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The Spice Trade's Legacy

The Spice Trade's Legacy | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

"In its day, the spice trade was the world’s biggest industry. It established and destroyed empires and helped the Europeans (who were looking for alternate routes to the east) map the globe through their discovery of new continents. What was once tightly controlled by the Arabs for centuries was now available throughout Europe with the establishment of the Ocean Spice Trade route connecting Europe directly to South Asia (India) and South East Asia."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 17, 2:37 PM

The spice trade changed how we eat forever but it did so much more.  The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire cut off Europe from the vital trade routes to the east and access to the most prized commodities of the day.  What drove European exploration to get around Africa and to cross the Atlantic?  It was to reshape their situation location relative to the economic networks that shaped the emerging global economy.  In essence, the spice trade reshaped the fortunes and trajectories of several major world regions.   

 

Tags: Southeast Asia, food productiondiffusionglobalization, agriculture, economicindustry, economic, historical, regions.

Liz Caughlin's curator insight, November 21, 7:45 PM
Spice trade and connections with diffusion of Islam
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Half the World Lives on 1% of Its Land, Mapped

Half the World Lives on 1% of Its Land, Mapped | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

"Data viz extraordinaire Max Galka created this map using NASA’s gridded population data, which counts the global population within each nine-square-mile patch of Earth, instead of within each each district, state, or country border. Out of the 28 million total cells, the ones with a population over 8,000 are colored in yellow."

 

Tags: population, density, mapping, visualization.


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Brian Weekley's curator insight, July 27, 10:47 AM
Great simple map of world population.  Scroll down and look at the U.S.  It reflects the global trend.  This also has political implications, as evidenced by voting patterns in the 2012 presidential election.  Elections are dependent upon votes, which come from people, which are primarily clustered in cities.  Election campaigns would use this data to plan their schedules as to where to focus their campaigning efforts.  For the folks in Wyoming, they rarely see candidates other than during the primaries.  And these world populationclusters have been relatively consistent historically, particularly in south and east Asia.  Northern India has serious carrying capacity challenges. Notice the clusters along the Nile- evidence of arable land.
Francisco Restivo's curator insight, August 8, 5:49 PM
Fantastic visualization!
David W. Deeds's curator insight, August 8, 5:55 PM

Geeky-cool stuff! Thanks to Jim Lerman.

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Making Ethanol from Sugarcane

This segment highlights how sugarcane is processed into ethanol for fuel and other uses.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 16, 2:37 PM

Sugarcane ethanol has proven to be one of the most environmentally safe alternative fuel sources. In addition to its green energy properties, sugarcane ethanol has fueled the Brazilian economy for over a decade. The Brazilian automotive industry have developed a complex, “Flex Fuel” engine that allows vehicles to run off of both gasoline and ethanol. Also, sugarcane ethanol has been one of their leading exports in the global economy. Due to recently discovered fuel deposits in Brazil and around the globe, there has been a decline in the need for sugarcane ethanol. This has negatively impacted the economy in addition to the Brazilian job market. But thanks to the engineering of cellulosic ethanol, Brazil is striving to become the green energy superpower yet again.

 

Questions to Ponder: Since cellulosic ethanol production is so expensive, do you think that will deter production and customers from purchasing it? Do you think that Brazil will ever become independent of fossil fuels as a result of their successful sugarcane ethanol production?

 

Tagsenergy, resourcespolitical ecologyagriculture, food production, land use, Brazil, South America.

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A Map Of Where Your Food Originated May Surprise You

A Map Of Where Your Food Originated May Surprise You | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
A new study reveals the full extent of globalization in our food supply. More than two-thirds of the crops that underpin national diets originally came from somewhere else — often far away.

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A grocery store on wheels is changing how people can access fresh produce in food deserts

A grocery store on wheels is changing how people can access fresh produce in food deserts | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
Mobile farmers markets are popping up in cities throughout North America.

