Dollar, energy, and employment costs of protein consumption

Bruce M. Hannon, Carol Harrington, Robert W. Howell, Ken Kirkpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dollar, energy, and the labor costs of producing beef and soy protein were computed and compared using input-output analysis. Production costs of both beef and soy protein in various forms were examined in detail from the farm to the consumer. A complete soybean meat substitute is one-sixth as energy intensive and one-sixth as expensive as beef raised in the cornbelt region, and direct soybean consumption is one-ninth as energy intensive and one-tenth as expensive as beef. Beef, however, is less energy intensive than the average of consumer activities. Thus if the dollar savings realized by a shift from beef to a soybean meat substitute were allocated to average consumer spending, there would be no energy saving from the shift, and there could even be a small increase in energy demand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-241
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy systems and policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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