This Is How Much Meat Actually Costs

The bill doesn't end at the grocery store.

The average American adult eats over 120 pounds of meat each year, plus over 600 pounds of dairy products. While that does add up to a lot in grocery bills, there's more to the cost of meat than we usually think about. 

As the latest video from Minute Earth explains, the true cost of meat is a lot higher.

When buying a steak, we don't often think of all of the things that were required to get it to us. Not only did the cow need to eat grain its entire life, but the crops that were grown for animal feed also needed to be watered, fertilized, and sprayed with pesticides. 

Modern factory farming has introduced a host of new problems, as well.

Chickens raised at a factory farm
Chickens raised at a factory farm Shutterstock

Because of the extreme conditions under which they live, animals are more likely to get sick. To avoid this, many farmers pre-emptively treat livestock with antibiotics. In fact, a whopping 80% of all antibiotics go to farm animals. While this prevents some animals from getting sick, it also spawns dangerous strains of bacteria that are resistant to medication. 

These drug-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs, infect humans, leading to enormous healthcare costs and lost wages due to illness. To make matters worse, high meat consumption also leads to other health problems, including cancer.

Though meat may be costlier than we thought, it doesn't mean you have to stop eating it entirely. Even making small choices, like eating less meat per meal, going vegetarian one day a week, and buying from farms with more sustainable practices will help drive the cost down.

Check out Minute Earth's video and learn more about how costly meat is:

Cover image: Shutterstock