Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger Life Cycle Assessment: A Detailed Comparison Between a Plant-Based and an Animal-Based Protein Source

Full study here via the U Michigan Center for Sustainability Studies. From the abstract:

Based on a comparative assessment of the current Beyond Burger production system with the 2017 beef LCA by Thoma et al, the Beyond Burger generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions, requires 46% less energy, has >99% less impact on water scarcity and 93% less impact on land use than a ¼ pound of U.S. beef.

Full disclosure, I have some skin in the game on this one, as a rather large chunk of my family depends of cattle farming for their livelihood. Having said that, the facts of the matter are that raising cattle for as a protein source remains an extremely land and resource-heavy operation, and is generally not practiced with full thought to the environmental consequences. In its current form, the cattle industry (at least, the North American cattle industry) is unsustainable due to both its impact on available natural resources, as well as the rising price of beef (and animal proteins in general) driving customers toward plant-based alternatives.