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True fact on food

Oilprice.com

In every calorie of food that comes to your table are hidden 10 calories of fossil fuels, making modern agriculture and food delivery the first type in history that consumes more energy than it delivers

That doesn't sound very sustainable.

Comments

Submitted by lambert on

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by hipparchia on

actually, i was questioning whether your source was reliable and whether your fact was truly a fact. i did some looking around for data, and did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, and it looks like that 10:1 ratio is probably about right.

interesting to see where the energy is used in the process -

from http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/136418/err94_1_.pdf

Submitted by hipparchia on

well, i have no clue why the picture doesn't show up, other than that photobucket appears to hate me today.

the chart is on page 20 of the pdf - Figure 7 Change in U.S. energy consumptionby stage of production, 1997 to 2002

Submitted by lambert on

I wonder what "home" is. Refrigeration? And interesting, the upward trend....

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by hipparchia on

they are now; they weren't earlier.

I wonder what "home" is.

you could always read the paper and find out. the short answer is that 'home' includes preparation and storage, so cooking, refrigeration, etc. the gasoline used to get to the store and back to buy food was factored in too, but i forget if that was considered part of 'home' or part of 'transport.'

as for the increase, the graph is of total energy use by everyone in the whole country, not per capita, so at least some of the increase will be just because the population has grown. note too, that the black dots show the average annual % change for each sector, with home, transport, agriculture and packaging all averaging around 4% per year growth in energy use while processing and food services averaged about 8% per year growth in energy use over the same time frame and wholesale/retail actually DECREASED slightly.