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The Oil Intensity Of Food

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Guest LongBlackKilt

Grist

...Packaging is also surprisingly energy-intensive, accounting for 7 percent of food system energy use. It is not uncommon for the energy invested in packaging to exceed that in the food it contains. Packaging and marketing also can account for much of the cost of processed foods. The U.S. farmer gets about 20 percent of the consumer food dollar, and for some products, the figure is much lower. As one analyst has observed, “An empty cereal box delivered to the grocery store would cost about the same as a full one.â€...

You know it makes [dismal] science!

It's pants, man.

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They used to run stories about cornflakes boxes having more nutirients in than the cornflakes. These days they fortify both cereals and bread don't they?

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They used to run stories about cornflakes boxes having more nutirients in than the cornflakes. These days they fortify both cereals and bread don't they?

Processed food is mostly crap, yes. Wholegrain seems a rare species...

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http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/...eating_oil.html

In their refined study, Giampietro and Pimentel found that 10 kcal of exosomatic energy are required to produce 1 kcal of food delivered to the consumer in the U.S. food system. This includes packaging and all delivery expenses, but excludes household cooking).20 The U.S. food system consumes ten times more energy than it produces in food energy. This disparity is made possible by nonrenewable fossil fuel stocks.

Assuming a figure of 2,500 kcal per capita for the daily diet in the United States, the 10/1 ratio translates into a cost of 35,000 kcal of exosomatic energy per capita each day. However, considering that the average return on one hour of endosomatic labor in the U.S. is about 100,000 kcal of exosomatic energy, the flow of exosomatic energy required to supply the daily diet is achieved in only 20 minutes of labor in our current system. Unfortunately, if you remove fossil fuels from the equation, the daily diet will require 111 hours of endosomatic labor per capita; that is, the current U.S. daily diet would require nearly three weeks of labor per capita to produce.

So today it takes 20mins to feed one person, sometime after tomorrow it will take 3 weeks! When they look back and see 800lbs people they will weep and starve. :ph34r:

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It just goes to show you how much is wasted by big business, take a carrot from africa, for every 1 cal eaten, it takes 66 cal to get it here. Buying a house will be the least of your worries. :lol: It will make global warming look like a wet fart.

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There was an article in New Scientist a while back talking about this. Apparently it takes 1600 calories to make a 1 calorie soft drink. That's madness on a grand scale.

Most people still don't get that the entire economy is built on wasting energy, as energy scarcity increases the economy MUST contract.

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“An empty cereal box delivered to the grocery store would cost about the same as a full one.â€...

That's not very suprising at all. Nor is the lack of sources or anything explaining the figures

and how they relate to each other.

"Lester R. Brown is founder and president of Earth Policy Institute in Washington, D.C."

Ah right.

Edit:

It's like mechanically retrieved meat, the supply chain in the UK is up in the 90%+ for food

to table, in Northern india or any part they lose double or triple what we do from poor chain

management. Hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat will be rotting away right now in the

poorset parts of the world, meat will be spoling and the byproducts like pigs trotters will be

lost to the system.

In the UK these get frozen and shipped straight to China, one of our biggest exports to that

country.

Edited by Tom Peters

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This is ******** propaganda as it a lot of global warming and peak oil scare stories.

Lets take some facts.

About 7B people on earth each using up some 100 watts of power, thus 700 billion watts.

A barrel of oil contains 6,100,000,000 jouls. We produce about 85m barrels a day or just under 1000 barrels a second. So that is 6,100 billion watts from oil.

So for starts, if every drop of oil went into producing food then we would have a max of just under 9 joules of oil for 1 joule of food. But we do not use 100% of our oil for food. In all likelihood we use less than 10% of the oil for food which means we are at a ratio of some 1:1. ie it takes less than 1 joule of oil to make 1 joule of food on average.

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This is ******** propaganda as it a lot of global warming and peak oil scare stories.

Lets take some facts.

About 7B people on earth each using up some 100 watts of power, thus 700 billion watts.

A barrel of oil contains 6,100,000,000 jouls. We produce about 85m barrels a day or just under 1000 barrels a second. So that is 6,100 billion watts from oil.

So for starts, if every drop of oil went into producing food then we would have a max of just under 9 joules of oil for 1 joule of food. But we do not use 100% of our oil for food. In all likelihood we use less than 10% of the oil for food which means we are at a ratio of some 1:1. ie it takes less than 1 joule of oil to make 1 joule of food on average.

Mostly in transporting fresh food (refrigerated trucks from spain to deliver cucumbers / tomatoes) - the answer is local supply chains - Cuba being a good example.

My allotment and garden are producing 500 - 2000 kcals a day. Its time consuming but not that energy demanding.

Today I harvested 1kg of peas - 600kcal. The time is in the shelling

2kg of courgettes - 400 Kcal

500g of kale - 150kcal

1kg of potatoes - 600 Kcal

50 grams of tasty strawberries!

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This is ******** propaganda as it a lot of global warming and peak oil scare stories.

Lets take some facts.

About 7B people on earth each using up some 100 watts of power, thus 700 billion watts.

A barrel of oil contains 6,100,000,000 jouls. We produce about 85m barrels a day or just under 1000 barrels a second. So that is 6,100 billion watts from oil.

So for starts, if every drop of oil went into producing food then we would have a max of just under 9 joules of oil for 1 joule of food. But we do not use 100% of our oil for food. In all likelihood we use less than 10% of the oil for food which means we are at a ratio of some 1:1. ie it takes less than 1 joule of oil to make 1 joule of food on average.

It's more accurate to talk about eating fossil fuels, not eating oil, otherwise you miss all the natural gas used to make fertiliser and presumably for other food-production/processing tasks as well.

