What It Takes to Make That Meal

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Science  12 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5967, pp. 809
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5967.809

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Food security and energy security. They are increasingly becoming two sides of the same coin. Many experts predict that, over the long term, one can't be achieved without the other. In part, that's because increasing yields has traditionally meant using more fossil fuels—for fertilizers, pesticides, mechanization, storage, and transport. Now, the push is on to find ways to produce food with as little energy—and greenhouse gas emissions—as possible. As a start, researchers have been taking a close look at just how much energy it takes to produce even seemingly similar foods. The conclusion: Food choices can have a significant impact on energy use in agriculture.