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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Global food crisis

Global food crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Climate change, changing diets and a growing global population has pushed food security to the top of the international agenda.


Food problems are fundamentally geographic.  Understanding local economics, agriculture and development all play a critical role in contextualizing place-based shortages.  This interactive media guide highlights where these issues are the most problematic. 

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Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 10, 2013 9:39 AM

Neo-Malthusian point of view?

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Thanksgiving Maps

Thanksgiving Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Want to know where your Thanksgiving food comes from? 

 

This provides the geography of holiday food production with links to the data so you can map out the data with GIS (links produced by Western Illinois University).

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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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Seeds of A Revolution » 21st Century African Land Rush

Seeds of A Revolution » 21st Century African Land Rush | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Interesting map about farming land lending to other countries in Africa. Impossible to find the original source, but is attricuted to the Financial Times. 


Here is a link to the image (in low res) without political content (UN related): http://new.uneca.org/lpi/africanlandrush.aspx 


Tags: Africa, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture.

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

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

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

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Crissy Borton's comment, September 11, 2012 5:36 PM
Looking at purchasing a house in the next year or so and this is one thing we have been looking at. Although we don't want to raise our own meat we would like to grow everything else we eat.
Courtney Holbert's curator insight, February 3, 2013 7:44 PM

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

Chris Scott's curator insight, July 14, 2013 6:51 AM

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

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Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists

Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Water scarcity's effect on food production means radical steps will be needed to feed population expected to reach 9bn by 2050...

 

This article represents a good example of neo-Malthusian ideas concerning population growth and food production.  The recent drought and subsequent food shortage/spike in global food prices has renewed interest in these ideas.

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Charles M's comment, August 27, 2012 8:00 AM
Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle that not many people wish to embrace. People are looked down upon for being a vegetarian. In reality, as a vegetarian the food is incredible and the feeling after you eat food is drastic compared to a meat eater. As a vegetarian you think more abou what you are putting into your mouth, and eventually body.
Lim Jun Heng's curator insight, February 1, 2013 4:46 AM

From this article I can tell that the lack of water is getting more and more out of hand, affecting our food supply. It will not be a surprise for humans to become vegetarians as the lack of meat is apparent. Having a vegetarian diet is the only way for us human to have enough water for our own consumption. , I think it is not that bad to be a vegetarian, after all vegetarian leads a healthier lifestyle compared to people who always eat meat. Vegetables are good for our health after all. This makes me wonder, considering our lack of water and food supply, what will happen if people refuse to co-operate? And continues to waste resources, will we really be the cause of our own extinction? 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 10, 2013 8:20 AM

Neo-Malthusian thought......

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Wild rice gene gives yield boost

Wild rice gene gives yield boost | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A gene from wild Indian rice plants can significantly raise the yield of common varieties in nutrient-poor soils by boosting root growth.

 

While many are leery of GMOs (with good reasons linked to health), it is important to recognize that there is society value to agricultural research that works on improving yields.  This article would be a good "other side of the coin" resource to share when discussing GMOs.   

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July 2012 Hottest Month Ever in U.S.

July 2012 Hottest Month Ever in U.S. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
By Climate Central's Michael D. Lemonick: July 2012 was officially not only the warmest July on record, but also the warmest month ever recorded for the lower 48 states, according to a report released Wednesday by scientists at the National Oceanic...

 

The drought footprint cover 63% of the contiguous states during the hottest month in American history.  It's the hottest 12 month stretch (August 2011-July 2012) on record for the lower 48, making it the fourth consecutive month to set a new record (i.e. old record was July 2011-June 2012).The biggest difference from other hot months is the nighttime temperature have been exceptionally high.  The most current drought monitor map can be found at the University of Nebraske website. 

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Drought Worsens in Midwest

Drought Worsens in Midwest | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The worst drought in 50 years has intensified across the US midwest, not only condemning this year's corn crop but threatening the prospects for next year's too, new figures showed on Thursday."

 

The current drought in the Midwest is having a much greater impact than making residents hot and uncomfortable. Farmland prices were on the rise, and the market was acting on the assumption that of good years with bountiful harvests.  As a breadbasket, the drought in deepening fears of a global food crisis and greatly impacting food production with economic, energy (ethanol) and political ramifications.  See this article for more on the environmental problems from drought, especially wildfires.  

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Seth D.'s comment, September 4, 2012 5:15 AM
This article about the drought in the Midwest is interesting. The reason why is because the Midwest is where the farmers grow their crops especially corn, carrots, etc. Most of the products we buy at the grocery store involves corn like cornbread mix, different kinds of meats like steaks, roast round of beef, etc. Ever since the drought began, it began drying up the crops in the Midwest including corn and the farmers can feed their farm animals like cows and chickens. As a result of this drought, not only that we're going to see less corn at the grocery store but we're going to see higher prices for almost every product in grocery stores across the country that has corn and corn syrup as an ingredient like soda, cornbread mix, etc. Not only this is an environmental issue but it's also an economic issue. But, since Hurricane or Tropical Storm Isaac brought torential rain to the drought areas in the Midwest even thought it's too late for the farmers this year but hopefully it will set up the farmers for next year crop for corn and if everything goes well, we will see prices drop for food at grocery stoes across the country.
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Drought impacting Agriculture & Economy

Drought impacting Agriculture & Economy | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Citing higher cheese prices, Colbert states it plainly:..."

