Peak fertilizer?

All the recent fuss over ethanol made from corn, etc, seems to completely ignore the fact that petroleum products are used to GROW the corn in the first place – and need to be factored in to the final cost of the end product. Certain biofuels like methane, produced from the digestion of post-consumer organic waste, make great sense – but to divert actual food and good fertile land to energy production when there are better alternatives out there, does not.

Andrew Leonard in his blog “How the World Works” adds a new thought to that discussion:

…The growth of energy crops is in part directly attributable to rising energy prices. But the demand for synthetic fertilizer to nurture those energy crops requires the consumption of even more fossil fuel, thus likely pushing energy prices further, and creating even more demand for energy crops…

What would our food culture be like if organic agriculture eventually became cheaper than conventional?


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