Re: Some startling statistics...(Global Food Production)



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>	The other day, I was leafing through "Ho-Ping: Food For
>Everyone", by Medard Gabel & The World Game Laboratory -
>[(c)1976,1980] and came across the section on hydroponics. This was
>actually the same few pages that inspired me to begin researching
>hydro way back when...
>
>[Please note that the term "currently" refers to the time of the
>book's publication, (i.e. - 20-25 years ago) so population has grown a
>bit. The other data should scale in a similar fashion.]
>
>	I was looking, because I had quoted a figure to a friend, and
>wanted to make sure I had my numbers right. I had told him that,
>according to figures in that book, (based on NASA experiments and
>others), that we could produce enough food for everyone on the planet
>by using hydroponics, and with a fantastically smaller amount of area
>than currently used for farming. It was this "fantastically smaller"
>number that I wanted to check on.
>
>	See, I seemed to remember it as being only 1.6% of our
>currently used farmland, which seemd a bit small. Turns out I was
>wrong, and the actual figure was 0.4% of our farmland usage!
>
>	The NASA figures state that you can grow enough food to feed a
>person indefinitely (i.e. - provide for all their nutritional needs)
>in 153 square feed of hydroponics setup. This includes about 10% space
>for attendant machinery. 
>
>	The book then went on to say that this meant that the
>"current" (20 years ago) planetary population could thus be fed on
>5.66 million hectares of hydroponics. 
>
>	I got out a calculator and some conversion charts to try and
>figure out what this equaled in English units, and in some comparitive
>sized areas, to put it into perspective. Here's what I found:
>
>1 acre    =  .4047 hectare
>1 hectare = 2.471  acres
>
>5.66 million hectares =  5,660,000 * (2.471) acres
>   of hydroponics     = 13,985,860 acres of hydroponics
>
>1 sqare mile = 640 acres
>
>	Thus, we could feed the entire world in:
>
>13,985,860.0/640 or 21,852.9 square miles of hydroponics.
>
>
>	To put this into perspective, here are the relative sizes of
>several states in the US:
>
>New Jersey	  7,836 square miles
>West Virginia	 24,181 square miles
>Maine		 33,215 square miles
>Pennsylvania	 45,333 square miles
>New YorK	 49,576 square miles
>Iowa		 56,280 square miles
>California	158,693 square miles
>
>	So, essentially, we could feed the entire planet with about
>the area of West Virginia, just by moving to a more efficient method
>of farming.
>
>	Some food for thought. And ammunition for the next time you
>hear someone talking about world hunger, and how "there's not enough
>to go around"...
>
>Pat
>           ___________________Think For Yourself____________________
>           Patrick G. Salsbury - http://www.sculptors.com/~salsbury/
>      Check out the Reality Sculptors Project: http://www.sculptors.com/
>           ---------------------------------------------------------
>                The only smart thing to do is to get smarter.
>                                -- Timothy Leary, The Intelligence Agents
>
>
>
>
>
David Joseph Wintz
djw at in dot net




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