IFTF: Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger

Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger

FEB 29, 2008 By Vivian Distler

I can’t believe I have not written about this before now. IFTF Research Affiliate Jamais Cascio has analyzed the carbon footprint of the all-American cheeseburger!

To calculate the global warming impact of the ever popular cheeseburger (Americans eat up to three per week, on average), Jamais took into account “the gamut of energy costs associated with a hamburger — including growing the feed for the cattle for beef and cheese, growing the produce, storing and transporting the components, as well as cooking.”

According to Jamais’ calculations, each burger produces 3.6-6.1 kg of CO2-equivalent emissions. At three per week, that’s 540-915 kg of greenhouse gas per year for an average American’s burger consumption, and 195,750,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent for all US burgers annually. Even assuming that the average American consumes only one cheeseburger per week, that still amounts to a whopping (bad pun intended) 65,250,000 annual metric tons of CO2-equivalent for all US burgers.

You can read a detailed account of Jamais’ analysis on his blog, OpentheFuture.com. You can listen to Jamais offer an extended explanation here. Bon appetit!