Crunching the numbers to show the environmental cost of a hamburger isn't easy, and we should know. iStockphoto.com hide caption toggle caption iStockphoto.com The Salt How Much Does A Hamburger Cost? That Depends August 20, 2012 There are many informational graphics demonstrating the environmental impact of beef consumption. But a lot of the numbers just don't match up. As it turns out, calculating what goes into (and comes out of) a cow is not an exact science.