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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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Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 7:39 AM

It isn't surprising that the more a country has developed, the more wasteful they are. I just think that we need to change this standard. We can not keep this up if we want to sustain ourselves for centuries to come. If we are going to change our consumption culture, we need to look at why it has become the way it is. Why do we see food as unappealing? This is an interesting video and certaintly makes you think twice about throwing anything away. 

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 3:13 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 15, 2013 10:51 PM

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.

 

 

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The State of Food Insecurity

The State of Food Insecurity | Development geography | Scoop.it
Millions of Americans don't have reliable access to food. Here, we take a look at who's affected and why.

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The ironic nature of the world’s food crisis

The ironic nature of the world’s food crisis | Development geography | Scoop.it
EVEN AS we’ve officially reached 7 billion souls on our planet, more than 14% are still chronically malnourished.

And while analysts spend precious time calculating how much more food should be produced to feed the hungry, and thoughtful citizens update their Facebook statuses for an hour to “help eradicate World Hunger,” food prices are slowly increasing and soils are becoming poorer, yielding fewer crops every year.


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Jessica Martel's curator insight, April 29, 2013 10:11 AM

There are many ways our country alone can help the food shortage in the world. Then you stop and think.. there are poeple still starving in the US.

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No Kid Hungry: Campaign to End Childhood Hunger

No Kid Hungry: Campaign to End Childhood Hunger | Development geography | Scoop.it
The thought of children going to sleep hungry anywhere in the world is tough to swallow.

People may think that hunger is a problem which resides firmly in the hands of third world countries — but they’re mistaken. America has a problem too. America has the food and programs in place to end childhood hunger, but they are up against a lot: the stigmas and embarrassments that surround hunger, the challenges presented by access to healthy food, and the struggle to connect children with the resources they need to thrive.
In 1983, actor Jeff Bridges founded the End Hunger Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding children around the world. It works with the entertainment industry and partners to produce and support media projects to end U.S. childhood hunger. They have recently partnered with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry national campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. This newly formed partnership will help make this goal even more attainable...


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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 4, 2011 10:02 PM
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 4:29 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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Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 7:49 AM

A very insightful video into the organic farming movement. Chipotle is taking a leap into spreading the word about this, and personally I find it enlightening. It is nice to see such a widely known restaurant take in interest in the food they serve and it makes it seem like they care about their customers. When you eat at Chiptole, you know what you are eating, but with other fast food places you can't be sure exactly what went into making that hamburger. They want people to see that they can get organic food made fast and it still tastes good. Chipotle is starting a consumption cultural revolution. 

Justin McCullough's curator insight, December 12, 2013 9:57 AM

This video, although it is a Chipotle Grill advertisment, does make a clear point. The industrialization of agriculture has made our food unhealthy and has taken away jobs from the farmer. Although we are a highly industrialized and developed nation today, it is still necessary for our necessary food to be naturally grown on farms rather than in factories where it was not meant to be grown. 

Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 18, 2013 9:13 PM

What this commercial is trying to make aware is that there are ethics involved in agriculture. What the organic farming movement is all about is providing good for people that is produced fresh and no harm is done to the animals or environment .

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Body Mass Index (BMI) by Country

Body Mass Index (BMI) by Country | Development geography | Scoop.it
This map shows World trends in age-standardized mean Body Mass Index (BMI) 199 countries over 28 years. The worldwide prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled since 1980, according to a project that tracked risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

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China now eats twice the meat we do

China now eats twice the meat we do | Development geography | Scoop.it
We can learn a lot from examining the way China's diet has changed in the last 20 years -- as well as its required efficiencies and the agriculture that supports it.

 

The United States still consumes more meat per capita than China, but as China's economy has grown (along with it's income and standard of living), the consumer habits have changed as well.  What will the impacts of the rise in Chinese meat consumption mean?   How do they get all this meat?  http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/1661841673/this-little-piggy-is-going-to-china


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:15 PM

I wonder if this will bring on a meat shortage. At the least it is helping to full "factory" farmer and the feeding on cheep corn to cows. I wonder how much this will effect global warming.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 29, 2013 11:07 AM

This is actuallty very believable considering the population growth that China has experienced.  It only makes sense that the more people there are, the more meat will be consumed.  It is part of their cuisine to include meat.  Pork and chicken are among many of the popular proteins which are found on their dishes.  There is also the expansion to go along with all of the growth.  The landscape of the eastern part of the country has become more agriculturally accomodating for crops and livestock alike.  Therefore to match the trend of growing population, is the need to match it with meat and other foods.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 3:25 PM

China now eats twice as much meat than America. However, this chart does not touch upon "per-capita" which plays a major role in where the food is being dispersed and consumed. 

