R.J. Ruppenthal  @  ChelseaGreen

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Huge energy increase in US food production

Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 11:06 am by R.J. Ruppenthal

Energy used by the US food system was responsible for 80% of the increase in American energy use for the most recent period surveyed, according to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture. Apparently, this means we are becoming more dependent on food processing and farm mechanization. Americans are eating higher and higher on the food chain. As resources become increasingly scarce, this is not a good trend.

The following post provides an excellent summary of this report (and to some extent, its importance).  I like the idea it mentions of listing energy consumption on packaged foods, but unfortunately it's more likely we'll have another oil price spike before we get around to that type of legislation/regulation. As soon as oil prices shoot up again, your wallet will tell you which food choices are most energy intensive, because they'll suddenly be doubling and tripling in price. That will force us back to basics, but based on the trends indicated in this report (not least of which is the marked decrease in farm labor), we'll have a harder fall than we would have had a few years ago.



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