a human could survive by eating the foodstuffs a cow eats, much less prosper. But these folks will never understand common sense :roll:

I hesitated to post the actual link to the article, because of the notorious reputation of the source :oops: :oops: :oops: I didn't want that to influence the responses I received.

But what the heck, here it is, from the New York Times, no less :yuck: :yuck: :yuck: http://nyti.ms/1J94A7t
 

CottageFarm

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I'm enjoying a mimosa too much to work out all the math right now.
But with some simple calculations, using fairly conservative input data...that would mean than an 18 month old steer, that yields 200 lbs of burger (and absolutely nothing else is produced from the carcass), producing 600 1/3 lb hamburgers, is responsible for consuming/utilizing 600 gallons of water per day of his existence. Even if one were to figure all of his feed was grown with irrigated water (as opposed to rainfall supplied), and he never ate a single blade of green grass, I still can't see it working out to that number. But I'm sure someone, somewhere was able to justify, at least in their own warped mind, that figure they came up with.

Of course, theres a lot more to a burger than just that steer. Maybe they were also calculating in the cost of the wheat, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, mustard seed, the ranchers household, the farmers households, etc, etc, the drivers of the trucks, the grocery store employees, etc, etc, ....I think you get the idea.

Initial question aside for a moment, even IF it were true, what would they prefer be done with that water?? Suburban lawns?
 

Aaron

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A lot of hypothetical figures in that value. By my estimation, a fat steer would have directly consumed 15-20 gallons of water for every pound of hamburger produced, assuming the entire carcass, bone-out, was turned into hamburger. Sure would love to see a breakdown of where the remainder comes from. But I bet that is classified information.
 

jedstivers

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Well it has to be true, you know they couldn't put it out if it wasn't ( :bs: ).
The other day CB said in the month 13 trillion gallons of water had fallen on Texas so you simply divide that by the number of cattle in Texas and you get your answer. That's how some of those groups get their facts.
 

Bez__

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John SD":1j8volo0 said:
Need some :help: here. A friend who is very anti-American agriculture in general, and particularly so toward the beef industry, sent me an article claiming it takes 450 gallons of water to make a hamburger. True or False :?:

IMO, the source is quite questionable and the anti-beef agenda is more than obvious :2cents: I googled and came up with many more questionable sources. Can someone provide a credible source on the topic? TIA for replies :tiphat:

Who cares how much the steer drinks?

It does not KEEP it. Any more than you or your self declared expert friend does when he drinks water.

The real question is "How much does it give back?"

Hmm......

Where DOES all that pizz go?

A cow could drink three times that amount - however it does not KEEP it. It is recycled - over and over and over. The same amount of water exists on this earth today as did 100 million years ago. And that water has been drunk by animals and people since they existed.

What the dinosaur drank - the crusader pizzed out and today you drank it in your coffee.

Tell your buddy he is not as smart as he thinks he is and that the next time he takes a bite of food that he did not hunt down and kill with his own two hands, you hope he chokes on it.

Otherwise be proud you farm and enjoy that burger.
 
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John SD

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jedstivers":2m8lxyxl said:
Well it has to be true, you know they couldn't put it out if it wasn't ( :bs: ).
The other day CB said in the month 13 trillion gallons of water had fallen on Texas so you simply divide that by the number of cattle in Texas and you get your answer. That's how some of those groups get their facts.

Thanks Jed, I was trying to remember that post. Must be in the "Rain" thread? Texas has had enough rain to cover the whole state 8" deep. We have just enough we are sitting pretty here for both grass and stock water. Some roads will need attention due to low level flooding. The citiots are disturbed because their bike path alongside the creek is closed temporarily :roll:
 
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John SD

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Bez__":3a1mtzcn said:
John SD":3a1mtzcn said:
Need some :help: here. A friend who is very anti-American agriculture in general, and particularly so toward the beef industry, sent me an article claiming it takes 450 gallons of water to make a hamburger. True or False :?:

IMO, the source is quite questionable and the anti-beef agenda is more than obvious :2cents: I googled and came up with many more questionable sources. Can someone provide a credible source on the topic? TIA for replies :tiphat:

Who cares how much the steer drinks?

It does not KEEP it. Any more than you or your self declared expert friend does when he drinks water.

The real question is "How much does it give back?"

Hmm......

Where DOES all that pizz go?

A cow could drink three times that amount - however it does not KEEP it. It is recycled - over and over and over. The same amount of water exists on this earth today as did 100 million years ago. And that water has been drunk by animals and people since they existed.

What the dinosaur drank - the crusader pizzed out and today you drank it in your coffee.

Tell your buddy he is not as smart as he thinks he is and that the next time he takes a bite of food that he did not hunt down and kill with his own two hands, you hope he chokes on it.

Otherwise be proud you farm and enjoy that burger.

Bez, I am proud of our cattle industry and promote our delicious and nutritious US beef every opportunity I get :tiphat:

Yesterday I ordered the hot beef special at the cafe, Darn good and tender enough to cut with my fork. But I tell everyone my go-to menu item whenever I can't decide what I want most often is a bacon cheeseburger deluxe :idea:

BCBDLX has many products of American agriculture in it. You got many segments of agriculture represented. You got your beef, pork, cheese, along with pickles, onion, lettuce, tomato, and condiments, all contained in a wheat bun :p

Cafe in town recently changed hands. They offer many burger variations on their menu. One thing not so common is they offer is choice of burger sizes and priced accordingly. 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2 lb before cooking. I don't work it off anymore, so I stick with the 1/4 lb burger, with all the fixin's :heart: :D
 

TexasBred

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John SD":2f7oyota said:
Need some :help: here. A friend who is very anti-American agriculture in general, and particularly so toward the beef industry, sent me an article claiming it takes 450 gallons of water to make a hamburger. True or False :?:

IMO, the source is quite questionable and the anti-beef agenda is more than obvious :2cents: I googled and came up with many more questionable sources. Can someone provide a credible source on the topic? TIA for replies :tiphat:
Found several links on the topic John. Here's one

http://water.usgs.gov/edu/activity-watercontent.html
 

Bigfoot

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Matter is neither created nor destroyed. I'd argue the water is not wasted. Watering a lawn in a drought, now that would be wasteful.
 

Lucky_P

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Yep. When they throw out these 'numbers', they're incorporating everything, including every drop of rain that fell on whatever acreage this animal grazed during its lifetime, every drop of rain that fell on the cornfield, etc. that produced the amount of grain it consumed in the feedlot, every drop of water associated with processing the carcass, washing down equipment, etc. Regardless of whether or not it actually went into - and through - the animal.
In reality, it's not a zero-sum game; but they'd like to present it as such. Unfortunately, too many people believe the BS.
 

Nesikep

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Bez.. you say exactly what I've been saying to the same people.. water doesn't disappear...

I could believe the number of 450 gallon per burger though...

I use about 500GPM for 6 months of the year to raise 30 calves.. that's about 130,000,000 gallons!
Lets say I dropped the cow count to 20 to raise the calves to be finished, then that comes to 6.5 million gallons needed per animal... if there are 2000 burgers per animal, then that's 3240 gallons per burger.

I'm not concerned about how many gallons the toilet uses when I flush either.
 
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