The paper “Contributions of animal agriculture to meeting global human food demand” was published in 1999 and is not available for free. The abstract doesn’t give enough specific information about if animal agriculture is in deed an efficient way to produce nutrients. Since I wasn’t going to buy such an outdated paper, I was searching for the latest publication by the same author named G. Eric Bradford. He was the head of the task force behind the report “Animal Agriculture and Global Food Supply” published also in 1999 by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). The content of this report is surprisingly differentiated but still paints an optimistic picture of animal agriculture and its future in supplying food for a growing population. CAST is supported by a very long list of large corporations like Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, LLC, Elanco Animal Health, Monsanto, Coca-Cola Company, etc., just to name a few. These companies are invested in animal agriculture and have a lot of influence on the results of any report or study published by CAST. It is safe to say that the report is biased and doesn’t serve as an independent piece of information thus the reader has to remain sceptical towards its findings.
The Center of Consumer Freedom was founded by Richard Berman and lobbies on behalf of the meat, fast food, alcohol and tobacco industries. It is quite plausible that published content on their website is highly biased and the reader has to be pessimistic towards it. Please read more about Richard Berman: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Rick_Berman
This article clearly confuses efficiency with productivity. In the US meat production is much more inefficient compared to other countries but the productivity may by higher. That’s because a large portion of crop land is used to produce feed for livestock, which is a highly inefficient way to produce nutrients due to energy conversion rates. This means that grains could be eaten by humans directly. (What is Efficient Agriculture? http://veganorganic.net/2012/06/what-is-efficient-agriculture/ )
This article was written by Eric Garza, he holds a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. He has no training in nutrition whatsoever but offers opinions about healthy eating and the reader is just supposed to take his word for it. His findings in this article are not very surprising because they have to support the general teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) with which Mr. Garza is affiliated. Garza concludes that pasture-raised beef doesn’t necessarily use more energy than fruit and vegetable production and bases his results on data from the United States Department of Agriculture. This however is very vague, doesn’t represent an average energy input per calorie output and says nothing about the true efficiency of nutrients derived from animals vs. plants. Please read the following about WAPF: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Weston_A._Price_Foundation
Evidence #5: http://www.jefftk.com/p/the-efficiency-of-meat
This article actually doesn’t support the assumption that animal agriculture is an efficient way to produce nutrients:
“…If you want to eat a diet that’s maximally efficient in terms of energy transfer all the way from light up to calories in your food, that is going to be a vegetarian diet…”
I don’t quite understand why this article was presented as an example to support their claim.
Please read the following articles and studies that show, that animal agriculture is not an efficient way to feed the world: