Have you ever stopped to wonder how many calories are grown per acre of food? We usually think of yields in terms of bushels or some other physical and tangible measurement. But considering that we’re growing commodities for food, have you ever stopped to wonder how many calories we produce per acre?
In her article, In Defense of Corn The World’s Most Important Food Crop, Tamar Haspel wrote for The Washington Post an interesting article pointing out that corn is one of our cheapest sources of food in terms of calories per acre. Haspel attempts to counter the critics of growing so much corn by pointing out that its high yields of calories should be an important consideration when we consider how we will meet rising food demands.
There’s a long list of things we ought to be doing to help address the problem of feeding a growing population. Some, like reducing food waste, are a clear win. Others, like buying organic, are more questionable. But the math on crop productivity is persuasive. If you eat a plant that yields twice the number of calories per acre, you halve the amount of land required to feed you.