WATCH: The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers

Americans eat about 48 billion hamburgers each year. And although these burgers are relatively inexpensive to buy, their hidden costs add up. In other words “what we don’t pay for at the counter, we end up paying for in other ways.”

A new animated video from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) outlines the four major sources of these hidden hamburger costs, including:

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  1. Land – Livestock consume 30 percent of the Earth’s land area.
  2. Water – It takes 1,800 gallons of water to make 1 pound of beef.
  3. Greenhouse Gases – 6 ½ pounds of greenhouse gases are put into the atmosphere in the production of one ¼ pound hamburger.
  4. Healthcare – Red meat consumption has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, premature death, and certain types of cancer.

We won’t give away the punchline, but some simple math is all that’s required to come up with the hidden costs…and they are astounding. Fortunately, the CIR outlines several ways we can all help mitigate these costs.

To learn more, check out the video below. It is definitely worth watching!