McChicken vs. Big Mac: Could environmental labels transform American burger...

Paywall removed (hopefully!):

“But on any given day, more than a third of Americans find themselves eating fast food, which serves up a significant portion of climate-burdensome red meat.”

I’m skeptical that 100,000,000 folks are eating FF on any given day.
But as for the article, is raising chickens that much more eco-friendly than raising cattle?

My gut feeling is yes. I think the other questions is about how much environment impact (say greenhouse gas) does the food industry impact vs other industries, which appears to be about 25% (not small)



Well, you don’t need to clear cut forests (for grazing land or growing crops) to feed chickens, I don’t think.

Sometimes the truth is more fantastical than fiction.



Doesn’t surprise me at all, especially since that number probably counts stops at Starbucks for coffee, etc.

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1/3rd of Americans visiting fast food per day is based on a CDC report (first author by Cheryl D. Fryar) published a few years back. It states:
In 2013–2016, 36.6% of adults consumed fast food on a given day

NCHS Data Brief, Number 322, October 2018 (

A lot of people eating out. Eating out three times a week isn’t surprising at all. In this report, the CDC authoers used a very broad term for fast food. It counts many foods as “fast food” while they are not the stereotypical fast foods (burgers, fried chicken, fries…etc).

Leah Douglas has a nice article about this.
“But according to the study’s lead author, Cheryl Fryar, participants self-reported whether they had eaten fast food, a broad category that included everything from bagel and coffee shops to “carry out” restaurants. Fryar confirmed that even the fast-growing salad restaurant Sweetgreen qualified as fast food for the purposes of the study.”

In CDC report on ‘fast food,’ Sweetgreen and McDonald’s are treated as equals | Food and Environment Reporting Network (

Not to say, we American do not eat a lot of junk foods, but I would take that exact 36.6% as grain of salt.


Jeeziss, sad stat. If I eat FF once per month it’s rare. Save for Popeye’s chicken sandwich, I really don’t crave FF much.

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