The Food System Is Utterly Dependent On Cheap, Crude Oil Essay

746 Words Sep 18th, 2014 3 Pages
Today the food system is utterly dependent on cheap, crude oil. Virtually all of the processes in the modern food system now rely upon this finite resource, which is nearing its depletion phase, or “peak”. In “Farm for the Future,” nature filmmaker and farmer, Rebecca Hosking demonstrated how many machines, diesel fuel run tractors, pesticides, insecticides, and other products of oil are essential to a farm. I found it particularly worrying when Hosking went through a store bought sandwich to illustrate her point. For the bread, as she mentions, farmers must plant the cereal using diesel run tractors to plow, till, and drill the cereal seeds into the earth. Next, similar machines must spray insecticide, herbicide, and fungicide on the crop to kill pests and fertilizer is spread to feed the plants. Later, tractors harvest the cereal and take them to be heated in oil run ovens and then they are driven, flown, or shipped for processing by a factory. I was amazed, obviously it takes considerable effort and oil to power a factory, but even organic farms consume oil rapidly to supply America with our food. I certainly did not realize the extent of fossil fuels, which are utilized to grow and ship my food. More than my amazement on agricultures’ dependence on oil, I think it astonishing how people see what current agricultural practices are doing as newly unsustainable, with the past being some sort of golden age. Humans have always lived in unsustainable ways, long before they…

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