Large amount of water and energy are consumed in the food production process, including food production, trade and consumption. This study employs Linear Interactive and General Optimizer (Lingo) to simulate the inter-provincial food trade pattern in China. Using ecological footprint, we evaluate the efficiency and resource benefits of water and energy footprint in food trade. Our research shows that provinces with food surpluses are primarily distributed in the north and provinces with food deficit are mainly in the south, resulting in national food trade amount of 304.23 million tons. The spatial distribution of the total water footprint and energy footprint of food production is the same, with eastern > central > western region. In 2020, nationwide food trade has saved 57.2 billion mÂ³ of water resources and result in 3.13 million tce waste of energy.
Keywords water footprint, energy footprint, food trade, resource benefit