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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 8:12 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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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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The Two Sides of the World Food Crisis

The Two Sides of the World Food Crisis | Development geography | Scoop.it

Of all the issues facig the planet, few seem more urgent than the global food shortage. Sufficient food- our single most vital need as living creatures- eludes the grasp of nearly 1 billion people, a problem that may worsen as population rises.


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Consumerism Stats [INFOGRAPHIC]

Consumerism Stats [INFOGRAPHIC] | Development geography | Scoop.it

Sometimes it can be difficult to visualize just how much we consume. While purchasing 'green this' and 'eco-friendly that' is all well and good, one of the root causes of our environmental problems is hyper consumption. We simply buy too much of what we don't really need. So, we leave here some statistics on three major topics of consumerism: food, cars and trash...


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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 6:53 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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Map the Meal Gap: Food Insecurity in your county

Map the Meal Gap: Food Insecurity in your county | Development geography | Scoop.it
Visit Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Feeding America's helps provide food to over 37 millions Americans each year.

 

Food insecurity is an important issue in human geography that, like so many things, impacts people is different ways depending on where they live.  This interactive map is a great tool for student projects, and local comparisons.  This is also a great tool to build geographic empathy and (for American students) to see that issues of dire poverty aren't only in the developing world. 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 7, 2013 6:53 PM

Food insecurity is an important issue in human geography that, like so many things, impacts people is different ways depending on where they live.  This interactive map is a great tool for student projects, and local comparisons.  This is also a great tool to build geographic empathy and (for American students) to see that issues of dire poverty aren't only in the developing world.

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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 4:29 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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Arlis Groves's comment, February 27, 2012 9:11 PM
Ah, I mean Karen. I see that my direct rescoop it from your site. Thanks. Arlis
ethne staniland's curator insight, May 16, 2013 8:58 AM

Not so much for the children but interesting none the less.

Beth Jung's curator insight, February 9, 5:26 AM

This article is about children trafficking and child labor in West Africa. The director of this documentary is trying to tell people around the world that almost all famous chocolate factories such as Snickers, Nestle, etc, use cocoa from the cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast that use child labor to make as much chocolate they can with the least amount of money used. There are serious issues going on in West Africa, because most cocoa plantation workers are children who were smuggled around many countries such as Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and were separated to isolated plantations. People who are working in the Cocoa Industry have all denied the fact that the children are working in the plantation; Even the Vice President of Ivory Coast denied the fact of children trafficking. Also, all the famous chocolate factories had declined the interview for this documentary. A lot of people around the village have helped the captured children escape back to their home, saving more than a hundred children. This article helped me understand more about Africa's bad economy. By using child trafficking, people get free workers as well as sell children; 230 Euros each. It costs less to buy children than to pay the workers. This article made me realize that the only way I could help the African children is to spread the awareness to the whole wide world. This article also made me want to go to Ivory Coast when I get older. Children Trafficking hurts my loving heart and I would go to Ivory Coast and help children go back to their home.

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Ultimate factories: Coca Cola

nat geo programme about the coke factory and the manufacturing process of coke...

 

Where is Coca Cola produced?  Some products are bulk losing some are bulk gaining in the manufacturing process.  Coca Cola and their containers represent bulk gaining products.  Although not the focus of this video, what is the geography behind where these factories are located?  How would this geographic pattern change if this were are bulk losing industry?  What are examples of bulk gaining and bulk losing industries?  Why are glass bottles not manufactured in the United States? 


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Kamaryn Hunt's comment, October 7, 2013 3:32 PM
As consumers, we never pay THAT much attention to how theproduct is manufactured, but only what's in it. Seeing this vide makes me wonder how many other well-known products are manufactured??
megan b clement's curator insight, October 31, 2013 8:40 AM

"The video displays the maufacturing and distribution of the Coca Cola product globally. Goal is to put Coke in all hands and they need ultimate factories for distribution. For non-alcoholic beverage market Coke is number 1. They produce 800 servings a day and Coke does about 670 billion dollars in sales a year. There recipe is the best kept secret, they use words like natural flavors that help keep the recipe a secret. Logistics, cheap labor, and cheap transportation are key to maximize every dollar. "

Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 9:57 AM

I can't believe how much money this company makes in a single year. The people in this country must have some serious kidney stones lol. But on a serious note, this company definately has a good strategy on how to minimize cost transportation, because to transport 4.5 million servings that Coca Col makes in a single day, let alone, a year, must be quite expensive and time consuming. Not to mention that they distribute their products in 206 countries, they legit serve 99% of mankind. No wonder they make $670 Billion. 

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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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