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How Foursquare knew before almost anyone how bad things were for Chipotle

How Foursquare knew before almost anyone how bad things were for Chipotle | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
Chipotle announced its first loss as a public company Tuesday.
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This is how our favorite foods look in their natural habitats

This is how our favorite foods look in their natural habitats | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
We know how to harvest potatoes and apples. There are other fruits and vegetables, however, which have natural habitats we can barely imagine. We see these items in the grocery store every day, but often we have no idea how they got there.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 28, 1:17 PM

This set of teaching images hammers home how natural items become commodities that are removed from their original context.  The fact that these foods are somewhat difficult to recognize shows just how most consumers have been removed from the full geographies of their food.  

 

Tagsfood production, images, agriculture, foodeconomic.

Lilydale High School's curator insight, April 24, 4:39 AM
Food - naturally.
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Mapping the Concentration of Obesity in the U.S.

Mapping the Concentration of Obesity in the U.S. | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
When it comes to this condition, place matters.

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The Danger Of GMOs: Is It All In Your Mind?

The Danger Of GMOs: Is It All In Your Mind? | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
Genetically modified foods are often regarded as "unnatural" and approached with distrust. Commentator Tania Lombrozo considers the psychology behind these reactions.

 

Why do so many people oppose genetically modified organisms, or GMOs? According to a new paper forthcoming in the journal Trends in Plant Science, it's because opposition to GMOs taps into deep cognitive biases. These biases conspire to make arguments against GMOs intuitive and compelling, whether or not they're backed by strong evidence.

The authors of the paper — a mix of philosophers and biologists — turn to research in the cognitive sciences to shed light on the mismatch between the public's perception of GMOs (which is fairly negative, especially in Europe) and the state of the evidence about their safety (which is fairly positive).

 

Tags: GMOs, technology, agriculture.


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Understanding "Eat Local"

Understanding "Eat Local" | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

This Oregon-based infographic succinctly summarizes the local food movement and taps into the cultural ethos that permeates the growing number of consumers that are demanding more home-grown products.


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How Big a Backyard Would You Need to Live Off the Land?

How Big a Backyard Would You Need to Live Off the Land? | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

Tags: infographic, food, agriculture, sustainability, urban, urban ecology, locavore, land use, unit 5 agriculture, unit 7 cities.


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Crissy Borton's comment, September 11, 2012 8:36 PM
Looking at purchasing a house in the next year or so and this is one thing we have been looking at. Although we don't want to raise our own meat we would like to grow everything else we eat.
Courtney Holbert's curator insight, February 3, 2013 10:44 PM

Good visual representation of what it would take to be self sufficient.

Chris Scott's curator insight, July 14, 2013 9:51 AM

If you need a backyard that is about 2 acres to live off the land imagine how big of a backyard you would need if you had a family of 8.

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An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 20, 2013 12:29 PM

The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here.  "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."


Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

Michael Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 1:41 PM

The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 2, 2013 5:58 PM

Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.

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Waging War Against Global Food Waste

Waging War Against Global Food Waste | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Tristram Stuart wants the world to stop throwing away so much good food.

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Deborah Jones's curator insight, October 25, 2014 9:58 AM

PSA

Rebecca McClure's curator insight, November 15, 2014 11:13 PM

Year 9: Food Security

Alex Lewis's curator insight, November 21, 2014 12:18 PM

I think this is a great idea, and the more we reduce our food waste, the better. We can use this food to feed the starving, which would solve two problems at once. Also, the idea of feeding the excess food to the pigs is a good idea. Not as good as conserving the food to give to the needy though. 

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Thanksgiving Resources

Thanksgiving Resources | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 21, 8:11 AM

Looking for some Thanksgiving resources?  Here you go. 

 

Tags: Thanksgiving, food, seasonal.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, November 21, 8:33 AM
Regional divide in selection of meals for Thanksgiving?
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Surging Seas Interactive Map

Surging Seas Interactive Map | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
Global warming has raised global sea level about 8" since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating. Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 27, 1:27 PM

This interactive map from Climate Central dramatically shows what locations are most vulnerable to sea level rise.  You can adjust the map to display anywhere from 1 to 10 feet of sea level rise to compare the impact to coastal communities.  This dynamic map lets to view other layers to contextualize potential sea level rise by toggling on layers that include, population density, ethnicity, income, property and social vulnerability.   

 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, climate change, environment, resources, watercoastalmapping, visualization, environment depend, political ecology.

