The energy cost of eating

Like any other animal or plant on the planet, we are a link on the food chain. One way of looking at the food chain is in terms of energy. Plants get energy from the sun. Animals get energy from other plants and animals, etc. Well, it turns out plants are more efficient at acquiring energy than organisms higher up on the food chain. The higher up you go, the less energy efficiency there is.

But, when we consider humans, there is another layer to the story. We do not go out into the bush, make a kill and begin feasting. The process of creating, storing, and transporting our food significantly adds to the energy required to eat the food on our kitchen tables.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating meat as much as the next guy, but the truth is… eating meat is a gigantic waste of energy, and a major drain on vital resources.

To give you an idea, here’s an interesting article which frames the food energy around the debate of paper vs plastic. IN other words what decisions can you make in your lifestyle choices that will have the most impact on saving energy and resources?


Also, see an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, discussing some of the problems with the livestock industry

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