Geography Education
1.6M views | +138 today
Follow
Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Feeding Our Hungry Planet

"By 2050, the world's population will likely increase 35 percent. But is growing more food the only option—or even the best? National Geographic investigates the challenges and solutions to feeding everyone on our planet, based on an eight-month series in National Geographic magazine.  Visit http://natgeofood.com for ongoing coverage of food issues as we investigate the Future of Food today on World Food Day."


Tags: sustainability, agriculture, food production, unit 5 agriculture.

more...
Nancy Watson's curator insight, October 19, 2014 8:53 AM

Population increase is just part of the story. How do we feed everyone? How will we provide for the needs of everyone?  Can the earth sustain the use of her resources and the impact of our growing needs and output. First we must eat. Can we learn to do that wisely? 

Bella Reagan's curator insight, November 28, 2014 5:48 PM

Unit 2-Population

 

This video was about the growing population in the world and as a result the growing food demand. This video points out that even though more food production seems like the solution, instead other solutions are more logical. Solutions include reducing wastes, preserving forests, being more productive on current farms and more. It states that farming is a huge business but it goes towards more than growing food for people to eat but also for other things like animals and materials. The worlds population is growing and there needs to be a change in food industries to keep thriving. 

 

This relates to unit 2 about population since it is thinking of ways to adapt to the worlds growing population. By 2050 it is predicted that population will increase by 33% and something has to change about food in order for people to stay fed. There is too much food being wasted that if that could be decreased it could make a huge difference. The video made a good point that it's not that we need more food it's that we need to manage and prioritize production.  

Blayze Padgett's curator insight, January 10, 1:03 PM

The article/video relates to AP Human Geography because it involves Thomas Malthus's theory that population is going to surpass food production if we don't fix our priorities. In my opinion this article makes a very valid point that could be true. We don't exactly need to start more farms and spread agriculture, instead, we should pay attention to our priorities and make the right decisions with the food we harvest from agriculture.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Brazil's ethanol revolution

"United Nations, June 2008 - The bio-fuel, ethanol, is generating a revolution in renewable energy that could help reduce the world's thirst for oil. In Brazil, the production of ethanol from sugarcane is booming, but what is not clear is the impact it is having on the industry's sugarcane cutters."  Transcript of video available here.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial.  This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable.  Click here for a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol.  


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

more...
Patty B's curator insight, November 10, 2015 5:19 PM

S. AMERICA SCOOP:

The 'ethanol revolution' occurring in Brazil is a critical topic to examine in terms of global geography. With it's ethanol export rising 70% as of 2007-08, and with an abundance of sugarcane, Brazil is now beginning to offer an alternative to tradition fuels (especially for cars). Brazil is exporting a great deal of ethanol which is stimulating its economy, but there is a negative side to this energy boom. It's causing a great deal of unemployment in Brazil due to the mechanization of the process of sugarcane cultivation. The effects of a country or region's main commodity always goes under this mechanization process, it just depends on when the need for that commodity arises (this kind of relates to "Guns, Germs, and Steel" and the idea of determinism).

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:01 PM
This sounds like something that people need to learn from, making fuel from sugar and alcohol. It is said that because of this Brazil is a world leader in in this sector. Doing so reduces emissions making a cleaner environment. This is future. .Doing things such as this and making machine mechanized cutters is good too, because now humans do not have to do it. When humans by hand get the sugar they have to burn plants, and burning plants pollutes the air because of the fire and the fire can cause severe destruction if it gets out of hand. With hand picking going out, it will be better overall. Delivering ethanol to the rest of the world is believed to lift the developing world out of poverty. .
BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:43 PM

Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial.  This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable.  Click here for a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol.  

 

Tagsenergy, resources, political ecology, agriculture, food production, land use, Brazil, South America.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

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 | Geography Education | 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.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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? 


Tagsfood productiontechnology, industry, food, agriculture, perspective.

more...
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, 2016 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.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

EU debates biopiracy law to protect indigenous people

EU debates biopiracy law to protect indigenous people | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Pharmaceutical companies would need to compensate indigenous people for using their knowhow in creating new medicines
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'd never hear the term biopiracy before this month, but this idea is this: companies from wealthy countries commercially develop the genetic resources of developing countries with local assistance but don't fairly compensate the local population.  I never had the vocabulary to describe such a thing, but that is biopiracy in a nutshell and the EU is working to end that.  It doesn't only impact the pharmaceutical companies but heavily impact the agricultural industries as well.  Anyone in the developed world eating quinoa and kale 20 years ago?  Being marketed as 'superfoods' has changed the global production systems but also impacted local indigenous food supplies (some are referring to this as food gentrification). 


