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The Beef Problem: Well-Done

Consider this data:

Total number of cattle in the U.S. in 1999: 99,115,000

Amount of beef produced per cow: 616 pounds

Per capita beef consumption in 1999: 64.7 pounds

Total U.S. beef production in 1990: 21.8 billion pounds

Total Beef production in 1999: 26.4 billion pounds

Question 1: What would you expect the U.S. beef production (in pounds) to be in 2008? Explain.

Question 2: How many "cows" does a person eat in their lifetime?

Question 3: Does this data look right....26.4 billion pounds of beef produced in 1999, "contributed" by 616 pounds/cow, which means how many cows were "contributors"...but how many cows were in the U.S.? Hmmmm...

Source: Scientific American, November 2000, p. 30