This game of investing energy towards the procurement of food is one that Homo sapiens – and all living organisms – have played for millennia.
Articles: EROEI of food production (4)
Years back a pair of planners, Branden Born and Mark Purcell, warned that there's nothing about smaller scale enterprises that make them inherently more efficient than their larger counterparts. With respect to on-farm energy intensity, they're certainly right.
A common criticism I receive in my analyses of the energy intensity of food production is that I’m comparing input and output energies that, despite both being measured in calories, are not comparable. I think it worthwhile to explore this critique in greater detail.
In this article I apply the idea of energy return on energy invested to food production in the United States, and discuss the relevance of energy efficiency to the local food movement.