Tagsfood productiontechnology, industry, food, agriculture, agribusiness, globalization, folk cultures, indigenous.

more...
Shawn Wright's curator insight, September 7, 2014 8:20 AM

The  Nagoya protocol is an international biological diversity convention. The protocol would at it's core require permission, acknowledgment of source knowledge  or practice and compensation for the use of cultural wisdom.


i don't see Nagoya as a perfect solution - there is a lot of room for language interpretation so slick corporate lawyers will find ways to legally cheat indigenous peoples from their share but I do see it as at least A small step in the right direction.   


The World Health Organisation estimates that 4 billion people, 80% of the world's population, use herbal medicine in primary healthcare. 


Cherokees Believe and have practiced healing from plant and water for thousands of years. Every and any human sickness has a plant who can cure it. Every plant in the world has a purpose if we but learn to hear and understand what that is - there are no weeds to the Cherokee.


Yona Shawn

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 27, 2016 12:31 PM
unit 5
Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 30, 2016 2:30 PM
This would be a very new approach.
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"One-third of the seafood Americans catch is sold abroad, but most of the seafood we eat here is imported and often of lower quality. Why? Author Paul Greenberg says it has to do with American tastes."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The United States exports the best-quality seafood that Americans catch, but import primarily low-grade aquacultural products.  This is just one of the counter-intuitive issues withe U.S. fish consumption and production.  This bizarre dynamic has cultural and economic explanations and this NPR podcast nicely explains these spatial patterns that are bound to frustrate those that advocate for locally sourced food productions. 


Tagsfood production, industry, food, agriculture, agribusinessconsumptioneconomic, sustainability.

more...
HazelAnne Prescott's curator insight, July 31, 2014 10:56 AM

Seems like a messed up system.  We do not have "taste"

Abigail Mack's curator insight, July 31, 2014 11:27 AM

What would make Americans opt for the lower quality, imported fish?

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:45 PM

The United States exports the best-quality seafood that Americans catch, but import primarily low-grade aquacultural products.  This is just one of the counter-intuitive issues withe U.S. fish consumption and production.  This bizarre dynamic has cultural and economic explanations and this NPR podcast nicely explains these spatial patterns that are bound to frustrate those that advocate for locally sourced food productions. 

 

Tags: food production, industry, food, agriculture, agribusinessconsumptioneconomic, sustainability.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

China’s hungry cattle feasting on alfalfa grown on Utah farm

China’s hungry cattle feasting on alfalfa grown on Utah farm | Geography Education | Scoop.it
China has long depended on the U.S. breadbasket, importing up to $26 billion in U.S. agricultural products yearly. But increasingly, Chinese investors aren’t just buying from farms abroad. They’re buying the farms.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Globalization is often described as a homogenizing force, but is also pairs together odd bed fellows.  A small Utah town near the Colorado border, Jensen is now home to the largest Chinese-owned hay farm in the United States. Utah's climate is right for growing alfalfa, and China's growing cattle industry make this a natural global partnership.  Large container ships come to the United States from China, and return fairly empty, making the transportation price relatively affordable.  While this might make economic sense on a global scale, local water concerns in the west show that this isn't without it's problems.  Water resources are scarce and many see this as a depletion of local water exported to China.  Some states see this as a threat and are considering banning foreign ownership of farmland.  This article shows the merging of various geographic themes: the global and local, the industrial and the agricultural, the human and the physical.         


Tags: agriculture, agribusinesstransportation, globalizationwaterChinaindustry, economic, physical, Utah.

more...
Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, July 7, 2014 10:41 AM
strong>Seth Dixon's insight: China buying farm land
MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:06 PM

APHG-U5

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:15 PM

APHG-U5

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

40 maps that explain food in America

40 maps that explain food in America | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The future of the nations will depend on the manner of how they feed themselves, wrote the French epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826. Almost 200 years later, how nations feed themselves has gotten a lot more complicated. That’s particularly true in the US, where food insecurity coexists with an obesity crisis, where fast food is everywhere and farmer’s markets are spreading, where foodies have never had more power and McDonald’s has never had more locations, and where the possibility of a barbecue-based civil war is always near. So here are 40 maps, charts, and graphs that show where our food comes from and how we eat it, with some drinking thrown in for good measure."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Occasionally these lists that say something like "40 maps that..." end up being an odd assortment of trivia that is interesting but not very instructive.  Not so with this list that has carefully curated these maps and graphs in a sequential order that will enrich students' understanding of food production and consumption in the United States.  Additionally, here are some maps and chart to understand agriculture and food in Canada


Tags: agriculture, food production, food distribution, locavore, agribusiness, USA

more...
Treathyl Fox's curator insight, June 26, 2014 12:26 PM

WOW!  Talk about contrast and compare.  So now is contrast, compare and ... uh? ... conquer??  From farming and enjoying the harvest - which could be interpreted as healthy eating back in the day - TO sugary sweet soda pops and fatty burgers - which some might be calling junk food, convenience food, fast food, comfort food you don't have to cook yourself, the cause of obesity, a politician's guide to a potential source of additional revenue from taxes, etc.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 2:16 PM

With more people than ever living in cities and less people than ever working on farms, the future of our food is in question. The riskiness, labor, low gain,  and negative stereotypes of farmers combined with the fear of food conglomerates has led to a depletion of smaller scale farmers. Brain drain in rural farming areas is depleting the number of younger people willing to work in agriculture. With most of our food production being controlled and overseen by large corporations, people are now questioning the quality of our foods. Recently, the local food movement is educating people on the importance of food produced with integrity and supporting  local businesses.  

