Peak oil, food systems, and public health

Roni A. Neff, Cindy L. Parker, Frederick L. Kirschenmann, Jennifer Tinch, Robert S. Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Peak oil is the phenomenon whereby global oil supplies will peak, then decline, with extraction growing increasingly costly. Today's globalized industrial food system depends on oil for fueling farm machinery, producing pesticides, and transportinggoods. Biofuels production links oil prices to food prices. We examined food system vulnerability to rising oil prices and the public health consequences. In the short term, high food prices harm food security and equity. Over time, high prices will force the entire food system to adapt. Strong preparationandadvancein-vestment may mitigate the extent of dislocation and hunger. Certain social and policy changes could smooth adaptation; public health has an essential role in promoting a proactive, smart, and equitable transition that increases resilience and enables adequate food for all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1587-1597
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume101
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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