AgChat Open Topics How can you turn a negative ag news story into a positive conversation with others? Is portable, electric, tether, or hardwire best for grazing? For which situation/acreage is which most natural? These and other open topics wer part of this Agchat convo.
There is a prevalent consumer view that local food consumes less energy. On the surface this view sounds logical. Food from California must cost more in energy than food from Granny Smith Farms 15 miles away. However, what is not usually thought about is energy usage in food is not just about transportation. Looking at the total system view of food reveals that choosing local food may not actually have a lower energy, or carbon, foot print.
The USDA published a study, Energy Use in the U.S. Food System, that looked acoss the whole ecosystem of food, from the agricultural producers to kitchen preparation and consumption by consumers.
How food travels is far more important than how far it goes. Big boats, like freighters and barges, can bring vast quantities of food thousands of miles using less energy per ton than a small truck or car uses to transport smaller amounts of food a few miles. Over land, freight trains are more energy efficient than big trucks, which are more efficient than small trucks.
The industry show season is quickly approaching as we gear up for the International Poultry Expo and Scientific Symposium in Atlanta. That show is co-located with the American Feed Industry Association International Feed Expo and conference at the World Congress Center. That’s a combination that makes sense and has contributed to attendance.
I attended the Energy Security as National and Economic Security forum sponsored by IUPUI’s Lugar Center for Renewable Energy and the Pew Environmental Group, where Senator Lugar and others made the pitch for energy as a national security issue. What this position does is allow for a different type of bill position to be created that will aim "toward long-term energy transformation".
Lugar speech on energy security and climate change
Following is the text of a speech by U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar this morning at the Energy Security as National and Economic Security forum sponsored by IUPUI’s Lugar Center for Renewable Energy and the Pew Environmental Group in Indianapolis, Indiana, September 21, 2009. Today is the first day of Global Climate Week.
Thank you, Mayor Ballard, for your kind introduction and for your important leadership on energy issues in Indianapolis. I also want to thank Chancellor Charles Bantz, Dr. Andrew Hsu, and the entire team at the Lugar Center for Renewable Energy for hosting us today. The Lugar Center is at the forefront of research and education on energy issues. It is a catalyst for the ground-breaking collaboration of Hoosier universities, private industry, government, and our national labs.
The work of the Lugar Center and other energy research endeavors is vital because the United States is confronted by a cluster of national security threats that arise from our economic and cultural reliance on fossil fuels.
First, our immediate dependence on oil, a large percentage of which is controlled by hostile or unstable regimes concentrated in the volatile Middle East, increases our vulnerability to natural disasters, wars, and terrorist attacks that can disrupt the lifeblood of the international economy. It also means that we are sending hundreds of billions of dollars each year to authoritarian regimes. This revenue stream emboldens oil-rich governments and enables them to entrench corruption, fund anti-Western demagogic appeals, and support terrorism.