Category Archives: Food

Energy in the Food System uses 19% of all energy consumed in the USA. Pimentel 2008

Reducing Energy Inputs in the US Food System David Pimentel & Sean Williamson & Courtney E. Alexander & Omar Gonzalez-Pagan & Caitlin Kontak & Steven E. Mulkey. Hum Ecol (2008) 36:459–471 [some excerpts below. Clearly we’ve got to start reducing … Continue reading

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Energy in Food System. March 2010. USDA

Energy Use in the U.S. Food System 2010. P. Canning et al. USDA. Economic Research Report Number 94 Another great review of this article is Beyond Food Miles by Michael Bomford, a research scientist and extension specialist at Kentucky State … Continue reading

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Writing on the wall for prime farmland. Years of irrigation have taken toll on San Joaquin Valley.

Writing on the wall for prime farmland. Years of irrigation have taken toll on San Joaquin Valley. Carolyn Lochhead. March 24, 2014. San Francisco Chronicle. Decades of irrigation have leached salts and toxic minerals from the soil [in the San … Continue reading

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Overshoot and dieoff : humans beyond carrying capacity

Land transformation by humans: A Review. Roger. Hooke, José F. Martín-Duque. 2012. Geological Society of America Prognosis for the Future Looking ahead a few decades, land suitable for agriculture will likely continue to diminish as urban areas expand soil is … Continue reading

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Food yields lower: climate change, water, soil erosion, weed killers aren’t working…….

An excerpt from: Danger ahead: prioritizing risk avoidance in political and economic decision-making by Brian Davey. Aug 25, 2011. Fleeing Vesuvius If runaway climate change or the Energy Winters predicted by peak-oil theorists are not gloomy enough for you — … Continue reading

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The Nitrogen Bomb – fossil-fueled fertilizers keep 5.5 billion people alive

This article explains why the carrying capacity was 1.5 billion people until natural-gas based fertilizers were invented.  As natural gas declines, so too will human population. DISCOVER Vol. 22 No. 4 April 2001. By David E. Fisher & Marshall Jon … Continue reading

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We’ve taken over too much of the planet for pasture and crops

In the article “Primeval planet: What if humans had never existed?” by Christopher Kemp in NewScientist, these charts of INCREASING INTENSITY of Pasture and crop use from 5000 BC until today show are laying waste to the ecosystems that support … Continue reading

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Electric Agriculture. Turning electricity into food.

Agriculture is one of the main users of fossil fuels in our society.  As fossil fuels decline, food prices will increase.  How can we plant and harvest crops without fossil-fueled equipment? Ugo Bardi, et al., discuss the use of renewable … Continue reading

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Energy cost of food

Eric Garza estimates we use 15 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of food, which is about 1.2 gallons of gasoline equivalent to produce the food we eat each day. As fossil fuels decline, if we don’t … Continue reading

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Big Agriculture is pissing away our topsoil

Donald Carr.  14 Apr 2011. Big Ag is pissing away our nation’s rich topsoil. Grist.org Bad federal policy and intensifying storms are washing away the rich dark soils in the Midwest that made this country an agricultural powerhouse and that … Continue reading

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