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:51 PM

Occasionally these lists that say something like "40 maps that..." end up being an odd assortment of trivia that is interesting but not very instructive.  Not so with this list that has carefully curated these maps and graphs in a sequential order that will enrich students' understanding of food production and consumption in the United States.  Additionally, here are some maps and chart to understand agriculture and food in Canada

 

Tags: agriculture, food production, food distribution, locavore, agribusiness, USA

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Alluvial Fans

Alluvial Fans | Geography Education | Scoop.it
When streams emerge from mountains, they often spread out and deposit sediment in a distinctive pattern known as an alluvial fan.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In dry areas of interior drainage (such as Central Asia and the Great Basin in the U.S.), the human settlements are often clustered along the foothills of the mountains near landforms called alluvial fans.  Take time to analyze this image (and this one as well); in alluvial fans and the agricultural patterns that people create on them, we can see some striking geometric and spatial configurations that show how human settlements are highly dependent of the physical environment.   


Tags: spatial, remote sensing, geospatial, Kazakhstan, Central Asialandscape.

more...
Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 3:27 PM

These fans are like a good Delta. People live between the mountains and the desert. Water runs down the mountains making a fan to where now a little distance away farms are produced and good vegetation.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:29 AM

these are the fascinating geographic anomalies. its amazing the civilizations that rise up on earth, but are totally alien to us, even in the age of instant communication.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 12:02 PM

An interesting little piece of Kazakhstan geography here. I find it fascinating that not only are these unique to deserts due to low vegetation but that they become perfect for agriculture (an irony of sorts I suppose). I also rather enjoy how the agricultural areas are spread out like a fan like the water runoff from the mountain. One key feature I didn't notice until I read it was the railroad that goes right through the fields to reach the town on the outskirts of the Alluvial fan. I am particularly curious to how many areas actually use this to make the desert a hospitable place for habitation (since it is usually a bad idea due to lack of water and food). It would also have been more interesting if the culture of the people who inhabit these places was discussed since it would likely be different in other places since they are only relying on 1 main water source. Geographically and historically I can imagine that places like this would have also been key strategic locations especially when traversing the arid areas.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

How the Potato Changed the World

How the Potato Changed the World | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Brought to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers, the lowly potato gave rise to modern industrial agriculture
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Colombian Exchange is a term that describes the most dramatic biologic transfer in history.  European explorers brought animals and agricultural items from the Old World to the New and subsequently brought back items from the New World back to the Old.  This exchange profoundly reshaped many societies as agricultural diffusion of the potato lead to the changes across northern Europe. 


Tags: agriculture, food production, diffusionhistorical colonialism, Europe

more...
Gina Panighetti's curator insight, August 4, 2014 5:35 PM

Columbian Exchange Unit

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 12:57 PM

Potatoes are one of the most widespread foods in the world, due to its resiliency to harsh weather conditions and its ability to grow to large sizes. Potatoes can also be traced to show the beginning forces of globalization. Before modern communication and transportation technology, globalization occurred at a much slower rate. Globalization spread through trade routes in the forms of foods, resources, and therefore cultures and people. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:52 PM

The Colombian Exchange is a term that describes the most dramatic biologic transfer in history.  European explorers brought animals and agricultural items from the Old World to the New and subsequently brought back items from the New World back to the Old.  This exchange profoundly reshaped many societies as agricultural diffusion of the potato lead to the changes across northern Europe. 

 

Tags: agriculture, food production, diffusionhistorical colonialism, Europe

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Spoof on Agricultural Standards

Seth Dixon's insight:

These spoofs are just for fun...but they are basic ways to start some conversations about  modern agricultural practices, especially the local and organic movements.  Here is another spoof, mocking paleo and crossfit trends.  

more...
Josune Erkizia's curator insight, March 5, 2014 2:49 AM

Very funny

Marie-Ann Roberts's curator insight, March 5, 2014 3:51 AM

Good for sessions on Animal Welfare and Farm Assurance.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:07 PM

unit 5

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

How Vietnam became a coffee giant

How Vietnam became a coffee giant | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?"


Seth Dixon's insight:

Vietnam is a historically tea-drinking country, and when the French colonized, they brought coffee.  Culturally they still prefer tea, but in the 1980s, the government say this as a major export crop that they were climatically primed to produce.  This rapid growth has bolstered the economy, but has had some adverse environmental impacts as well.  The article is rich in geographic topics to bring into the classroom.

