Earth Day by the Numbers

Today, April 22, is the 46th annual Earth Day, when more than 193 countries celebrate their love and care for our planet. Here are some numbers to consider as you contemplate the future of our one Mother Earth:

1 pound: the amount of fertilizer needed to produce 3 pounds of cooked beef

5 times as much: the irrigation water used to grow feed grains compared to fruits and vegetablesEarth-Day-2016-Poster-Earth-Day-Network

5 tons: the soil lost annually to erosion on an average acre of cropland

7 pounds: the amount of corn needed to add 1 pound of weight to feedlot cattle (some of that weight gain is not edible meat)

19 percent: the proportion of all methane, a greenhouse gas, emitted by cattle and other livestock

41 percent: the share of irrigated land planted in livestock feed crops

66 percent: the proportion of grain that ends up as livestock feed at home or abroad

331: the number of odor-causing chemicals in hog manure

4,500 gallons: the rain and irrigation water needed to produce a quarter-pound of raw beef

8,500 square miles: the size of the “dead zone” created in the Gulf of Mexico by fertilizer runoff carried by the Mississippi from the upper Midwest

33 million: the number of cars needed to produce the same level of global warming as is caused by the methane gas emitted by livestock and their manure

22 billion pounds: the amount of fertilizer used annually to grow feed grains for American livestock

3.3 trillion pounds: the amount of livestock manure produced annually

17 trillion gallons: the amount of irrigation water used annually to produce feed for U.S. livestock

Source: Six Arguments for a Greener Diet  by Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., and the Staff of the Center for Science in the Public Interest

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