 

Although in America today only about 2% of the workforce is involved in agriculture, crop cultivation is still tightly integrated within our economy affecting a much wider range of people and industries.  According to the US Department of Agriculture we our currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in our nation’s history rivaling the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. On a national scale, prices in gas, meat, dairy and other products that depend on crops will likely increase. However, since the U.S is a major producer of crops such as wheat and corn, the global economic consequences of this will be felt around the world. How will an increase in food prices effect people in countries were a quarter or more of their income goes towards groceries? How will a decreasing agricultural yield effect economic and political stability around the world?  This is a humorous look at a very serious problem. 

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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 30, 2012 8:48 AM
With fuel already a huge issue, now we will have the added costs of water shortage on our hands. It's an unfortunate deal, but cost is always passed on to the consumer. You can see it in many products today, smaller portion yet higher price. It shall be the same with anything in those regions effected by the drought.
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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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Grocery Store Wars

Not long ago in a supermarket not so far away. Help fight the dark side of the farm. Rate the film, favorite the film, comment the film and subscribe to our ...

 

This is horribly cheesy and from an incredibly biased perspective, but it does embody how many see the organic movement (and is quite entertaining for old Star Wars buffs like me). 

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Technology and Biological Changes

Technology and Biological Changes | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A pilot study discovered that levels of BPA in pregnant Mennonite women were four times lower than the national median.

 

This is an interesting article that shows that the technological advancements and the way we choose to live has tangible, measureable effects on our biochemistry. 

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Roland's comment, July 2, 2012 8:04 AM
Everyone is already aware that organic food is better for you. There is an article I read some time ago, on a man whos name unfortunatley escapes me at the moment. In his late 50's and in fantastic shape, he only eats organic, yet goes many steps further; He eliminated all plastics from his life opting to only drink filtered water from glass containers. His entire home has a water filtration system built into it to remove exposure to toxins that you bathe in, and refuses to wear anything but natural clothing. He claims that his body is all the proof you need to know that his methods work. I'm sure any step to removing toxins in your life is one forward.
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Guerrilla Cartographers Put Global Food Stats On The Map

Guerrilla Cartographers Put Global Food Stats On The Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The mapmakers have amassed some 80 maps for Food: An Atlas, ranging from surplus in Northeast Italy to meat production in Maryland. The goal is to spread information about various food systems so they can be adapted locally.


Social media is enhancing digital cooperation to enable some intriguing grass-roots projects such as this one. 


Tags: food, agriculture, mapping.

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The Geography of Thanksgiving Foods

The Geography of Thanksgiving Foods | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The terms cooks enter into search engines can provide clues as to what dishes are being cooked around the nation.

 

Some fascinating (if not entirely scientific) maps that show the most common searches on www.allrecipes.com and regional differences in food preferences.  More importantly, it also is an interesting glimpse into the geography of language.  Some similar dishes are called by more regional names (e.g.-"Stuffing" in the Northeast and West, "Dressing" in the Midwest and South).  This set of maps also reinforces the concepts of regions.  This is a fun way to teach some actual content and enjoy the holiday.


Tags: language, food, diffusion, regions, seasonal.

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Urban Agriculture Sprouts in Brazil’s Favelas

Urban Agriculture Sprouts in Brazil’s Favelas | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Urban Agriculture Sprouts in Brazil’s Favelas - Organic agriculture is a growing trend in big cities around the world, including Latin America, and no...


This article nicely ties two commonly taught issues in human geography that aren't the the typical combination: 1) the growth of organic farming and 2) the spread of squatter settlements and slums in the developing world. 


Tags: agriculture, food, urban, unit 5 agriculture, unit 7 cities

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Matt Mallinson's comment, September 30, 2012 5:31 PM
I think this is an awesome idea. It shows that good things can come from places like these favelas, I'm guessing these organic foods are much healthier than what citizens are used to eating too.
Joshua Choiniere's comment, September 30, 2012 6:12 PM
I found this to be a possitive aspect that can help the people in the favellas. They are growing their own food from their own homes and it allows them to have food and saftey because they dont have to worry about going somewhere far off to farm.
Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 18, 2013 9:03 PM

This is a new trend spreading to Brazil. Now with the organic craze that has been going around in past years farmers have sought out way to grow their food more organically. This also allows poor areas to benefit from organic farming because it is now present in their area and they can no buy food that is good and of their choice. 

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Harvest

Harvest | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Harvest is a time of plenty, when the season's hard work is rewarded by bounty. Many of the rhythms of our lives are shaped by the gathering of crops, even if most of us now live in cities.


