22.4% Increase in Food Related Energy Use in just 5 years


With modern technology being the saviour of our food supply as our population demands more food, we are also seeing an increase in the amount of energy used for each unit of food produced. Only with continued cheap energy can we expect to see continued increase of supply along with increase in demand. This report shows that we are becoming ever more dependent on cheap energy to keep food in our bellies. With energy prices tipped to increase again in the near future it makes you wonder what this will do to food prices and availability. Food for thought.



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Comment by Kiwi Lover on September 5, 2010 at 11:10am
That is very true, Sheri. Processing and packing accounts for a large amount of energy. The less we process, the less we pack, ie, the more we eat fresh fruits and vegetables, so, even the less we need to prepare our food before eating it, the most efficient in energy we will be, and by the way the healthier we will be as well as a consequence of it... which is probably not a bad thing either :)
Comment by Sheri on September 5, 2010 at 9:20am
It was a bit of a shock to me the last time I went off island to a Trader Joe's food market. Trader Joe's, at one time, was the place to go for fresh organics. As I went down the isles just about everything being sold was pre-made meals with the large top rows being dedicated to candy. There was very little "fresh veggies and fruits" left in the place.
A lot of energy goes into making those pre-made boxed meals. Farming & harvesting, shipping harvest to the food processors, shipping the product to the meal makers and then packaging and reshipping (refrigerated) to other regions and then reshipping again to the markets they supply. Add in the whole process the creation of the decorated box. It would be interesting to follow a harvest from the field to the box to the table just to get a real idea what goes on.
We live in societies of "I want it right now". People work so hard in their jobs to survive they get hooked into the quick-easy-grab-a-box-meal. So many people don't take the time to plan their healthy meals or put aside the time for preparing them. I was taught by my Mom that preparing food is truly a ritual and you are feeding your temple.
Families/people, need to slow down. Parents need to spend time raising the awareness and teaching their children the "value" of preparing good fresh healthy food. Many need to raise their awareness and change our programing from our parents. We use to grow gardens and supported our local farmers and we use to have good food values - before the invention of refrigerated trucking. The fast food industry on the heels of refrigerated trucking, is a thief, it steals our health, our wealth and our resources. Don't support the thief. Don't buy their products.
Comment by Kiwi Lover on September 1, 2010 at 7:18pm
Would be good to understand what type of food requires more energy to be produced / supplied. I would not be surprised to see numbers indicating that the meat and dairy industries are responsible for the largest part of this increase.
Comment by Wendy on August 30, 2010 at 11:19am
Food for thought indeed! My hope is food prices increasing will bring us back to stronger communities, supporting each other "Ooooby" , the reality is there is going to be a lot of people who struggle through this change perhaps because they cant see the way out. It has been great to see communities like Ooooby, and farmers markets in the latest mags offering alternative solutions.
Comment by James Samuel on August 26, 2010 at 7:22pm
That's a big chunky increase - 22% more than 5 years ago! This supports what I've been saying for a while - that Ooooby is about local food and almost as a sideline, it's about getting food to the table more efficiently using less energy - there's the opportunity!

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