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Investigating global inequality
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The Global Food Waste Scandal

TED Talks Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

 

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perpective on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:13 PM

Ted explains it well how we all waste perfectly good food that people would like to eat. Also it was amazing how much food was in the dumpsters that was just a day or week old. That meat could feed hundreds of people that are struggling to eat and all that meet to waste. 

megan b clement's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:51 AM

Ted talks about just how wasteful our planet is. How we just ignore the issue and act like it will  not affect us in the future. When he shows you video and pictures of massive piles of the ends of a loaf of bread or all the food that Stop and Shop throws out because it does not "look" good for the customer. How every little bit of help counts you can try to make a little bit of an effort to be less wasteful. We have so much unnecessary waste. Like when he uses the example of how many people throw away the ends of a loaf of bread then he shows the waste of the ends of bread in massive piles it makes you sick. Especially with all of the hungry people in the world we need to be more resourceful.

 

 

Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 21, 2014 2:13 PM

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perceptive on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 


Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.

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ONE | INFOGRAPHIC: Closing the gender gap in land rights

ONE | INFOGRAPHIC: Closing the gender gap in land rights | Development geography | Scoop.it

Although women play an indispensable role in the rural economy, they face severe constraints in accessing the agricultural assets and services they need to maximize their production. It has become increasingly clear that there is a “gender gap” in resources such as land, technology, and extension services; that the gap imposes costs not only on women but also on the broader economy and society; and that closing the gap would improve agricultural productivity and reduce hunger and poverty. Oft-cited statistics from a recent FAO report focus on the gains that could be made if women had equal access to non-land resources. In light of evidence that secure rights to land for women can increase agricultural productivity and confer other household benefits, we at Landesa think it is critical to consider what additional gains could be made if women had equal access to one of the most important assets to agricultural households: land.


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The Geography of Hunger and Food Insecurity

Why are some communities more vulnerable to hunger and famine? There are many reasons, which together add up to food insecurity, the world's no.1 health risk...

 

Excellent summary of the geographic factors that lead to food insecurity and hunger and the main ways NGO's are trying to combat the issues.   This is an incredibly complex problem that, at it's heart, is a geographic issue that can challenge student to synthesize information and make the connections between topics.  


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Lisa Fonseca's comment, December 5, 2011 1:02 AM
This is a incredible clip that does challenge students to synthesize information and make the connections between topics, but it can also help students to realize making a difference at a early age is important. I learned an abundance of facts just from watching, it was informative and intriguing. As I was watching the video I was thinking of ways it can be incorporated into the classroom. This video could get students to learn about the world's number one health risk. Incorporating it into the classroom by holding a food drive, or having a school wide fundraiser to donate to the British Red Cross is also another way to help. Getting our future minds informed and helping the community will make an impact in the future.
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Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish

Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu.

 

This is a compelling analysis of the agricultural food system through the case-study of fish farms.  If we fish the seas like we clear-cut forests, the biodiversity of the world's waters will be seriously depleted.  That has been the economic model for fishing for hundreds of years and it is obviously not sustainable given the growing population and demand for fish.   However, not all "sustainable" fish farming businesses are equal, and this TED talk demonstrates some of the best practices to restructure the food industry for the best food and environmental results.


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EnviroJMS's curator insight, September 18, 2013 7:29 AM

This is an interesting video on sustainable fish farming, it might be helpful to someone who wants to write about sustainable farming. Apologies, it is quite long

 

Aleksandre da Silva

 

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West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...

 

The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    


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John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:03 PM

I was not aware that slavery is still not unusual in cocoa plantation in West Africa. It sickens me because nations all around the world consume chocolate produced under slave labor. 

AnthonyAcosta/NoahMata's curator insight, April 8, 2015 1:36 PM

 (Social)

 

Chocolate is a very known thing in first world countries and is not known for what is needed to make it. So in Africa they smuggle children from various places in Africa and force them to labor for cocoa beans and work on plantations. Many young children near there   Teen ages are taken and put through labor for most of there young lives.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:13 PM

i mainly find it amazing that slavery is still so commonplace in parts of the world. whether it is "illegal" or not is irrelivent in these parts of the world and child labor and slavery is such a dominating force in labor.

