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Is Your Food Rich In C02?

Posted by Tom Rawls on May 02, 2013
Tags: green tips

Michael Pollan, the author known for his thoughtful and lively writing on food, has a new book out, Cooked. Apparently we need to change the way we cook if we want to survive. Said differently, we need to cook for ourselves and not have others do it for us.

The point of this is not just for our health, but because of climate change.

According to Pollan, it takes approximately 10 calories of fossil energy to produce one calorie of processed food. There is stark cognitive dissonance in that fact. The sun fuels animal and plant growth, but we rely on prehistoric sun (fossil fuel) to produce our food today.

Before World War II (again according to Pollan) one calorie of energy from fossil fuel yielded 2.3 calories of food. Back then, the balance of the equation looked reasonable. Perhaps sustainable.

The worst culprit in the fuel/food calorie imbalance is meat. Probably you have heard about this before. On average, we use 55 calories of energy from fossil fuels to get one calorie of beef. (This is according to Pollan)

Pollan isn’t preaching vegetarianism. He’s say it’s time for us—men and women—to get back in the kitchen and do for ourselves.

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