To eat beef or not to eat beef, that is the sustainability question?

Many people love their steaks and probably could not imagine a world without being able to tuck into one every so often.

It is widely acknowledged that weight for weight insects have more protein than most current meat sources, but could these same people see them selves tucking into a plate full of garlic fried insects instead of their beloved steak?

The cry in most western countries would be bring back my steak.

I was reading a recent article in Inhabitat that showed just how much a steak  actually costs, especially when you compare it to the insects.

Apparently for each calorie produced, beef uses more than 28 times more land and 11 times more water than any other animal foods, like eggs, dairy and poultry.

These figures double when compared to staple plant protein sources.

So I can hear you ask, why are beef cows a problem and dairy cows aren't?

We only collect meat from a beef cow once and everything that has gone into that animal and comes out of it, can only be counted against the meat it has produced.

With dairy cows, they give milk for up to eight years and then  we collect the meat, so the animal has produced protein sources for much longer, and so everything into and out of it can then be measured against all it has produced.

That is why calorie for calorie, beef is way more expensive to the environment that dairy cows and all other protein sources.

So the alternative is to go vegetarian or to start eating insects. This is a choice that many would not want to make, and may not have yet realised that there will be a time in the not too distant future when there will not be a choice and a steak will actually be priced to cover it's real cost (to the environment).

It is not unrealistic to think that at some point in the future, a steak will only be a memory for many of us, and so expensive that it will only be able to be enjoyed by the extremely wealthy, if it is available at all.

To be sustainable, choices need to be made - tough choices sometimes. To not have beef cows is not an easy decision but it is likely that it will need to be made in the future for sustainability.

If you are not sure  how sustainable your business is and would like to know how to ensure that it makes at least a 5% profit in this financial year, have a look at my free webinar at

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