Food Systems After Peak Oil: A Look at Cuba

Organopónicos provide much of the food in Cuba

Peak oil is fast approaching, a reality that is widely recognized by many scientific communities and governmental bodies. Many estimate that oil will peak by 2030, if it has not already. When this occurs, oil supplies will begin to decline, making it harder and more expensive to extract every drop. Our food system as it stands today is not prepared to gracefully withstand that decline.

As Roni Neff and colleagues illustrate in their article “Peak Oil, Food Systems, and Public Health,” recently published in the American Journal of Public Health as part of a supplement addressing peak petroleum, our globalized industrial food system relies heavily on oil at every step. Pesticides and herbicides are petroleum products. Farm machinery is manufactured with and runs on petroleum as an energy source. And transporting food extraordinary distances is only possible because of the oil that powers planes, ships and trucks. A large shock in oil prices would have an enormous impact on the current food system. Read More >

Now Can We Talk About Peak Oil?

It’s possible that we may all be ready to talk about peak oil now—especially if we frame it in terms of public health.

A recently published study on the public’s perception of peak oil has turned up some very interesting data about how Americans view the impact of high oil prices on public health. What’s so fascinating about the data is this: it’s not just those on the left who are worried. In fact, those most concerned about the health consequences of rising oil prices seem to be, in equal numbers, those on both the far right and far left of the political spectrum. Read More >