Food for thought — and stats to crunch

Great article in The New York Times Magazine by Michael Pollan about sustainable agriculture and how it fits into the ecosystem of finance, health and national security. It’s addressed to the Prez-Elect, written in letter form. Link here.

And some food-for-thought stats from his article here:

  • 19 percent — the amount of fossil fuel that the food system uses, which, after cars, is the largest fossil fuel consumer in our economy.
  • Four  — Number of the top 10 chronic diseases in the U.S. linked to diet.
  • 30 — number of nations that have experienced food riots in the past several months.
  • 190 pounds — the amount of meat that the average American eats each year, which translates to 1/2 pound each day.
  • 830 million — acres of farm and pasture land in the U.S.
  • 14 percent — amount of food that Americans toss
  • 18 percent — amount of greenhouse gases attributiable to world livestock
  • 5,000 gallons — amount of water it takes to produce a pound of feedlot beef
  • 40 percent — amount of the world’s grain production that is feed to animals
  • 11 percent — amount of corn and soybean crops that become biofuels
  • 2 million — number of farmers in the U.S.
  • 300 million — number of people those farmers feed
  • 2,880 — acres of farmland that is lost to development each day in the U.S.
  • 55 — the average age of a U.S. farmer
  • 4,700 — number of farmers’ markets in the U.S.
  • 1,500 — number of community-supported farms in the U.S.
  • One in three — the number of Y2K-borne American children who will develop Type II diabetes



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