A Quarter Pounder Hamburger: How Much Oil Is In It Really?


26 ounces of oil are required to produced a quarter pounder. That is 13 pounds of CO2 emissions for one hamburger and more emissions than burning 7 pounds of coal in a power plant or from driving your car 13 miles!

Earth 2017 reports:
Michael Pollan explains that in the 1950’s it took our agricultural system one calorie of oil (calorie is a measurement of energy) to produce one calorie of food. Today it takes TEN calories of oil to produce one calorie of food. As Pollan explains, our agricultural system and its fast food customers are now “eating oil, emitting green house gases.”
One of the problems is, a quarter pounder is usually cheaper than its non-red meat counterparts. This is one of the reasons why most food stamps recipients are heavier than those who do not rely on food stamps.

Unfortunately this costs an increase in individual obesity and national health care costs. There is also the unsustainable levels of emissions.
One example of the magnitude of these hidden costs is a CDC on the $2 trillion we spend annually on health care, TWO-THIRDS (approximately $1.3 trillion) is spent addressing PREVENTABLE chronic diseases tied to our smoking, alcohol and DIET.
Pollan is suggesting the following public solutions:

1. Government funding of agriculture not corn
2. Increased focuse upon local agriculture serving local markets
3. Awareness/behavioral change by our own culture. Today we are subsidizing farmers not to grow alternative crops to corn. Pollan’s alternative is government incentives promoting the number of days a field is “green” so farmers are producing a diversity of crops that are consuming more CO2.

Pollan ended his presentation with this sobering question: Can we successfully change from our agricultural addiction to oil? The answer is unclear with 6+ billion people now consuming oil rather than healthy food.



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