The food industry burns nearly a fifth of all the petroleum consumed in the United States (about as much as automobiles do). Today it takes between seven and ten calories of fossil fuel energy to deliver one calorie of food energy to an American plate. And while it is true that organic farmers don’t spread fertilizers made from natural gas or spray pesticides made from petroleum, industrial organic farmers often wind up burning more diesel fuel than their conventional conterparts: in trucking bulky loads of compost across the countryside and weeding their fields, a particularly energy-intensive process involving extra irrigation (to germinate the weeds before planting) and extra cultivation.
—Michael Pollan - The Omnivore’s Dilemma:A Natural History of Four Meals (via thelipofinsanity)
All told, growing food organically uses about a third less fossil fuel than growing it conventionally, according to David Pimentel, though that savings disappears if the compost is not produced on site or nearby. Yet growing the food is the least of it: only a fifth of the total energy used to feed us is consumed on the farm; the rest is spent processing the food and moving it around.
Make no mistake, every intellectual concept, which each one of us finds merit with, is the result of a cultural information influence, one way or another. The environment is a self-perpetuating programming process, and just like designing a software program for your computer, each human being is, advertently and inadvertently, programmed into their world view. To continue the analogy, the human brain is a piece of hardware and the environment around you constitutes the programming team, which creates the values and perspective.
Every word you know has been taught to you one way or another, and thus, every concept and belief you have is a result of this same influence. Jacque Fresco once asked me, “How much of you is you?” The answer, of course, is kind of a paradox, for either nothing is me, or everything is me, when it comes to the information I understand and act upon.
Information is a serial process, meaning the only way that a human being can come up with any idea is through taking in dependent information that allows that idea to be realized. We appear to be culturally programmed from the moment we come into this world to the moment we die, and I’m not going to drill in it much more than that.” —Peter Joseph (via zeitgeistmovement)