Calories and Economic Value

From: J. Goard (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 14:50:03 MDT

At 10:14 PM 6/6/00 -0500, altamira wrote:

>The predominate method of food production used these days requires an
input of several calories of fossil fuel for each calorie of food obtained
(including the manufacture, shipping, and operation of farm equipment & the
manufacture, shipping, and handling of fertilisers and pesticides, the
figure's between 3 and 5 calories input for every 1 calorie obtained--and I
apologize for not having references for these figures handy. I'm looking
through my stuff trying to find some).
>This is not good economics. It's a lousy technology...

Apologies in advance if I'm missing your point, but the above sounds like
sophistry. In terms of economic value, a calorie from fossil fuel doesn't
inherently equal a calorie from food, nor does a calorie from wheat
neccessarily equal a calorie from corn, etc. There's a lot of grass in my
back yard, full of calories, but I'd sure have trouble eating it. And even
if I could eat it, I'd sure have trouble enjoying it. I'd much rather
"waste" a bunch of calories by passing the grass through a deer and then
eating the deer.

Sure, perhaps food production could be done more efficiently, and maybe you
have an argument for that. But to merely compare calories between fossil
fuels and food is a really bad argument.

J. Goard
The Beyond outside us is indeed swept away, and the
great undertaking of the Enlightenment complete;
but the Beyond *inside* us has become a new heaven
and calls us to renewed heaven-storming.
                                      --Max Stirner

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