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Guns, Germs & Steel

Guns, Germs & Steel | Development geography | Scoop.it

This video (like the book with the same title) explores the course of human history to find the geographic factors that can help to explain the global inequalities between societies. Jared Diamond’s answer lies in the military strength (guns), superior pathogens (germs) and industrial production (steel) that agricultural societies were able to develop as the critical advantages over hunter/gatherer societies. The raw materials at the disposal of the societies inhabiting particular environments partially explain the economic possibilities before them. Diamond hypothesizes that the orientations of the continents play a critical role in the relative advantages among agricultural societies (East-West orientations allow for greater diffusion of agricultural technologies than North-South orientations since the growing seasons and ecology are more compatible), giving Eurasia an advantage over Africa and the Americas. The Fertile Crescent had native plant and animal species ideal for domestication, which then diffused to Europe. Societies that have more developed animal husbandry develop a resistance to more powerful germs. Consequently, when two societies come in contact those with the best resistance to the worse diseases are more successful. Similarly, industrial production depends on an agricultural surplus since specialization requires that some workers not needing to produce their own food to work on technological innovations. Societies that had agricultural advantages were able to invest in technologies (primarily steel) that would enhance their advantages over other societies, as seen during colonization. Societies that had the best environments had access to large plant eating mammals suitable for domestication and the most productive grains would be poised to produce more dangerous guns, germs and steel—the key resources for economic dominion resulting in global inequalities.


Diamond’s critics argue that the ‘geography hypothesis’ is environmental determinism that does not properly value human choices into the equation. Still, the core of this book is the search for connections between the themes of Geography with a spatial framework and the video is available via Netflix, public libraries and many other outlets.


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Emily Bian's curator insight, October 3, 2014 5:16 PM

I found this just browsing the suggestions, and I was like "Whoa! We learned this in class!" So I thought that it was really neat. 

Diamond's theory is an example of environmental determinism, because he claimed that the environment and where people lived affected the people, and that's why not everybody is equal. 

I personally agree with his theory, because it makes a lot of sense when I watched the movie/episodes.

             I believe in enviromental determinism but not to the extreme level, for example if someone is from a hot place they are lazy. I believe that people have choices and can pave their own way but the enviroment can limit them. This would for sure help future aphug students because it introduces human geography in the world history context. 

 

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What farms can do for cities

What farms can do for cities | Development geography | Scoop.it
The author talks about her new book, Urban Farms, the difference between a farm and a garden, and how city farmers are moving beyond the trend factor.

 

Too often we teach about cities and urban systems one one side of a spectrum and agricultural and rural land use on the other.  Here is some fuel for the gristmill.     


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Alison Antonelli's curator insight, December 4, 2013 11:12 AM

I personally think that farms go unappreciated. If we did not have farms we would not have half or any of the food we have today. This interview puts a lot of things into perspective on how farms can help out our cities and improve the overall food industry. 

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Understanding "Eat Local"

Understanding "Eat Local" | Development geography | 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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The Local Food System

The Local Food System | Development geography | Scoop.it

CITIES is re-interpreting urban farming as an asset for the city economy. This approach to the subject is neither revolutionary nor especially innovative, yet in the collation of an original set of parameters (community activity, urban landscapes and design applications) with existing approaches, new directions emerge...


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Feeding the World Sustainably: Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture

Feeding the World Sustainably: Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture | Development geography | Scoop.it
There are currently 1 billion people in the world today who are hungry. There's also another billion people who over eat unhealthy foods.

 Food production around the world today is mostly done through industrial agriculture, and by judging current issues with obesity, worldwide food shortages, and the destruction of soil, it may not be the best process. We need to be able to feed our world without destroying it, and finding a more sustainable approach to accomplishing that is becoming more important.

The current system contributes to 1/3 of global emissions, is a polluter of our world’s water resources, and is a contributor to health problems. Industrial agriculture relies on mass produced, mechanized labor-saving policies that have pushed people out of rural areas and into cities, consolidating land and resources into fewer hands.

Agroecology looks to reduces agriculture’s impact on climate by working within natural systems. This is especially beneficial in rural areas, because the local community a major part of the growing process. The approach can conserve and protect soil and water — through terracing, contour farming, intercropping, and agroforestry — especially beneficial in areas where farmers lack modern irrigation infrastructure, or have farms situated on hillsides and other difficult farming sites...


