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Several factors influence food-related energy use

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

About half of the growth in food-related energy use between 1997 and 2002 is explained by a shift from human labor toward a greater reliance on energy-intensive technologies. High labor costs in the foodservices and food processing industries, combined with household outsourcing of manual food preparation and cleanup efforts through increased consumption of prepared foods and more eating out, appear to be driving this result. Increases in per capita food expenditures (adjusted for inflation) and population growth also helped drive up food-related energy use over this period, with each trend accounting for roughly a quarter of the total increase. Data for 2007 show an 8-percent increase in food-related energy use since 2002. This chart was originally published in the ERS report, Energy Use in the U.S. Food System, ERR-94, March 2010.

U.S. genetically engineered (GE) crop adoption has grown steadily since their introduction in 1996

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Adoption of herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops, which carry genes that allow them to survive certain herbicides that previously would have destroyed the crop along with the targeted weeds, has been particularly rapid since they first became available to farmers in 1996. HT soybeans expanded to 93 percent of U.S. soybean planted acreage, HT cotton reached 78 percent of cotton acreage, and HT corn expanded to 70 percent of the corn acreage in 2010. Adoption of insect-resistant (Bt) crops, containing the gene from a soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), has also expanded. Use of Bt cotton reached 73 percent of planted cotton acreage in 2010 and Bt corn use grew from about 1 percent of corn acreage in 1996 to 63 percent in 2010. This chart and the underlying data are available in the ERS data product, Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S., July 2010.