Food & Farming Transition

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Food & Farming Transition

  1. 1. Horsepower in the US economy
  2. 2. US farm population & direct fuel consumption
  3. 3. Agriculture = Greatest Human Impact on Planet Erosion Salinization Deforestation Fertilizer runoff Loss of biodiversity Fresh water scarcity Pesticide pollution of water, soil
  4. 4. Average American “eats” 350 gallons of oil a year
  5. 5. Nitrogen fertilizer use in last 50 years
  6. 6. Energy used to produce & deliver 1 calorie of food
  7. 7. But oil is non-renewablewhen will we face supply problems?
  8. 8. Once upon a time...
  9. 9. Marion King HubbertGeophysicist at Shell LabTaught at MIT & UCLAForecast peak year of USoil production
  10. 10. Hubbert’s Peak
  11. 11. US discoveries and production
  12. 12. World oil discoveries
  13. 13. World crude oil production
  14. 14. Choose this image
  15. 15. or this image
  16. 16. e Goldilocks Effect Oil price Minimum oil needed for price likelydevelopment to trigger of new oil economic production recession: capacity: $80-100 $60-70
  17. 17. Past recessions and oil spikes
  18. 18. Relative oil and crop prices over last decade
  19. 19. Does peak oil mean peak food?
  20. 20. Elements of transition: relocalization
  21. 21. Energy efficiency of transport modes
  22. 22. Relocalization of Food SystemsPrioritize production sothat foods are mostlysourced from close by,with most long-distancetrade left to foods thatstore well for slow travel.
  23. 23. Number of farmers’ markets in the US
  24. 24. Elements of transition: energy from the farm
  25. 25. Total energy used by US farms
  26. 26. Relocalization of Food Systems Historically, agriculture a net source of energy Replace machines with human and animal powerd where practical Use renewable electricity (wind solar, micro-hydro) Biomass from ag waste
  27. 27. Elements of transition: soil fertility
  28. 28. US production of marketable phosphate rock
  29. 29. Soil fertility Nitrogen: cover croppingb w/ legumes (crop rotation) Polycultures (diverseb farming systems) Composting all food wastes Biochar (“terra preta”) Phosphorus: nutrient recycling
  30. 30. Elements of transition: diet
  31. 31. Diet Reduce packaged andb processed foods Reduce meat consumptionb (avoid CAFOs) Eat foods in season Eat locally De ne “food”
  32. 32. Elements of transition: farming systems
  33. 33. Farming systems Disadvantages of feed lotsb (CAFOs) Impacts from monocrops Feed less grain to livestock (grazing) Smaller scale of operations Urban: vertical, rooftop gardens
  34. 34. Elements of transition: farm work
  35. 35. Portion of population engaged in agriculture
  36. 36. World energy consumption & agriculture population
  37. 37. Millions of farmers needed Average age of US farmer:d ~60 % US population farming: <2% (<1% full-time) Cuba’s transition required: 15-25% people growing food What that means for US: >50 million producers in next 20 years
  38. 38. Elements of transition: seeds
  39. 39. Seeds Today’s seed industry isb centralized & oil dependent GM varieties extend theb trend Coordinated effort to identify open-pollinated varieties of food crops adapted to local soils and micro-climates Seed saving
  40. 40. Elements of transition: processing and distribution
  41. 41. Processing and distribution Community supportedb agriculture (CSAs) Farmers markets Local processing centers Strategic grain reserve Shift health regulations to support smaller producers
  42. 42. Policies requiredLand reformEducation (locale-based)Loans and other nancialincentivesHigher and stabilized foodpricesRevitalization of farmingcommunities and farmingculture
  43. 43. The Fo od & FaTransi ming rTowar tion daPost Ca rbon F ood Sy stem Post Carb on Decembe Institute r 2008
  44. 44. postcarbon.org

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