Clearly a lot of food is produced in less developed nations with minimal fossil fuel input. The "10:1" ratio came from a USA study, iirc -- where people also consume rather more than amount of food suggested by the 100W requirement.

Edited by huw

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Guest sillybear2
There was an article in New Scientist a while back talking about this. Apparently it takes 1600 calories to make a 1 calorie soft drink. That's madness on a grand scale.

Yeah, but if you recycle the drinks can everything will be fine :rolleyes:

We cannot move "beyond oil", there is nothing like it on earth, it's used for everything and is all around you, once our primary fossil energy resources are finished so are we.

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There was an article in New Scientist a while back talking about this. Apparently it takes 1600 calories to make a 1 calorie soft drink. That's madness on a grand scale.

Most people still don't get that the entire economy is built on wasting energy, as energy scarcity increases the economy MUST contract.

Here it is

The Pimentels also reported that producing the fizzy drink inside a 12-ounce (350-millilitre) aluminium can takes about 2065 kilojoules, while the can itself requires a whopping 6690 kJ. So if you are in a bar or a cafeteria, getting your drink delivered on tap into a glass or even a paper cup is going to be a better option. And when you are out and about, plastic bottles are a more energy-efficient form of container than a can. A recent study found that on average even the latest lightweight aluminium cans consume more than three times the energy of plastic bottles for each litre of drink they deliver.

http://www.science.org.au/nova/newscientist/061ns_001.htm

I'm not going to go up against the New Scientist here, but they don't half talk some implied shit.

What is the production cost of water, it's all we drink after all.

Edited by Tom Peters

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In Finland the deposit for an aluminum can is about 50 eurocents.

40 eurocents for a large plastic bottle and 20 eurocents for a small plastic bottle.

20 eurocents for a small glass bottle.

This encourages people to return them to the shop for recycling.

What's the deposit bottle situation in the UK these days?

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In Finland the deposit for an aluminum can is about 50 eurocents.

40 eurocents for a large plastic bottle and 20 eurocents for a small plastic bottle.

20 eurocents for a small glass bottle.

This encourages people to return them to the shop for recycling.

What's the deposit bottle situation in the UK these days?

Compared to much of northern Europe the UK's record on recycling is abysmal.

I remember deposit bottles up to the early eighties but not since.

Back when everyone had their milk delivered daily the glass bottles were of course reused indefinitely, but these days everyone goes for the card/plastic things from Tossco.

Makes me a bit embarrassed to be British really.

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I'm almost afraid to ask but...

...are fuel crops are cultivated in broadly the same manner and therefore also oil-intensive? :ph34r:

http://www.theprairiestar.com/articles/200...ield/farm12.txt

When it comes to fuel production, biodiesel is the most efficient form of alternative fuels, according to Johnson.

In terms of gasoline and diesel fuel production, for each calorie expended in the extraction and manufacture of these products we recover 0.8 calories of energy.

Ethanol production returns 1.1 calories for each calorie expended,

but for biodiesel, for each calorie expended 3.5 to 5.2 calories of energy are recovered.

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Compared to much of northern Europe the UK's record on recycling is abysmal.

I remember deposit bottles up to the early eighties but not since.

Back when everyone had their milk delivered daily the glass bottles were of course reused indefinitely, but these days everyone goes for the card/plastic things from Tossco.

Makes me a bit embarrassed to be British really.

What %-age of our fossil fuels do you think are used in packaging?

The truth is that recycling is minor and has almost zero impact.

The big fossil fuel users are

heating your home

driving your car

using electricity

Do you do or use any of those? Then be ashamed of yourself according to your values.

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Compared to much of northern Europe the UK's record on recycling is abysmal.

I remember deposit bottles up to the early eighties but not since.

Back when everyone had their milk delivered daily the glass bottles were of course reused indefinitely, but these days everyone goes for the card/plastic things from Tossco.

Makes me a bit embarrassed to be British really.

I think for aluminum cans to go into a landfill is foolishly wasteful. Considering the energy that

goes into glass bottles it's also unnecessarily wasteful for them to go into landfills.

The deposits seriously encourage people to return them to the shop where each shop has

a bottle/can machine which reads what you put in and issues a receipt when you are done.

A bag full of large plastic bottles can come to a few euros.

Every little counts and a good system country-wide saves a lot each year.

I'm old enough to remember when glass bottle deposits were common in the UK.

Somehow it has got worse there.

I was surprised here to see plastic bottles with sizable deposits. But I take them back

to the shop.

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Guest eight
Back when everyone had their milk delivered daily the glass bottles were of course reused indefinitely, but these days everyone goes for the card/plastic things from Tossco.

That Tetrapak guy isn't a bazzilionaire for nothing you know.

eight

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I'm almost afraid to ask but...

...are fuel crops are cultivated in broadly the same manner and therefore also oil-intensive? :ph34r:

Most crop-based biofuels don't make any sense whatsoever..

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Cheers for the link. I have had the impression that "biodiesel" can cover a wide range of sources. Some german guy had supposedly come up with a process and a prototype machine for turning dead cats (and presumably other biomass) into fuel for his car. I believe it involved heating the "stuff" up to several hundred degrees centigrade (no major surprise) and employed a catalyst to help things along. Isn't another source the waste from abattoirs that is usually incinerated at vast expense? I believe there was some scheme in the US to start mixing such-sourced fuels into normal forecourt diesel.

If the process is self sustaining (always state your assumptions :) ) you could replace a process that consumes significant amounts of fossil fuels with one fuelled only by the matter being sterilised that outputs sellable fuel. Everyone's a winner (except the Saudis).

Can biodiesel be processed into plastics?

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