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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, October 1, 2013 9:53 PM

Clearly industrial agriculture is not sustainable, and must be replaced entirely with systems that reverse the current damage and restore the balance that used to exist before we messed things up.  We can use plants and animals not only to feed ourselves, but to *improve* the environment for all life on the planet.

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Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish

Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu.

 

This is a compelling analysis of the agricultural food system through the case-study of fish farms.  If we fish the seas like we clear-cut forests, the biodiversity of the world's waters will be seriously depleted.  That has been the economic model for fishing for hundreds of years and it is obviously not sustainable given the growing population and demand for fish.   However, not all "sustainable" fish farming businesses are equal, and this TED talk demonstrates some of the best practices to restructure the food industry for the best food and environmental results.


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EnviroJMS's curator insight, September 18, 2013 7:29 AM

This is an interesting video on sustainable fish farming, it might be helpful to someone who wants to write about sustainable farming. Apologies, it is quite long

 

Aleksandre da Silva

 

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Agriculture: Back to the Start

Coldplay's haunting classic 'The Scientist' is performed by country music legend Willie Nelson for the soundtrack of the short film entitled, "Back to the St...

 

Sure this is an animated commercial for Chipotle Grill, but this perfectly encapsulates the beliefs, values and ethics that underscore the organic farming movement. 


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Aurora Rider's curator insight, October 24, 2014 10:14 AM

Sure this is a Chipotle commercial but is does a good job at showing the belief that we should go back to the old way of farming. The video shows a family farm being taken over by what appears to be some big corporation. Upon being taken over, the animals are confined in small compartments and injected by what appears to be antibiotics and some other unknown substance. The factories they are sent to are polluting the place. The farmer sees all of this and decides to go back to the start.

jada_chace's curator insight, October 26, 2014 7:17 PM

In the video it shows how the world has evolved in the way that humans take action on Mother Nature’s ways. In the beginning, there was a small family farm that was growing crops and animals. Shortly after that, it showed how small family farms are being taken over by the big agribusinesses. In today’s society that tends to happen more and more, which can be both good and bad on our economy. Unless people don’t make a change about the way we treat our food, nothing in our economy is going to get better. 

Cassie Brannan's curator insight, December 9, 2014 10:21 PM

This animated film shows you what agriculture is really like. Sometimes it is difficult to be a farmer because of all of the climate changes. When the weather changes off and on, it can kill the crops, making it harder for farmers to find food. So as you can see, farmers go through a lot and it take a lot of hard work to be a successful farmer.

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Jared Diamond: Why societies collapse

This talk (based on his controversial book, Collapse) explores the economic and environmental causes behind why a society that is overextended might collapse or recede from a golden age. Jared Diamond uses multiple historical examples such as classical Mayan civilization and Easter Island as well as modern societies such as Rwanda and Haiti, to argue that unsustainable management of the environmental resources might lead to short-term economic successes, but the environmental degradation may threaten the long-term economic viability of the economic system. This talk ties agricultural patterns, economic practices and political policies that can strengthen or weaken a society and the book looks to the past to assess the challenges of the present and future. This TED talk brings geographic concepts and spatial thinking to many of contemporary global issues.


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NASA Earth Observatory - Vegetation Index

The NDVI (Normalized Digital Vegetation Index) is on of the primary methods for detecting healthy vegetation using satellite imagery.  This also serves as a useful way to distinguish between distinct ecological and agricultural regions and the temporal patterns of planting seasons.  

 

This video was found on a site titled "Explorations in agricultural research" with many great links http://zerogravitygardening.blogspot.com/


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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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Women and Land Infographic

Women and Land Infographic | Development geography | Scoop.it
Landesa partners with governments and local NGOs to ensure the world's poorest families have secure land rights, which develops sustainable economic growth and improves education, nutrition, and conservation...

 

Globally speaking, women are the primary agricultural workers yet rarely own land. 


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Michael Crumpton's comment, March 20, 2013 8:38 PM
I'm not quite sure i understand why the woman aren't allowed time saving technalogy if it is they who till the fields. Why is that?
dilaycock's comment, March 21, 2013 1:30 AM
I think the answer lies in the patriarchal nature of many societies in the developing world. Women provide the labour, but are not in a position to make decisions about management of the land. This situation is exacerbated by gender inequities regarding access to education.
Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, February 9, 2014 5:27 PM

New portion of the AP HUG Outline regarding Women in Agriculture