Absurd Energy Imbalances

on Mar 5, 2010

We are in the midst of two energy crises. The strange part is that in one crisis, we are running out of energy, while in the other, we have too much energy. The former, obviously, is the global crisis involving oil and renewable energy and yada yada yada. We’ve heard it a million times. We’ve also heard of the other energy crisis as frequently, though not worded as such. It’s the country’s (and beyond’s) ever-growing weight problem! Our fat deposits are really just [very large] pockets of stored energy. There’s constant talk on burning more calories as if it’s an incessant problem that never ends (in a way, it is).

Isn’t it completely outrageous that we face one problem regarding a very limited supply of energy alongside another problem with a seemingly endless supply of energy? Perhaps a good solution would be to wire stationary bikes to the electrical grid and have overweight people pedal all day. I’d advise against that, not because it’s silly (I personally enjoy such silly things) but because that would be approaching the problem backwards.

Rather, there is a way to partially alleviate both problems since a lot of energy usage goes into our food system. Without a doubt, we need to reduce the amount of food produced as the country creates about twice the calories needed by people (some of this is wasted or thrown out but quite a lot ends up in people’s stomach). We ended up with this predicament because players in the food industry have an interest in getting us to buy more and more of their products. And this isn’t an easy problem to tackle as there’s no way to swim up the raging river of interest. Still, it’s something that can go a long way in bettering our health and reducing our demand on energy.