The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-30-2006, 12:30 PM
Diddledog Diddledog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
How many McDonald's burgers from one cow?

I recall hearing one time about how many McDonal's burgers you could get from one cow -- the regular hamburger size patty, not the bigger ones. The figure was huge, so big that I couldn't beleive it even though those burgers are small and cows are big.

I don't recall the number or the calculation, but does anyone know how many you would get from one cow or steer?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-30-2006, 12:33 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 23,696
McDonald's hamburgers are ten to a pound. So just multiply the amount of meat available on a cow by ten and that's your answer. Somewhere in the high thousands for most cows. In real life, of course, most of the meat on a cow would be diverted to more expensive cuts so no more than about a thousand tops could be made from any individual cow.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-30-2006, 12:36 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Well, let's see: The patties weigh 1/10th of a pound each, precooked weight. You can get about 500 pounds of edible meat from your average bovine according to various sources, so that works out to about 5,000 patties out of one those bad boys.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-30-2006, 12:56 PM
Diddledog Diddledog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
Well, let's see: The patties weigh 1/10th of a pound each, precooked weight. You can get about 500 pounds of edible meat from your average bovine according to various sources, so that works out to about 5,000 patties out of one those bad boys.
Wow.

1,000 or 5,000, either way that's a lot of hamburgers standing there munching grass.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-30-2006, 01:18 PM
The Controvert The Controvert is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
It's not really all that surprising. Volume scales by the cube law, so if you mush the patty into a cube, 1000 cubes is just 10 cubes deep, 10 cubes wide, and 10 cubes high. A cow has much greater volume than that.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-30-2006, 01:35 PM
yabob yabob is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
McDonald's hamburgers are ten to a pound. So just multiply the amount of meat available on a cow by ten and that's your answer. Somewhere in the high thousands for most cows. In real life, of course, most of the meat on a cow would be diverted to more expensive cuts so no more than about a thousand tops could be made from any individual cow.
Somewhat modified by the fact that McDonald's hamburgers include meat from "retired" dairy cattle. I imagine that a larger percentage of those carcases goes straight into hamburger - you don't want a t-bone off of some dried out milk cow.

Cecil reported that McDonald's meat includes dairy cattle:

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_097b.html (third question).

Cecil also seems to agree with the "about 100 pounds of meat used for hamburger from one cow":

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_186.html
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-30-2006, 03:33 PM
UncleRojelio UncleRojelio is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ATX
Posts: 5,372
I guess it depends on how much sawdust they add.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-30-2006, 03:45 PM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
Vombatus Moderatus
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Montana, U.S.A.
Posts: 9,444
The average weight at slaughter varies significantly from breed to breed, but the a yield of 60-64% is pretty constant. Typical beef cattle around here are around 900-1200 pounds at auction time, so that would be roughly 540-770 pounds each.

As others mentioned already, pre-cooked weight of a McDonald's burger patty is 0.1 pounds. Assuming 100% beef, no additives, we're looking at 5,400 to 7,700 burgers per steer.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-30-2006, 08:24 PM
DaveRaver DaveRaver is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Great South Bay
Posts: 698
One thing to keep in mind though is that one hamburger contains meat from parts of many different cows, not just one. So the real question is how many cows from one burger?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-30-2006, 09:27 PM
spingears spingears is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRojelio
I guess it depends on how much sawdust they add.
No sawdust in cows.
The give milk not MickyDees but pleas to "eat mor chikn."
__________________
Do nothing simply if a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful
spingears
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-01-2006, 07:52 AM
SCSimmons SCSimmons is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Suddenly reminded of back when Jay Leno was funny. "McDonald's just announced that they served their one billionth burger last week. Can you imagine that? A billion burgers! They must have killed about six cows!"
__________________
-Christian
"You won't like me when I'm angry. Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources." -- The Credible Hulk
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.