Early farmers would use solar energy to grow food, however, now-a-days we are primarily using fossil fuels that are harming our environment. There are about ten times more calories (fossil fuel energy) being used to grow food than the amount of calories we actually ingest into our bodies (food energy). This means that the way corporate farmers are growing food now, to create those plump chickens we eat, is greatly impacting the health of the environment and altering our natural diets as well. On top of the way the food is grown, much of the food grown by these farms travels a great distance to get to us, but sometimes it is unnecessary, like when we constantly import goods that we have in our own backyard! In researching the economics of traveling food I found this excellent video on PBS about food miles. This video dives into the topic of local farming and why buying local should always be our first choice when purchasing food to ensure that we have a sustainable food system for our environment, the economy, and our health.
I highly recommend watching the whole 25 minute video at:
Transport: Food Miles [Excerpt]