Sunday, April 16, 2006

add it up

Britain now 'eating the planet' via Energy Bulletin
The report, produced by Nef and the Open University's geography department, uses a number of examples that it says illustrate how resources are being wasted, including:
  • In 2004, the UK exported 1,500 tonnes of fresh potatoes to Germany, and imported 1,500 tonnes of the same product from the same country
  • Imported 465 tonnes of gingerbread, but exported 460 tonnes of the same produce
  • Sent 10,200 tonnes of milk and cream to France, yet imported 9,900 tonnes of the dairy goods from France
Nice article which demonstrates a problem with resource flow at the macroscopic level. Of course, one can evaluate this on a more personal level as well.

Average Joe Household:

  • Cheetos imported every year, 20 lbs. Cheetos which grow on that runty cheeto bush in the front yard, 1 lbs. (And it looks like it needs to be watered.)

  • Milk imported every year, 52 gallons. Aggregate milk production from domestic animals (dog and cat), 1 pint.

  • Beer imports, 6552 fluid ounces. Homemade apple cider, (oops,) 30 fluid ounces. Apple juice also imported.

  • There you have it. The list stretches on from there. Some say it is also possible to grow tomatos and raise chickens, but now we're talking crazy talk.


    At 11:58 AM, April 16, 2006, Blogger UNplanner said...

    I cannot begin to calculate how much energy is wasted in food production for the sake of "economic efficiency"

    Another example: I used to live in a county that had over 600K cows scattered across 1000 mega dairies. You'd think that my milk would be ultra local. Nope. Fresh milk is invariably shipped via tanker to Los Angeles or the bay area for "processing" and shipping it back out to my nearby grocery store for sale. Thats a nearly 500 mile round trip to travel the actual distance of 3 to 10 miles.

    At 5:18 PM, April 16, 2006, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

    It is kind of a tesseract of food distribution which will shortly collapse into a more grokkable form.


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