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Rethinking how the US grows beef

It turns out that the current amount of pastureland in the US could only support 45 percent of our current beef production and consumption. This admittedly narrow definition of sustainability relies on feeding cows more agricultural byproducts, which, as of now, account for only about 10 percent of their diet; the scientists note that, “despite the recent doubling of distillers’ grain utilization,” these byproducts are still plentiful. If we were to cut the pastureland that ranchers currently use in half, that would diminish beef availability to... 43 percent of current values, rather than 45. So freeing up about a 135 hectares—almost a quarter of our national surface area, and twice the size of France—would decrease beef availability by only two percentage points.

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Ars Technica