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Live chart: Fish stocks

"The world's fish are in danger—as is everyone who depends on them."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 16, 3:19 PM

Every semester I share with my students this New York Times video about the rapid rise in industrial fishing and the production of Talapia.  Even with the rise of aquaculture as a major source of seafood, the world's oceans are still depleted.  As the world's population rises, many folk cultures with their roots in small fishing villages have transformed into primarily urban societies, but these urban societies still have a strong cultural preference for seafood and consume at levels that are not sustainable.    

 

Tags: environment modifyfolk culturesconsumption, water, physical.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 6, 1:24 AM

Impact of overfishing and ecosystem disruption on marine environments 

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Coast Lines

Coast Lines | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
In the next century, sea levels are predicted to rise at unprecedented rates, causing flooding around the world, from the islands of Malaysia and the canals of Venice to the coasts of Florida and California. These rising water levels pose serious challenges to all aspects of coastal existence—chiefly economic, residential, and environmental—as well as to the cartographic definition and mapping of coasts. It is this facet of coastal life that Mark Monmonier tackles in Coast Lines. Setting sail on a journey across shifting landscapes, cartographic technology, and climate change, Monmonier reveals that coastlines are as much a set of ideas, assumptions, and societal beliefs as they are solid black lines on maps.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 15, 3:39 PM

I haven't yet had the chance to look at this book, but it is currently being offered as a free e-book; I'm very excited to look it over.   

 

Tagsmappingcoastal, cartography, textbook.

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The driverless truck is coming, and it’s going to automate millions of jobs

The driverless truck is coming, and it’s going to automate millions of jobs | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
A convoy of self-driving trucks recently drove across Europe and arrived at the Port of Rotterdam. No technology will automate away more jobs -- or drive more..
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How Orange Juice Is Made

The process of making orange juice on a humongous scale. The Americans drink so much of the stuff I'm surprised they still have any left for export.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 19, 8:59 PM

If you image that your orange juice comes from farmers on ladders picking, then hand-squeezing oranges into orange juice, then you need to see just how mechanized this agribusiness is.  The machinery alone means that a small-scale farmer simply can't compete on the open market.  

 

Questions to Ponder: Why is OJ concentrate cheaper in the store if they have to work hard to extract the water out of the juice?  How would OJ concentrate be an example of either a bulk-gaining product or a bulk-reducing product?  

 

Tagsfood production, agriculture, foodeconomic, industry, economic, scale, agribusiness.

Antonio Andrade's curator insight, May 4, 5:47 PM
Excelente conocer todo el proceso!

Character Minutes's curator insight, July 1, 7:07 PM
Great resource for FACS teachers.

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PBS Food: Potatoes

PBS Food: Potatoes | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

"Follow America's favorite vegetable from field to factory — to see how potatoes grow and how they're turned into chips."


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Denise Klaves Stewardson's insight:

This 5 minute video is a good introduction to the potato, it's hearth, diffusion, population impacts, nutritional profile and industrial production.  The geography of food goes far beyond the kitchen and there are more episodes in the "How Does it Grow?" series to show that.   


Tags: food, economic, food production, agribusiness, industry, video, agriculture.

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Ari Galant's curator insight, August 25, 9:53 PM
Share your insight
Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 30, 2:56 PM
papa.
Sophie Wilson's curator insight, August 31, 10:33 AM
This video shows the process of potatoes moving from farm to factory in America and how they are turned into chips. It shows how the potatoes are planted, grown and turned into chips. 
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Glaciology in Greenland

Glaciology in Greenland | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

"Sharyn Alfonsi goes to the top of the world to report on scientists trying to get to the bottom of climate change and sea level rise by studying one of the largest glaciers in the Arctic Circle."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 6, 2:59 PM

The 13 minute video clip from the show "60 Minutes" is a good introduction to the importance and difficulty of studying glacial melt, climate change, and the impacts of a receding ice sheet.  

 

Tags: physical, erosion, climate change, Greenland.

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Produce Calendars: Understanding Agriculture

Produce Calendars: Understanding Agriculture | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

These three charts (Fruit, Vegetable and Herbs) are an excellent reasource for teaching about agriculture and food systems.  Many cultural festivals and  traditions revolve around the seasonal availability of crops and many modern eating trends often call for a return eating foods within their season.    


