Beef cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, poultry, eggs or dairy. The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While it has long been known that beef has a greater environmental impact than other meats, the authors of this paper say theirs is the first to quantify the scale in a comparative way.

Beef footprint

The researchers developed a uniform methodology that they were able to apply to all five livestock categories and to four measures of environmental performance. "We have a sharp view of the comparative impact that beef, pork, poultry, dairy and eggs have in terms of land and water use, reactive nitrogen discharge, and greenhouse gas emissions," lead author Prof Gidon Eshel, from Bard College in New York, told BBC News. "The uniformity and expansive scope is novel, unique, and important," he said. The scientists used data from from 2000-2010 from the US department of agriculture to calculate the amount of resources required for all the feed consumed by edible livestock. They then worked out the amount of hay, silage and concentrates such as soybeans required by the different species to put on a kilo of weight.

Based on my perception perception the word apply might mean use . But I am not sure whether I'm right or not. My perception also tells me that the word uniform has to do with the words alike or similar.

I am wondering if anybody here could simplify the meaning of these words for me, not the meaning of the sentences, just the meaning of these words in simple English. A million thanks in advance.


Footprint is a common term used to represent the effect that humans have on the environment. For example, how much does the average human pollute the air with driving their car. What is their CO2 footprint? A footprint, technically, means a print left in the ground by someone's or some animals foot. So it's what they leave behind.

So in this context, Beef Footprint means what the overall effect of producing beef is on the environment.

In this context, uniform means a consistent method. A method that doesn't change at all or barely changes.

Yep, you're right, apply can also mean use.

Uniformity could definitely be replaced with similarity.

Scope means how large the area or how large the impact is of something. What the size of the study is. Since it says expansive scope, this means that their study covered a lot of different things, covered a long period of time, etc.


I like Macmillan's definition of footprint (and I'm inferring it could refer to animal type as well as a person or organization):

footprint - definition


3 the amount of land, energy, water etc. that a person or organization uses in order to exist or operate
Government is urging businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

The American English definition of footprint from Macmillan Dictionary

In this context, apply more accurately means "to use as a template," so that the methodology is used to examine the categories and measures in a way that does not vary. Use is more generic and could mean that an object is adapted to a task.

Uniform does have to do with alike or similar, but has the implication that it is unchanging across multiple instances. For example, a cookie-cutter makes a uniform cookie shape.

Scope basically means "what is included." When he referenced an expansive scope, he meant that it included more than the usual or average research. Although he doesn't specify here in what way the scope is expansive, it could have, for example, more factors, more data, a greater time span, etc.

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