  

Tags: Vietnamagricultureglobalization, SouthEastAsia.

more...
Chris Costa's curator insight, November 9, 2015 2:20 PM

Globalization is a polarizing topic, and that is embodied very well in this article concerning the economic ascendancy of the Vietnamese economy. Globalization is responsible for the colonization of the nation, and the subsequent century of bloodshed between opposing nationalist and international forces. Global trade, however, and the introduction of coffee in Vietnam by the French, is responsible for Vietnam's current economic boost. 30 years ago, 60% of Vietnamese lived below the national poverty line; today, that number has fallen to below 10%, an extraordinary achievement. How? Vietnam has emerged as a major player in the global coffee trade, its market share rising from 0.1% to 20% in the same time period, ensuring mass employment for the first time since colonization. Is the system perfect? No- we have learned that diversified economies are integral to development, and nations too dependent on a single sector of the economy can face ruin when confronted with fluctuating market prices, supply, and global demand. There could be improvements to the existing trade, and the government could be doing even more for those who fall below the poverty line- the average Vietnamese worker still only makes a paltry $1300 annual salary- but this is a major step in the right direction. Hopefully this trend can continue, and Vietnam can continue its rise and become a fully developed nation, much like its predecessors in Asia, South Korea, China, and Japan.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:59 PM

Well for one thing this gives a chance for growth at the expense of others. I noticed though that the numbers stated that since the end of the war in 1975 the poverty level has decreased from 60% to 10%. But what about the possibility of corruption? environmentally there appears to be  deforestation, lots of water usage therefore future water shortage.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:29 PM
Typically I would always associate coffee and coffee beans coming from Spanish speaking countries and I would associate Asian countries with drinking tea. This threw me for a little twist, The Vietnamese do drink coffee though. Coffee was introduced to Vietnam in the 19th century by the French. A majority of their coffee beans are exported since the country needs money. After the Vietnam war had ended, their communist ally, The Soviet Union did nothing to help the crippled country. Agriculture was a disaster, bu the government decided to take a risk in the 80s with growing coffee. It was a success and kept increasing 20%-30% every year in the 90s. Now it employs over two million people. Even major brands like Nestle has coffee bean growing rights there.
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

In Florida, A Turf War Blooms Over Front-Yard Vegetable Gardening

In Florida, A Turf War Blooms Over Front-Yard Vegetable Gardening | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A woman in Miami Shores is suing after her town insisted she remove vegetables from her garden.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This podcast highlights the political governance issues surrounding urban agriculture. 

more...
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, December 18, 2013 7:38 AM

Not just Florida. Condos do not like use of landscape for gardening.

Purple Media Lady's curator insight, January 4, 2014 7:38 AM

Science related

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, January 27, 2014 4:33 PM

Where you can and can not plant vegetables can become a major issue in communities that want to maintain their "reputations". While some gardeners plant crops where they can get the most sun and access to supplies, neighbors and neighborhoods, such as that in Miami Shores, do not always approve of planting in the front yard. This story focuses on a woman's need to garden for food and the shift into "turf-wars."

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Geography of Quinoa

Geography of Quinoa | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The popularity of Quinoa has grown exponentially among the health-conscious food consumers in the developed economies of the world.  Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is rich in protein and is a better grain for those seeking to lose weight.  Quinoa has historically be rather limited but this diffusion is restructuring the geographic patterns of many places." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This map from a Geography in the News article shows that Quinoa has historically been grown almost exclusively in the highlands of the Andes Mountains.  This was a localized food source for generations but this new global demand has increased the economic possibilities for Quinoa growers.  At the same time, local consumers that have traditionally depended on cheap Quinoa to supplement their diet are now effectively priced out, as stated in this Al-Jazeera article


Questions to Ponder: What modern and traditional agricultural patterns can we see in the production of Quinoa?  How have global and local forces reshaped the system?


Tags: agriculture, food production, foodglobalization, South America, folk cultures, culture, Bolivia.

more...
Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 9, 2015 10:10 PM

Quinoa appears to be originated as grain crop for edible seeds in parts of Bolivia, Argentina, Peru and along to Andes Mountain. However, they increase the crop value as it spreads to other areas of the world such as Europe and United States. One thing that I wonder is that if the production is going to be popular in any region other than South America but manufacturing regions started on eastern United States and they spread overseas to Europe. I wonder if production of Quinoa will spread to other continents. Believe it or not, it has partially spread to small parts of southwestern Europe.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:20 PM

Quinoa will be a staple for generations to come and the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay and Argentina would do well to provide all the assistance to the farming community in their respective countries. This product is like New Age rice, it provides multiple benefits to health conscious consumers such as protein, fiber, and a "full" feeling when consumed. Any recipe that calls for a rice base can incorporate Quinoa just as easily and it tastes great. being a bit of a health freak, I use Quinoa in my diet and it works.

