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 >