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Justin McCullough's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:15 PM

I feel that when you do consume foods within their season of growth it tastes better. I like to believe that because they are in season, it is cheaper to buy them because they are in abundance but it don't think that is the case. Although there is the push to try to eat the foods within their seasons, it is probably not likely to happen since we live in a global economy, that urges food to be made regardless of what season they are best grown in. 

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A Nation Of Meat Eaters: See How It All Adds Up

Americans eat more meat than almost anyone else in the world, but habits are starting to change. This may be in part because of health and environmental concerns. We explore some of the meat trends and changes in graphs and charts.

 

Often we hear about the dietary impact of meat consumption at the personal scale, but what are the environmental impacts of heavy meat consumption on a global scale?  Even more telling than the podcast are the charts and infographics that are connected to this article.  Not all meats have the same environmental impact (beef is much less environmentally efficient than chicken, pork or turkey).   As globalization has spread, American cultural preferences have changed worldwide taste preferences.  As the global population rises, the impact of meat consumption is now a major environmental concern. 


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McDonald’s® Packaging

McDonald’s® Packaging | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it

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Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 7, 2013 9:58 AM

I have eaten McDonalds fries and bunch of times and never thought about what 'golden standard" actually meant. McDonalds like it says in the article is one of the top potoate buyers in the world. I'm sure most other fast food places aren' too far behind. However since McDonalds is one of the top buyers of potatoes farmers much make sure they produce enough of the potatoes that McDonalds sells. However it doesn't stop there. Not only do farmers have to produce enough potatoes, but they have to produce quality potatoes. All of McDonalds fries look exactly the same. You never really get a french fry that looks extremely different. That is done on purpose. McDonalds only purchases potatoes that meet their "golden standard". This makes you think how much goes to watste. Farmers are probably discarding "bad" potatoes all the time that don't meet the "golden standard". Does it really matter what the fries look like, if they taste the same? There are people in the world who are hungry, yet we waste food like this all the time. I really don't think it is that big of a deal if not every french fry looks exactly the same. We should make an attempt at trying to limit our food waste. 

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 5:42 PM

Fries are the essential food that everyone enjoys in the world. But it is a good thing because if a potato has a growth defect probably that would affect someone and that is a law suit waiting to happen. In the United States people love suing for anything that they could probably win and receive money. The fries are delicious but they are so fattening that could really effect people if they have any issues with there health. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:59 PM

The packaging on the McDonald's fry box states, "Why are our fries the gold standard? Because only a select number of potato varieties make the cut. I'm lovin' it®"  This is a message is primarily aimed at millions of individual consumers.  As geographers who analyze systems, we can look at this message for meaning beyond taste and quality control in how it affect both urban and rural places.  Given that McDonald's is the United States' largest purchaser of potatoes, what are the economic and agricultural implications for their fry selection on the market(s)?  How does this impact farmers, consumers, competitors and other groups?   

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Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't | Agricultural literacy | Scoop.it
In many countries, eggs aren't refrigerated and they're still considered safe to eat. But in the U.S., we have to chill them, because we've washed away the cuticle that protects them from bacteria.

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aitouaddaC's comment, September 22, 2014 5:16 PM
Amazing !
Gareth Jukes's curator insight, March 24, 2015 10:38 PM

Variations of major zones and effects of markets-

 

This article describes why the U.S is one of the few countries that actually refrigerates their eggs. This is beacuse we had washed away the cuticle that protects eggs from bacteria. In other countries, they just leave eggs like how they were laid.

 

This article contributes to the idea of variations of markets by explaining how our country is one different from most of others by eggs. It also explains why we are one of the few that must chill the eggs, unlike other markets and/or venders.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:44 PM

For many Americans that are traveling abroad for the first time, realizing that eggs aren't in the refrigerator is a bit of a culture shock (not to mention the moment they find milk in a box that also isn't being refrigerated).  Agricultural practices dictate storage requirements and some things we might have imagined were universal are actually place-specific or peculiar to our cultural setting.  What we are taught to think of as gross, appropriate, attractive or even sanitary is often steeped in a cultural context.  So is it strange the we refrigerate our eggs in the United States, or that they don't in other places? 

 

Tags: food production, technology, industry, food, agriculture, perspective.