Energy in U.S. Food System

I wanted to highlight a recent post from Michael Bomford of Kentucky State University on his blog Energy Farms.  Michael notes that USDA data show that the U.S. Food System is INCREASING its use of energy per capita and per consumption of food.  In other words, if you have any concerns about issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel depletion, and the economic impact or security implications of importing most of our energy supplies, we are going backwards.

Here’s a telling graphic:

What this shows is that no single sector is to blame.  Basically the entire food system is still becoming more energy intensive, with the possible exception of retail and wholesale.

And graphics aren’t yet available for the 2002-2007 period, but apparently no improvement occurred.  According to Bomford:

The period between 2002 to 2007 likely saw another jump in food system energy use that far exceeded the increase observed in the rest of the US economy.

It is not a long article, and I encourage you to read the entire piece for further information.

On this blog, I’ll continue to explain how Farmland LP invests in the right direction, by developing lower energy input, yet highly productive, agroecological farms.