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We can’t afford to lose another acre of farmland

Currently, there are over 7 billion people on the face of our planet, predicted to hit the 9 billion mark by 2050 (census.gov).

What does this mean in terms of food demand? In order to produce the Standard American Diet (SAD), it’s estimated that the equivalent of two football fields (3.25 acres) are required per person per year—with much of this allocated to growing the crops to feed the animals. (Lappe, Frances Moore. Diet for a Small Planet. 1982, page 69).

In reality, if all seven billion people were consuming the Standard American Diet, we would actually need over two planet Earths to feed us all. (fao.org) Why? The FAO reports there are 7.9 billion acres of arable land in the world. If it takes 3.25 acres to feed one person the typical western diet, then our seven billion-plus people would require over 21 billion acres, or the equivalent of almost three planet Earths.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, “one U.S. farm feeds 166 people annually in the U.S. and abroad. The global population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion by 2050, which means the world’s farmers will have to grow [an astonishing] 70% more food than what is now produced.”

So, I ask: How are we supposed to meet these food demands when urban sprawl, industrial wind turbines and solar panels are gobbling up our very finite amount of quality farmland? Our production efficiencies are improving, but not at a rate to compensate for land lost to industrial wind/solar. We can’t afford to lose another acre of farmland because we feed the world. With the population booming in the next thirty years, there will come a sobering decision on if we should use our limited acres for food security or energy.

I encourage you to attend the Public Educational Forum on the Impacts of Industrial Wind and Solar Energy to be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16 at Supertel Inn in Creston. There are some great speakers lined up to provide solid information on how it may affect your farmland, property values, community and more. There will also be time for open discussion and to ask questions. Go to www.wind-watch.org or www.protectourlanducia.org to learn more about the impacts of industrial wind and solar on our communities.

Jeanne Jackson
Adams County Priceless Land Coalition