Energy Food

For more than a decade now researchers have shown the link between energy prices and food prices. At first sight this might seem surprising. In traditional or romantic associations with growing food, there is no link between the cost of energy and food production. Growing crops in your garden does not need more than sunlight, soil and water. Yes, that was long ago. Industrial production of food is heavily relying on energy to heat, feed and water plants or animals. Additionally, the supply chains have become far more distant, which increases the CO2 footprint even further. Therefore, it is no longer surprising that a great number of econometric studies confirm the close link of energy prices and subsequent pressure on food prices. This is not restricted to Europe, but has reached global contamination.
Enjoying seasonal local food is a double catch solution. You grow according to local weather conditions and use traditional conservation methods, if the crop is exceeding your demand at that time. Providing heating for animals to increase productivity or quality of products appears to be one of the most wasteful ways to further increase the spiralling up of energy and food prices.
In agricultural science there is a lot of research into the “energy intake” of animals to better grow or produce more milk etc. This is the expensive intermediary step using energy to produce energy intake for animals rather than humans. It is surprising that we take so many years to address these well-known linkages that have turned to serious problems after Russia’s war on Ukraine. Agriculture and farmers can be part of the solution rather than a problem themselves, if the link of energy consumption and food prices is taken seriously.