How much land does it take to grow enough food for someone for a year?



  1. 0 Votes

    It depends on what they eat and where the land is. A single acre of corn in Iowa produces enough calories to feed 30 people for a year[1]. But people also need to eat fruits and vegetables and those crops don’t produce as many calories per year. Eating meat also dramatically increases the amount of land needed to feed a person for a year because now the land must produce enough food to feed the animals that get eaten. And the amount of food that can be grown on an acre in Iowa is very different from the amount of food that can be grown on an acre in West Virginia.

    As a sort of maximum realistic limit, right now the US has ~1.5 cultivated acres per resident and we’re mostly food self-sufficient (as well as turning a lot of our corn into ethanol instead of food).

    So, depending on the fertility of the land in question and the kind of foods a person eats the final answer could be anywhere from 1/30th of an acre to 1-2 acres.

    [1](4.5 tons of corn harvested per acre * 2400 calories per pound of corn)/(365 days in a year*2000 calories per day) = food for 29.5 people for a year.

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