Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How much food can a state provide?

One of our readers directed us to this article. It is very interesting.

The basic idea is that including a small amount of meat or dairy may be the most efficient use of land, because fruit and vegetable production need high quality land, while animal production uses less prime farmland.

Yet the upshot is that even in an ideal world New York state could only supply 32% of its population agriculturally. That leaves over 12 million New Yorkers eating non-local food.

Realistically, there are many things we (as a society) will probably not give up. Bananas, coffee, sugar cane sugar, ect. But I have to think that we eat more then 32% of our food seasonally and locally. So there is a disconnect.

I would think Ohio might be able to do better then the 32% number, with more farmland and fewer mountains then New York, but still, a truly local food economy?

We had 20 full memberships this year (including both full and half shares). We were about half couples and about half small families, so figure 3 people on average. That is 60 people. Add in us for 62. Even at only .6 acres per person that is 37.2 acres to fully supply their needs eating a local diet. We only have 30! Now obviously, that is not realistic, because we only supply a part of our members diets, but still... How many acres would it take to supply your family, your community?

There is defiantly room for growth of the local food movement.


Anonymous said...

The dual threats of climate change and the coming energy crises necessitate more local food availability:


I wish I could grow more for my family on our little plot. Buying within Ohio (if not within 100 miles) is a start though at making sure that the resources are here in Ohio as we transition. In Cuba, when the oil embargo cut their petro down considerably, they began gardening every inch of countryside and city (including patios!). Some folks in Yellow Springs Ohio are exploring these issues:



csa_farmer_girl said...


You are so right. We need to move towards distributed systems of food production (and energy production.) Local food is so important, there is so far to go.

Thanks for the links I will review them...