A conceptual model of the food-energy-legislative triangle within the United States food industry is presented. The scope of the triangle is pictorially represented. Each apex of the triangle is defined and examples are given to illustrate the interrelationships among them. The triangle includes all nutritious and nonnutritious foods produced; all direct and indirect energy used to produce, process, distribute and consume foods and all food-related legislation. Recent examples were chosen to illustrate how changes in one apex of the triangle affect components of the other two apexes. An analogy was drawn between the Bermuda and food-energy-legislative triangles to illustrate that the level of apathy towards solving the Bermuda Triangle cannot be tolerated for the latter triangle. Recommendations are given for using sound resource management techniques to identify all interdependencies in the food-energy-legislative triangle and thus increase the effectiveness of national policies affecting the food industry.

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Author notes

1Based on a paper presented as the keynote address to 65th Annual Meeting, International Association of Milk, Food and Environmental Sanitarians, Inc., Kansas City, MO, August 15, 1978.

2Contribution from the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station. Journal Series Number 8337.