It's not a bargain

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Written by Michael Pollan

The $1.60/day that it costs to feed a feedlot beef is a bargain only by the narrowest of calculations.  It doesn't take into account, for example, the cost to the public health of antibiotic resistance or food poisoning by E. coli 0157:H7.  It doesn't take into account the cost to taxpayers of the farm subsidies that keep feedlot calves cheap.  And it certainly doesn't take into account all the many environmental coast incurred by cheap corn.  Feedlot beef are part of an industrial food chain powered by fossil fuel--and therefore defended by the U.S. military, another never-counted cost of cheap food.  Assuming that a feedlot beef continues to eat 25 lbs. of corn a day and reaches a weight of 1200 lbs., it will have consumed in his lifetime the equivalent of 35 gallons of oil--nearly a barrel.

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma, pp.82, 83,84. 

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