Join Tom Philpott of Mother Jones Magazine and Michael Bomford of the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems program of Kwantlen Polytechnic University for a rich, thought-provoking conversation about what the future of food might look like in a 100% renewable energy future. Hosted by Asher Miller from Post Carbon Institute.
While its slice of the overall energy pie may seem relatively low, the modern American food system is figuratively awash in fossil fuels. On average, roughly 12 calories of (mostly fossil fuel) energy go into producing just one calorie of the food that we consume. The use of fossil fuels in every phase of the food system—from fertilization, treatment, and harvesting to manufacturing, packaging, distribution, and preparation—has utterly transformed what we eat, how we eat, where we eat, and how our food is grown.
The transition to 100% renewable energy raises some profound questions for the future of our food system. For instance:
- What would a future farm without fossil fuels look like?
- How might the rest of the food system—transport, packaging, processing, food choices—evolve as we eliminate fossil fuels?
- What are the realistic opportunities for renewable energy in biomass-to-electricity or biofuels?
- What are the opportunities for capturing and storing carbon in soils, forests, and grazing land?
- Do GMOs have relevance for the food-energy transition, either as positive tools for change or as problems and threats?
- Where can we look for a useful example of either a complete post-fossil food system, or a system that has at least dealt already with some of the major issues?
Please join the live conversation on July 20. We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions, too.