This photo essay shows people from around the world harvesting their crops and taking them to the market. Pictured above, farmers who were waiting for customers gathered alongside corn-laden trucks at the market in Lahore, Pakistan earlier this month.


Questions to Ponder: What is similar in these images? What is different? How do those similarities and differences shape the geography of a given region?


Tags: Food, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture, worldwide, comparison, images.

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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 16, 2012 3:59 PM
The similarities in this photo are the type of people. From my observation, and the fact that corn is being produced and delivered to the markets, I would say these farmers are native Mexicans. These similarities shape the geography of a region, because we are aware of what Mexican culture includes - the land's productionof corn and its indigenous people having the characteristic of a darker shade of skin.
Don Brown Jr's comment, September 18, 2012 3:31 PM
How we cultivate crops can reveal a lot about the society we live in. The scale of agricultural production can show us the socio-economics behind who in society does the cultivation and the technological level or resources available to the society that cultivates it. Some of the differences depicted in these harvest pictures tells me that in lower developed societies cultivation can be associated with tradition and rural surroundings while in developed nations it is more industrialized. However the pictures also show the similarities of how agricultural production overlaps into other aspects of society in some nations more than others. Also another similarity I see is that cultivation is still a very social practice and requires the cooperation and coordination of many people.
Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 27, 2012 6:17 AM
This is a very inspiring picture. What we see is the product of labor. If men will only cooperate and work together, we will have an abundant world, no famine, no war. In this picture, I still see a lot of people missing. With only a few people working, we see a lot of products. Therefore, if many people will work together, we can expect more products.
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Women and Land Infographic

Women and Land Infographic | Geography Education | 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 5:38 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 20, 2013 10:30 PM
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, 2:27 PM

New portion of the AP HUG Outline regarding Women in Agriculture

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The hunger wars in our future: Heat, drought, rising food costs, and global unrest

The hunger wars in our future: Heat, drought, rising food costs, and global unrest | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The physical effects of climate change will prove catastrophic. But the social effects -- food riots, state collapse, mass migrations, and conflicts of every sort -- could prove even more disruptiv...

 

This is an inflammatory article from an environmental organization that is speculative in nature (in other words, take it with a grain of salt).  Yet, this type of thinking about the future and thought exercises is worthy of our investigation.  What do you foresee in the future given the current conditions? 

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Does the U.S. need more agricultural diversity?

Does the U.S. need more agricultural diversity? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The disaster underscores the need to diversify our crops.

 

AAG: The drought that has hammered much of the country has clearly illustrated the dangers that come with limited agricultural diversity, writes Macalester College geography professor William G. Moseley in this opinion piece. Federal subsidies have encouraged the growth of corn, but this crop is quite vulnerable to drought, Moseley writes. "A more diverse cropping landscape would mean viable farms, healthier diets and a steadier food system," he writes.

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Ardent Moth's comment, August 18, 2012 11:13 AM
You'd think this would be obvious, you know, ever since the Potato Famine. Monocropping is a failure in design.
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Industrial Foods, Allergies and Cancers

Robyn shares her personal story and how it inspired her current path as a "Real Food" evangelist. Grounded in a successful Wall Street career that was more i...

 

Robyn authored "The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It." A former Wall Street food industry analyst, Robyn brings insight, compassion and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that the global food system is having on the health of our children.  As new proteins are engineered into our food supply to maximize profits for the food industry, childhood food allergies are on the rise.  What are the connections between cancer and modern consumption patterns?  The correlation is clearly there; is causation also present?  How have the economics of agriculture shaped this situation?  How will the future economics of agriculture reshape food production? 

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Understanding "Eat Local"

Understanding "Eat Local" | Geography Education | 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 business of US food aid – interactive

The business of US food aid – interactive | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Nearly $1bn was spent last year buying wheat, sorghum and other products for the controversial US 'in-kind' food aid programmes.   Over 40 companies sold food aid last year

But big agribusinesses are not the only ones winning US food aid contracts. Over 40 companies sold nearly 1.8m tonnes, or $1bn worth, of food aid last year.

Some have developed entirely new product lines, specifically to sell as overseas food aid. Others have fought to get their products on the list of eligible commodities, which includes items such as canned pink salmon and dehydrated potato flakes.

Didion, a private, family-owned company headquartered in Wisconsin, has developed a special line of corn-based food aid products. Last year it was the government’s top supplier of corn-soy blend, a fortified food of choice for the UN’s World Food Programme.  What Crops are being donated?  To which countries?  From which companies?  The answers lie in this interactive feature.

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Cows make less milk in hot sticky weather

Cows make less milk in hot sticky weather | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Research news from leading universities...

 

Sometimes whe teach human geography as though it is not connected to physical geography.  The geographical distribution patterns of agriculture are some of the most highly correlated human activities to the physical environment.  This one, dairy productivity, changes greatly based on temperatures, humidity and latitude. 

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I'm Farming and I Grow It

Is this silly?  Of course...will it get your students attention?  Probably. 

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