Mr. Ali Shahrukh Pracha 's Profile
I am currently a freelance lecturer and development consultant. My work currently focuses on development themes, but my academic interest and teaching revolves around energy and the environment. I have several years of undergraduate-level teaching and research experience. This experience and love for teaching are a direct result of my time as a Fulbright scholar.
Food and Energy
The purpose of this presentation is to draw attention to the relationship between food and energy, a concept often inadequately explained in energy studies, and indeed, a concept of which all citizens should have a basic understanding.
How are food and energy linked to one another? The relationship is a tenuous one and people may not always fully understand it, given their exposure to modern food distribution networks. Farming systems require numerous energy inputs, including seed, fertilizer and pesticide, diesel, food processing, and animal feed. The problem is that students and the public at large assess food by the amount of money they pay for it. Quantifying the input energetically and comparing it to the final energy value of the food may well tell a very different story. When applied to food, the concept of energy return on investment states that foods cannot be considered energetically feasible unless the energy return is greater than the energy input. This means that many foods, especially non-staples, require more energy to grow, capture, and harvest than the final energy delivered to the consumer . Non-renewable resources such as oil, natural gas and coal drive economic activity, including and especially, food production and/or import, the per capita availability of which help define food security. Obvious indicators include food availability and access, factors that exist because of enormous energy inputs.
I intend to demonstrate the relationship between food and energy using published research and figures. My purpose is to show teachers why students must be exposed to this sort of holistic thinking from an early age and how such connections play an important role in today’s highly complex and mechanized world.
Hall, Charles A. S., Cutler J. Cleveland, and Robert Kaufmann. 1986. Energy and resource quality: The ecology of the economic process. New York: Wiley.
Mr. Ali Shahrukh Pracha
Lecturer / Freelance Development Consultant
State University of New York