Tyson Foods needs to feed over 2 billion animals, and they require between 9 and 10 million acres of farmland. To put it into perspective, that's nearly twice the size of New Jersey.
A study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists discovered that only 5% of this land, which is 408,000 acres, is enrolled in sustainable farming programs.
The research is based on calculations of the amount of corn and soybeans required to feed the 6 million head of cattle, 2 billion chickens, 22 million hogs.
Senior analyst with the organization's food and environment program, Karen Stillerman, said that large food companies have a lot of leverage over how farmland is being utilized and managed and that control can have extreme consequences for the environment and our health overall.
"The practices that are in place today contribute to soil erosion, water pollution, and extreme weather in surrounding areas and farmland as climate change continues." - Karen Stillerman.
To mitigate these risks, the nonprofit science advocacy group recommended that Tyson, being the nation's largest meat producing company, use its scale and influence to set high standards for the way farmers manage their land and help move U.S. agriculture in a positive direction.