While the success of the grain has made it less accessible price-wise to those who grow it, it should provide for a greater economic benefit for years to come, lifting a population from near poverty levels to hopefully one of a strong and vibrant middle class.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:43 PM

Quinoa has been grown in the high mountains of the Andes for decades and has been a localized food for the population. As their health benefits became known in to the global community, the demands for them increases. This made it difficult for the locals to find cheap Quinoa, which is normally eaten in their diet. I feel that it is unfair for the locals to have seek new source of food alternatives now that their healthy Quinoa will become more expensive as the demand for it goes up.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Rethinking Agriculture

"Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. See other videos on this organization here."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There has been a revitalization in urban gardening as many city dwellers feel disconnected from their food systems; urban gardening is a way for people to actively control what they are ingesting into their systems many fear some of the modern agricultural methods.  Based in Milwaukee, WI, Growing Power has created an interesting combination of vegetable gardening and aquaponics for the urban environment. 


Tags: food, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture.

more...
Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, October 7, 2014 10:48 AM

With the strong waves of urbanization that the United States has seen in the last 100 years it's interesting to note this desire to return to a rural connection while still maintaining the connection to the city. I can see this causing problems with zoning commissions in the future if too many people start trying to become urban famers. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:43 PM

There has been a revitalization in urban gardening as many city dwellers feel disconnected from their food systems; urban gardening is a way for people to actively control what they are ingesting into their systems many fear some of the modern agricultural methods.  Based in Milwaukee, WI, Growing Power has created an interesting combination of vegetable gardening and aquaponics for the urban environment. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For at least 70 years, the Red Delicious has dominated apple production in the United States. But since the turn of the 21st century, as the market has filled with competitors—the Gala, the Fuji, the Honeycrisp—its lead has been narrowing. Annual output has plunged."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The story of the Red Delicious is almost a perfect analogy for the food industry.  It was genetically selected for its marketable skin, an aesthetically sumptuous red.  The skin of the Red Delicious better covers bruises than other varieties and tastes more bitter.  Consumers were buying what the industry promoted and “eating with their eyes and not their mouths.”  But recently there has been a backlash in the United States and more American consumer are seeking out other varieties; meanwhile the apple producers are working on exporting this variety to around the world, but especially into Chinese markets.  


Tags: agriculture, food production, food distribution, agribusiness, USA

more...
Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:55 AM

Oh how do I hate these waxy beauties. I remember in elementary school they offered these apples and I took a bite and had never tasted something so evil and wrong. Apples are supposed to be fresh, not tasteless and with no nutrients.

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, March 11, 2016 9:34 PM
Share your insight
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Where China and Kazakhstan Meet

Where China and Kazakhstan Meet | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"While people often say that borders aren’t visible from space, the line between Kazakhstan and China could not be more clear in this satellite image. Acquired by the Landsat 8 satellite on September 9, 2013, the image shows northwestern China around the city of Qoqek and far eastern Kazakhstan near Lake Balqash.

The border between the two countries is defined by land-use policies. In China, land use is intense. Only 11.62 percent of China’s land is arable. Pressed by a need to produce food for 1.3 billion people, China farms just about any land that can be sustained for agriculture. Fields are dark green in contrast to the surrounding arid landscape, a sign that the agriculture is irrigated. As of 2006, about 65 percent of China’s fresh water was used for agriculture, irrigating 629,000 square kilometers (243,000 square miles) of farmland, an area slightly smaller than the state of Texas.

The story is quite different in Kazakhstan. Here, large industrial-sized farms dominate, an artifact of Soviet-era agriculture. While agriculture is an important sector in the Kazakh economy, eastern Kazakhstan is a minor growing area. Only 0.03 percent of Kazakhstan’s land is devoted to permanent agriculture, with 20,660 square kilometers being irrigated. The land along the Chinese border is minimally used, though rectangular shapes show that farming does occur in the region. Much of the agriculture in this region is rain-fed, so the fields are tan much like the surrounding natural landscape."


Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, food, agriculture, agricultural land change.

more...
Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 15, 2015 10:24 AM

It is amazing what irrigation can produce.  The border between China and Kazakhstan is a perfect picture of land with irrigation and one without supplied water.  Eastern Kasakhstan has farmland but it is only subsidized by natural rainfall whereas on the greener Chinese side of the border it is supplemented with water by the farmers.  Great picture!

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 12:00 PM

Seeing such a striking difference between two countries that are so close together is strange and thought-provoking. Knowing a little bit about the two countries can make a world of difference, though. In this case, we have China and Kazakhstan, two countries located in East/Central Asia. Kazakhstan borders China to the west, along the northern part of its western border. Much of China's inland land use is devoted to agriculture, as the majority of its industry is located near its coast. This is evident by the amount of green space seen in the satellite image above. With well over a billion people to feed, China needs to make use of as much of its arable land as possible. Kazakhstan, on the other hand is a much smaller country with much less land devoted to agriculture. Its farmland is mostly large and industrial, as a result of Soviet-era farming and is rain-fed rather than irrigated, like China's.

