The biggest players in the food industry—from pesticide pushers to fertilizer makers to food processors and manufacturers—spend billions of dollars every year not selling food, but selling the idea that we need their products to feed the world. But, do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world? Can sustainably grown food deliver the quantity and quality we need—today and in the future? Our first Food MythBusters movie takes on these questions in under seven minutes. So next time you hear them, you can too.
Golden Rice is a good example of a biofortified crop. In this specific case biofortification was obtained by genetic modification of the rice plant to produce and accumulate provitamin A (β-carotene) in the grain, something that doesn't happen in naturally occurring rice plants.
One of the focal points of the protests raging in Zuccotti Park and around the world is the sizable gap between the rich and everyone else. Yet as the below graphic shows, there are many different levels of wealth among even the richest of the rich.
This interactive map shows national estimates of the percentage of the population falling below the poverty line. That is a quite problematic situation to map, since the operational definitions of poverty vary considerably among countries. Also, there are some counties without data (Central Africa, North Korea, etc.) However, there is still considerable value to be gleaned from this map. What regional patterns do you notice? How will this map inform our understanding of migration patterns and political unrest?
A short film showing the work of FARM-Africa's Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund (MATF) in Uganda. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is working with FARM...
The Green Revolution is (belatedly) impacting Africa. Notice the cultural environment within which agriculture takes place here. What are the gendered differences in the production of food? What impact does that have on society?
This map shows the distribution of one major brand of fast food outlet. By 2004 there were 30,496 of these outlets worldwide. Of these, 45% were located within the United States so it appears large on this map. The next highest number of these outlets are in Japan, Canada and Germany.
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.
This Digest is a faithful summary of the leading scientific report produced in 2008 by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD): 'Synthesis Report of the International Assessment of Agricultural ...
Golden Rice is a new type of rice that is unique because it contains beta-carotene - giving it a golden color. IRRI and its partners are developing and evaluating golden rice as a potential way to address vitamin A deficiency.
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?
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.
Peter Menzel's beautiful photography and our Hungry Planet...
This video is a fascinating portal into global food systems and how globalization is impacting local foods. He traveled around the world to see what families eat in a given week, and how much all the food cost and where it can from. Many wealthy countries exhibit poor nutritional habits (eating food high in fat, sugar and salt) while some in poorer people have a very balanced diet. This leads him to describe the 'Nutritional Transition.' Warning before showing in class: there are brief instances of non-sexualized nudity in the video.
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.
Out of the thirty thousand types of edible plants thought to exist on Earth, just eleven – corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, cassava, sorghum, millet, beans, barley, rye, and oats – account for 93 percent of all that humans eat, and every one of them was first cultivated by our Neolithic ancestors.
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.