Meat the facts

To make a hamburger of 200 gram you need:

3 kilograms of grain and forage, 200 liters of water for the irrigation of land and for cattle to drink, 7m2 for graxing and growing feed crops and 1.093 kJ of fossil energy to grow and transport feed; enough to power your microwave for 18 minutes.

Meat consumption

The global average for meat consumption is 42 kilograms. People in the developing world eat an average 32 kilos of meat each year, compared to 80 kilos of meat in industrialized countries. Below the meat consumption in per capita in the year 2009, according to the United Nations:

  • USA: 125 KG
  • Kuwait: 119KG
  • Spain: 97 KG
  • The Netherlands: 85.5 KG
  • China: 58.2 KG
  • Rwanda: 6.5 KG
  • India: 4.4 KG

Food waste

30 to 50% of all food produced globally is never eaten, due to supply chain in efficiencies, crops left to rot in fields, consumers rejecting ‘imperfect’ foods or throwing away food after purchase.

Gas emissions

The United Nations estimates that the global greenhouse gas emissions from the total supply chain of producing livestock for meat range from 15% to 18% per year. A more in-depth report from the WorldWatch Institute indicates that this number is actually closer to 51%.

Animals killed in the USA

  • Cattle: 35.507.500
  • Pigs: 116.558.900
  • Chickens:
  • Layer hens: 69.683.000
  • Broiler chickens: 9.005.578.000
  • Turkeys: 271.245.000

Source: USDA statistics 2008

Water use

Water use for in vitro meat would be 82 to 96% lower than for conventional meat*. It takes 20 to 50 times the amount of water to produce one kilo of meat than one kilo of vegetables. It takes 20 to 50 times the amount of water to produce one kilo of meat than one kilo of vegetables.

Ecological footprint

Between now and 2050 global livestock production is predicated to nearly double. Studies indicate that in vitro meat would require far less energy than poultry such as ducks or chickens*. Compared to conventional meat, greenhouse gas emissions for in vitro meat would be up to 96% lower*.

* These numbers assume that cyanobacteria will be the feedstock for in vitro meat, which is not yet possible.

Land use

66% of agricultural land is used to grow animal feed: only 8% of agricultural land goes to food that we directly consume. 30% of ice-free land on earth is used for livestock raised for meat. In vitro meat could require only 1% to 2% of the land area used to produce the same amount of conventional meat.

Calorie supply

  • The Netherlands: 1.151.4 Kcal/person/day
  • Kuwait: 524.6 Kcal/person/day
  • Spain: 936.6 Kcal/person/day
  • China: 618 Kcal/person/day
  • Rwanda: 60.5 Kcal/person/day
  • India: 198.4 Kcal/person/day


In the year 2030

The global middle class will balloon from 1.8 billion today to a staggering 4.4 billion by 2030. In fact, we’re almost talking about a tripling of the meat-eating class.

in the year 2050

The world’s population will be 9.6 billion people by 2050, compared to 7.1 billion people as of 2013. Global meat consumption may have doubled by that time, mostly as a consequence of increasing world population, but also because of increased per capita meat consumption from 2000 to 2050.