Food Without Oil

In a crisis, we can live without many things, but food is not one of them. The impact on our food supply is one of the most serious aspects of the oil crisis. Most of the big chain grocery stores are filled with foodstuffs grown in a very oil-intensive way, as well as products trucked and shipped from around the world. Food shortages, plus sharp increases in production and transportation costs for food, have forced many people to look to locally produced food or to attempt to grow their own.

Part 1: Set the Stage

  1. Watch Kal's "Grocery Shopping Without Oil" video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19R3Ae7EhPw
  2. Read Cid Yama's "A Grocery Nightmare"
Part 2: Take Action
  1. List the food items that will probably be the first to disappear from their local grocery store or would become too expensive to purchase. Are these items necessities? Can they be replaced with other goods?
Part 3: Lesson Activity
  1. Read the How Far Does Your Food Travel? chart: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/pubs/staff/ppp/

  2. With the decreasing availability of some products and the increase in cost for others, many people are looking at relocalization – the idea of bringing sustainability back to the local community. Review the following resources and then develop an individual and a community plan to make it through the winter months.
Part 4: Reflect
Without proper planning, food shortages pose a significant problem in a World Without Oil. In this reflection you should consider the following questions:

Part 5: Take It Further
Over the last 100 years, our food network has experienced delocalization.  Most people no longer rely upon their immediate area for most of their food.  To take it further today, your challenge is to find that local food. 

This WWO mission asks you to find a farmer, visit your local farmer's market, or pick something from your own garden.  Take pictures or video of the whole experience (including cooking and eating it!), and then post it on your blog.  Good luck and enjoy that fresh local produce.

Additional Resources


Independent Lens Electric Shadows Independent Television Service Corporation for Public Broadcasting Ken Eklund, Writerguy