 

Knowing the history as well as the economic strengths of a country can therefore be useful in interpreting satellite images such as the one in this article. A lack of knowledge about China and Kazakhstan's economy and history may lead to an assumption that the Chinese are just better farmers than the Kazakhs. This is of course not necessarily true, but what is true is that China has a much larger and more immediate need for agriculture than does Kazakhstan and so devotes more of its land, time, and energy to farming. Likewise, it shouldn't be assumed that Kazakhstan has no need for agriculture at all. Instead, its history has largely influenced its economic strengths and needs, and the result is a country that looks very different from China. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 19, 2015 12:41 PM

It's crazy to see how much human influences can reshape the landscape, or how things we tend to think of in more abstract terms- like national boundaries- can be very physical in nature. I liked reading about the differing agricultural approaches the two nations take, and being able to see the physical manifestations of those two different approaches so obviously. It's impressive to think that China is able to support such a massive population- one in every 5 people alive on the planet is Chinese- with so little land, and the consequences are plain to see in the image above. Increased irrigation efforts leads to the unnaturally bright green patches in the middle of a relatively dry area, serving as a symbol of man's attempts to bind mother nature to his will. Although not always successful, such attempts appear to be working well here. In contrast, Kazakhstan's population demands vary wildly from that of China's, and its solution for feeding its people can therefore take a more natural, backroads approach, with food production concentrated in a few areas. I wonder what other international borders can be seen so neatly with the naked eye.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S.

Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Maps and charts updated weekly show the latest extent of the drought in the United States.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've shared numerous links here about the drought situation in California over the past few months, but the situation extends far beyond California as these animated maps and charts demonstrate. Some of the best public data on drought can be found at the National Drought Mitigation Center


Tags: wateragriculture, environmentresources, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, consumptionCalifornia.

more...
Nancy Watson's curator insight, August 24, 2014 8:00 PM

Whether global warming or just one of the heat and cooling cycles, this drought is extensive and making an impact on food prices.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The Last Drop: America's Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis

The Last Drop: America's Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Editor's note: This story is one in a series on a crisis in America's Breadbasket –the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer and its effects on a region that hel...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This isn't new, but it is a new development that the media is covering the issue that has been going on for decades.  The Ogallala aquifer is the primary water source in an agricultural region  from Texas to Nebraska in dry, but agriculturally productive states.  The reason behind their agricultural success in the dry high plains is that more water is being extracted from the aquifer than is naturally being replenished.  This is the obvious result of a human-environmental interaction where the individual actors are incentivized to deplete a communal resource.      


Tags: agriculture, agribusinesswater, environment, resources

more...
Linda Denty's curator insight, July 24, 2014 6:46 PM

Could this happen in Australia also?

Jamie Strickland's curator insight, July 25, 2014 10:46 AM

Thanks to my good friend, Seth Dixon for the original scoop.  There had been quite a bit of news reporting on the drought in central California this year, but this midwestern region has been experiencing water stress for years with little national attention.  I plan to use this article in both an upcoming presentation as well as an example when I teach "Tragedy of the Commons" in my Environmental Dilemma class.

Kate Buckland's curator insight, July 26, 2014 10:32 PM

Good to compare to how we use water resources in Australia

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Sustaining Seven Billion People

Sustaining Seven Billion People | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"With seven billion people now living on Earth, the ever growing demand is putting unprecedented pressure on global resources—especially forests, water, and food. How can Earth’s resources be managed best to support so many people? One key is tracking the sum of what is available, and perhaps nothing is better suited to that task than satellites."


Seth Dixon's insight:

Agricultural production is one of the ways in which people modify the environment more than any other.  Global population is expected to top out at around 9 billion around 2050, so will we be able to sustainably feed all of the entire human population?  Satellite imagery can help answer these questions. 


Tagsremote sensing, geospatial, images, sustainability, agriculture, food production, environment modify, unit 5 agriculture

more...
Brady Jones's comment, February 9, 6:55 PM
Measurements from the Landsat satellite also make it possible to tell how much water the crops consume in an arid environment. Such measurements are likely to become more important as demands on limited water resources increase. Currently, agriculture accounts for 85 percent of the world’s fresh water consumption
Dennis Swender's curator insight, February 10, 12:39 AM
Share your insight
Brieanna Hepburn's comment, February 13, 6:15 PM
With seven billion people now living on Earth, the ever growing demand is putting unprecedented pressure on global resources—especially forests, water, and food.
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico

NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"When the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect in 1994, it removed nearly all trade barriers between the countries. Among the industries affected was agriculture, forcing small Mexican farmers into direct competition with big American agribusiness. Cheap American corn – heavily subsidized, mechanized and genetically modified – soon flooded the Mexican market to the detriment of local farmers.  As U.S. farmers exported their subsidized corn to Mexico, local producer prices plummeted and small farmers could no longer earn enough to live on."

