Home > Energy Efficiency, Environment > Increasing the efficiency of our food (and energy) supply

Increasing the efficiency of our food (and energy) supply

Food and energy are linked. Undeniably. No matter your point of view.

Bold statements?

Lets look at the evidence – we used energy to produce food and food to produce energy. Energy drives our tractors and irrigates our fields. We need food to live. But today’s food produces not only the energy needed by our muscles but also the fuel we use in our cars.

Without energy, our food would be produced using high levels of man power for low yields per hour input (lots of farm hands, not many acres). Instead, a small crew of people can oversee thousands of acres that are commonly seeded with genetically modified organisms (which also took energy to create). But, with these advances have come several significant problems including the negative environmental effects of energy (and fossil fuel) intensive farming techniques and how to continue increasing yield in the face of a decreasing fossil fuel supply.

Amanda Cuellar, author of the op-ed titled Food and Energy: The Future of U.S. Agriculture is optimistic about our ability to address these concerns. Ms. Cuellar discusses that the high yields and variety we enjoy in our agricultural sector are the product of decades of increasingly energy and fossil fuel intensive farming techniques. As environmental and supply concerns increase, we must increase the efficiency of our agricultural practices. Fortunately, we already have the required techniques and technologies achieve greater efficiency in our food supply chain.

To read Ms. Cuellar’s op-ed, visit the Baines Report website.

  1. March 31, 2010 at 11:35 am

    This is a good reason to bring the “Buy Local Foods” and the “Buy Local Fuels” campaigns together under one umbrella of efficiency.

    • March 31, 2010 at 3:15 pm

      Agreed – there are many opportunities to combine forces to tackle a related problem. This is a big one. Food and fuel industries working together could produce great efficiency gains and stability in these markets. I appreciate the “local” sentiment as well. Distributed generation and production is one of my favorite topics.

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