I believe it can on a micro level. Every community probably has resources that would be able to sustain itself as well as surrounding communities who engaged in trade. While one locality’s production would probably not feed the world, the overall concept of locally grown food is certainly sustainable and was in fact practiced for millenia before the advent of efficient global transportation.
I don’t know the answer, but there’s an interesting post on the fossil-fuel cost of food production in the link.
As an opinion, I would be astonished if the present population of the world could be fed by means of local food production.
It seems to me that reverting to only local food production would have severe negative effects on quality of life. Imagine not being able to easily get corn or wheat if you lived in Florida, or having trouble getting sugar, rice, tomatoes, or citrus if you lived in the Midwest. To meet demand, more people would have to be involved in food production which would take labor away from the many other concerns that have helped create the modern world.
You might also take into account the fact that not everyone lives near viable farm or grazing land. You might see people migrating out of these areas, creating greater population density in certain areas and compounding the food demand problem.
I think that ninjacats26’s ideas are interesting, but I would ask him/her to consider the effects of our now immense population (estimated between 6 and 7 billion) on the demand for food and how this might diminish the ability of local farming to keep up with demand.
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