Seth Dixon's insight:

International trade agreements are usually discussed at the national level.  "NAFTA benefits Mexico" is a commonly heard saying because trade with the United States and Canada strengthens the manufacturing sector in Mexico.  Even if there is an overall benefit to a country, there are always winners and losers for different regions, economic sectors and many other demographic groups.   Farmers in southern Mexico were certainly a sector that struggled mightily under NAFTA.


Tags: Mexicosupranationalism, industry, place, agriculture, food production,

more...
Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 29, 2014 11:44 AM

The American agricultural industry has been highly subsidized by the government to create interest in farming and food production. This causes problems for America's neighboring countries' resident farmers. The Mexican corn farmers are struggling mightily with the influx of cheap American corn into Mexico due to the open trade policies created by NAFTA. Some tariffs or new economic regulations must be created to protect Mexican corn farmers and regulate the amount of cheap American corn that is flooding Mexican markets. 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 29, 2014 12:44 PM

With all the good we thought NAFTA did for the three countries involved, I feel that sometimes we overlook the bad.  Southern Mexico has felt all negative affects from NAFTA.  While the northern states in Mexico are able to keep up with the advanced agricultural processes that America has, the south is unable to.  The old techniques and lack of machinery prevents the south from having any possible competition with the north as well as America leaving the south to become extremely impoverished and potentially unsuitable for any living.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Will American Pot Farmers Put the Cartels out of Business?

Will American Pot Farmers Put the Cartels out of Business? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
They've driven prices so low that Mexican growers are giving up.


For the first time ever, many of the farmers who supply Mexican drug cartels have stopped planting marijuana, reports the Washington Post. "It's not worth it anymore," said Rodrigo Silla, a lifelong cannabis farmer from central Mexico. "I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization."  Facing stiff competition from pot grown legally and illegally north of the border, the price for a kilogram of Mexican schwag has plummeted by 75 percent, from $100 to $25.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Events that we think of as local (Washington and Colorado legalizing marijuana use) have national and global implications, especially in a globalized economy.  This article is but one example of why geographers try to approach every issue at a variety of scales to more fully comprehend the ramifications and ripple effects of any given phenomenon. 


Tags: Mexiconarcoticsscale

more...
Chris Costa's curator insight, September 21, 2015 10:16 AM

I expect that one day, anti-marijuana legislation will be talked about in classrooms in much the same manner that prohibition is talked about today. Legalization movements are sweeping the country, with two states already legalizing it for recreational use and basking in the additional tax income. I remember reading that Colorado is actually planning on giving some of the excessive revenue gathered from taxes on marijuana back to citizens- if that is not enough evidence for those opposed to legalization that the benefits of legalizing the drug FAR outweigh the potential drawbacks, than I can only point to these developments in Mexico as further proof. Cartels cannot keep up with US pot growers, and are suffering as a result. Although this could potentially lead to increased violence in the States as cartels push northwards, the nation-wide legalization of the drug would do more to weaken the cartels than billions of dollars in funding for the DEA has ever done. The War on Drugs has already shown how ineffective a policy it really is. Why not give the people the power to choose for themselves what they may put in their bodies within the privacy of their home?. God knows we could use the additional revenue to help schools! Legalize it!

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:37 AM

there is also a negative side affect on this and that is now that planting marijuana is not making any money for the growers it is time to move to bigger and more dangerous stuff. The united states though the government  will not admit to, has a major drug usage problem and so it would be time to bring in another form of drug to make a profit. every so often there is something new that pops up on the streets and Americans want to experience them.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:51 PM

Events that we think of as local (Washington and Colorado legalizing marijuana use) have national and global implications, especially in a globalized economy.  This article is but one example of why geographers try to approach every issue at a variety of scales to more fully comprehend the ramifications and ripple effects of any given phenomenon. 

 

Tags: Mexiconarcoticsscale

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Feeding 9 Billion

Feeding 9 Billion | Geography Education | Scoop.it
When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner. But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Agricultural production is one of the ways in which people modify the environment more than any other.  Global population is expected to top out at around 9 billion around 2050, so will we be able to sustainably feed all of the entire human population?  This one question brings up many more spatial, environmental, political and social questions--this interactive feature nicely addresses many of the pertinent issues in a very accessible manner.    


Tags: sustainability, agriculture, food production, environment modify, unit 5 agriculture

more...
Sally Egan's curator insight, April 30, 2014 11:09 PM

Agricultural production is one of the ways in which people modify the environment more than any other.  Global population is expected to top out at around 9 billion around 2050, so will we be able to sustainably feed all of the entire human population?  This one question brings up many more spatial, environmental, political and social questions--this interactive feature nicely addresses many of the pertinent issues in a very accessible manner.   

 

This article relates well to the Population topic in Global Challenges and issues that arise from the present growth patterns.  

Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:59 PM

As population continues to grow and agricultural lands dissappear, the issue of feeding the world is becoming a growing concern.

The environmental places of the world are becoming arid and the agrarian places are dwindling affecting the human/environment interaction by introducing agricultural issues.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:52 PM

Agricultural production is one of the ways in which people modify the environment more than any other.  Global population is expected to top out at around 9 billion around 2050, so will we be able to sustainably feed all of the entire human population?  This one question brings up many more spatial, environmental, political and social questions--this interactive feature nicely addresses many of the pertinent issues in a very accessible manner.    

 

Tags: sustainability, agriculture, food production, environment modify, unit 5 agriculture. 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

GMO-Free Europe

GMO-Free Europe | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Would you like to map out the GMO-free regions of Europe?  Looking for resources discussing the impacts of GMOs on society?  This is a partisan site with some nice resources for a student project. Additionally, in this NPR podcast they discuss how some American companies are trying to be GMO free in a GMO world.  

more...
Whitney Souery's curator insight, May 28, 2014 6:44 PM

This map is the epitome of agricultural geography and the beginning of a series of questions such as why did all of Europe choose to be GMO-free? Or, does the proximity of European countries have to do with the fact that they share similar values (such as being GMO-free)? What does the EU have to do with this pattern? Because the EU chooses to be GMO-free, European countries are making a statement and consequently refining agricultural markets by refusing to import certain genetically modified foods. Agricultural geography thus shares some patterns across space- with all of Europe sharing simile agricultural policies. 

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 29, 2015 8:23 AM

This is an interesting development that has major implications for the world and its food supply. The social and political buzz combined with corporate profits intersecting with morality about sums up this complex and diverse issue.

One platform is the compliance of companies using GMO's without placing it on the ingredient label. People clearly have a right to know what's going in their bodies, and to choose whether or not they want to.

Another is that GMO's are nearly everywhere in the food system, with some estimates that 70% of the corn produced is of this variety. For folks who want to feed the world and prevent hunger more efficiently this is a huge win. Think of the lives disease resistant grains alone could save.

But is it safe?

Other issues include, how crops that are non-GMO can be inadvertently cross-pollinated with those that are naturally grown. How is that being monitored, and who is doing it? Is it self-policed or are governments watching over this?

My personal worry is that we create a crop that causes digestive or nutrient issues that "infects" the food supply, or worse, we take the technology to humans with dire consequences. This will be one of the hot topics that will be debated for decades to come. Corporate greed versus what's right for the people of the world. Call me a romantic, but I hope we as society do the right thing and feed our planet first. Perhaps money can be genetically modified to have less of an importance in society.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:55 PM

Would you like to map out the GMO-free regions of Europe?  Looking for resources discussing the impacts of GMOs on society?  This is a partisan site with some nice resources for a student project. Additionally, in this NPR podcast they discuss how some American companies are trying to be GMO free in a GMO world.  

Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks
Scoop.it!

"Lost" New England Revealed

"Lost" New England Revealed | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"New England's woody hills and dales hide a secret—they weren't always forested. Instead, many were once covered with colonial roads and farmsteads."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love living in New England and finding stone walls from old farmsteads; an archaeology professor at UConn is using geospatial technologies to map out the remants of that historical landscape.  This is a great example of using spatial thinking across the disciplines. 


Tags: remote sensing, geospatiallandscape, historical, environment modify.

more...
Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, January 8, 2014 10:55 AM

Through the most recent technology, man has been able to discover that wooded areas of New England where once vibrant communities, homesteads and settled communities.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, January 26, 2014 10:44 PM

Thanks to dedicated archeologists and the LiDAR, we can see the creations of a once small, abandoned community in New England. Even through the thick forest, the LiDAR can detect rocks walls and small dirt roads. Hopefully, we can find more of these ancient communities in other areas around the world.  

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, January 28, 2014 12:48 PM

History is revealed with the use of high tech scanners known as  LiDAR's. With the use of these scanners, scholars learn that many areas of New England, including forested areas in Connecticut and Rhode Island, once were farming grounds. These "lost" pieces of history now lead scholars in new directions in dicovering the past, and details to its future.

Suggested by Thomas Schmeling
Scoop.it!

Gaming to Help Farmers

Gaming to Help Farmers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A computer game wants you to map the world's cropland so farmers can get more out of each harvest.
Seth Dixon's insight:

NPR has recently highlighted Crop Capture; Crop Capture is a game that uses Google Earth imagery to crowd-source agricultural data.  From a pedagogical standpoint, this is a great way to visually introduce students the variety of agricultural landscapes that can be found around the world.  This is an example of what many refer to as citizen science games which provides an alternative rationale for playing the game.


Tags: agriculture, food production, mapping, geospatial, edtech.

more...
PIRatE Lab's curator insight, December 4, 2013 7:30 PM

These types of approaches to crowd sourcing are becoming bigger and bigger by the day it seems.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:34 PM

This is cool, there are many agricultural types and you can see It here. different land areas have different soil and chemicals in it which certain types of crops can benefit from. It is important to know these things.