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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Stop opposing GMOs, Nobel laureates say

Stop opposing GMOs, Nobel laureates say | Geography Education | Scoop.it
It's the latest sign of a rift between the scientific establishment and anti-GMO activists.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Environmental activists are often frustrated when climate change skeptics do not listen to the scientific consensus that the Earth's climate has changed because of humanity's collective actions.  On the flip side, some environmental organizations, such as Greenpeace, ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus that GMOs are safe for human consumption.  Both have been highly politicized and tap into larger narratives that confirm particular world views.  Most of the opposition to GMOs is not because of the information that is out there, but the fear of the unknown that GMOs illicit.  

 

Tags: GMOs, technology, agriculture, agribusiness.  

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Marc Meynardi's curator insight, July 2, 3:42 AM
And then ? Should everyone blindly accept what scientists have discovered ? No opposition for nothing ? This is the end of the humanity if we do so Mr Nobel Laureate.
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Robotics in Agriculture

Autonomous robots created at the University of Sydney can count fruit on trees, spray weeds, and even herd cows.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We all know that agriculture is becoming increasingly mechanized.  In addition to large, expensive machinery, this video showcases some robots that are automating work that was previously very labor intensive. 

 

Questions to Ponder: How will robotics impact agriculture and other industries in the future?  Will this impact the spatial dynamics of agricultural land? 

 

Tagsfood production, agriculture, foodeconomic, industry, scale, agribusiness, technology.       

 

 

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, May 20, 10:08 AM
Until robots understand holism and acquire a metaphysical connection with Nature, agriculture will probably continue down a path where soon they'll design artificial bees for pollination, and chemical-exuding worms to breakdown the nutrients predigested by bacteria ... if that works, which I doubt.
John Edwards's curator insight, June 2, 4:18 AM
I remember doing my GCSE French oral presentation on exactly this matter - "L'exode rural". Seems we're moving slower than I thought.
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Big Seed: How The Industry Turned From Small-Town Firms To Global Giants

Big Seed: How The Industry Turned From Small-Town Firms To Global Giants | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Most food, if we trace it back far enough, began as a seed. And the business of supplying those seeds to farmers has been transformed over the past half-century. Small-town companies have given way to global giants. A new round of industry consolidation is now underway. Multibillion-dollar mergers are in progress, or under discussion, that could put more than half of global seed sales in the hands of three companies."

 

Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, podcast.

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Zack Zeplin's curator insight, April 24, 5:16 PM
The seed industry, one of the largest industries in modern agribusiness, is quickly being swallowed up by the global giants that lead the seed industry. All over the world small seed businesses are being bought out by larger businesses who seek to mass produce their own genetically modified seeds and strengthen their grip on the global seed market. In American agriculture seed giants rule by providing the highest quality seeds to grow the cereal grains in the U.S. produces. But as a result the consumer benefits, farmers can now run farms that aren’t as capital-intensive because of the biotechnology that goes into these seeds. However it is also important to realize that the number of seed companies is dwindling, and that there are only a few large corporations that control all of the seeds that the world needs to grow enough food to survive. I found this article to be very helpful in shedding some light on how the seeds that go into our food is handled, and the truth on how modern agriculture is run.
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How Meteorology Changed Agriculture Forever

How Meteorology Changed Agriculture Forever | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Early meteorology helped farmers predict yield, transforming the agricultural industry.

 

Complaining over the weather is not new, but the science of studying the weather, and its effects on business, is fairly recent. Around [1920], economists were also starting to use statistical methods to predict yield. Although cotton’s price, as shown on the New York Cotton Exchange, fluctuated daily, a “well-known American economist” discovered that he could make the most accurate total yield predictions—more accurate than those of the government crop reports—by analyzing the average weather conditions from May to August. It was now possible to predict when the crops would have a bumper year or a poor one.

 

Tags: physicalweather and climate, food production, agribusiness, agriculture.

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NESTVAL 2015: The Geography of Food

"My 2015 NESTVAL presentation in an APHG session on the geography of food."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In this presentation (PPTx file here), I share some of my favorite resources for teaching the content as well as some pedagogical tips.  Some of these resources are found in an article I wrote for National Geographic or have been shared on this site earlier.  Here are some pedagogical tips to APHG students about food systems:  

  • Tip#1: Don’t demonize agribusiness or romanticize the family farm. 
  • Tip #2: Use data and maps.  Here is a map in ArcGIS online on rural land use activities with a handy dandy instruction guide, ready to go (many more APHG GeoInquiries from ESRI set to be released soon). 
  • Tip #3: Connect them personally into the web of food systems and show how it impacts them. 
  • Tip #4: Let this be one of those units that connects to all the themes of the course, especially population, culture, political, and the environment.  


Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, agriculture, APHG.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, October 10, 2015 6:09 PM

Things to consider when teaching about food production from a geographical perspective - remember to link to Biomes.

asli telli's curator insight, October 15, 2015 1:40 AM

#Food is #geographical and #mobile...

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Overpackaged Foods

Tagsfoodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture,


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Living in the Shadow of Industrial Farming

"The world eats cheap bacon at the expense of North Carolina's rural poor." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

In a recent article by QZ (the video above comes from the same investigation), they explore the negative impacts of the pork industry.  People love their bacon memes, but forget about social and environmental impacts of an increased global trend towards higher pork consumption


Tags: food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture, agricultural environment, environment, environment modify, pollution. 

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, August 17, 2015 1:50 PM

Industrial farming, manure lagoons... do you know this type of farming?

Lilydale High School's curator insight, August 17, 2015 7:33 PM

Consequences of living near industrial sites - even if it is farming.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, September 28, 2015 12:23 PM

This is pretty insane. I've seen other video's where it is a similar situation around chicken farms in the U.S. The people can't even go outside most of the time due to the smell, and it makes me wonder how much of the way we eat is truly devastating the planet. Beyond the smell, I can't help wonder what these types of farms would do the ground water beneath.

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Seaweed Farms in South Korea

Seaweed Farms in South Korea | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The dark squares that make up the checkerboard pattern in this image are fields of a sort—fields of seaweed. Along the south coast of South Korea, seaweed is often grown on ropes, which are held near the surface with buoys. This technique ensures that the seaweed stays close enough to the surface to get enough light during high tide but doesn’t scrape against the bottom during low tide.

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image of seaweed cultivation in the shallow waters around Sisan Island on January 31, 2014. Today, about 90 percent of all the seaweed that humans consume globally is farmed. That may be good for the environment. In comparison to other types of food production, seaweed farming has a light environmental footprint because it does not require fresh water or fertilizer.


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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, April 28, 2015 9:47 AM

Yet I wonder: After Fukushima, will seaweed glow in the dark? Are they checking harvested seaweed for radioactive pollution?

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:03 PM

Hate to toot my own horn, but we South Koreans are pretty smart.  :-)  This is a great idea!  I wonder what sea life feeds on seaweed?  Is there a chance for any bacteria to mess with the seaweed?  I wonder if we could do this in other places versus having it imported.  There are heavily populated American cities with a market for Asian food.  But then how does polluted water play a role or high bacteria days?  I certainly feel afraid to eat fish out of the Seekonk.  

Patty B's curator insight, April 29, 12:02 PM
This was a real interesting article. Despite it being short in length, it can tell us a great deal about aquaculture and sustainable farming techniques. In a world where virtually every country operates within the global market system, sustainable agricultural techniques are often trumped in pursuit of economic opportunity. It is because of the capitalization of agriculture all over the world that we are now dealing with shortages and other environmental consequences. Seaweed farms in South Korea offer an example of a harvesting technique that provides provisions without adverse effects to the Earth. It's becoming increasingly more important for us to discover ways to provide everyone with sufficient nutrition while also ensuring that humans in the future will also be able to do the same. I think this article directly relates to how blue fin tuna populations around the world have decreased drastically over the years. If we can't hunt or gather a particular animal or plant without depleting its population completely, then we should seek alternative methods of cultivation or alternative nutritional sources altogether. I think the article brings to light the fact that as a civilization, we have a lot of work to do to better gather and distribute resources. 
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Teaching the Geography of Food

Teaching the Geography of Food | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Food. It’s something we all think about, talk about, and need. Food has been one major topic of interest at National Geographic because it connects all of us to our environment. The recent global population projections for the year 2100 just went up from 9 billion to 11 billion, making the issues of food production and distribution all the more important.  For the last 3 years I’ve stored podcasts, articles, videos, and other resources on my personal site on a wide range of geographic issues, including food resources.  I thought that sharing 10 of my personal favorite resources on the geography of food would be helpful to understand our changing global food systems."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've posted here several resources about the food systems and the geography of food production and distribution.  In this article for National Geographic Education I share ten of my favorites. 


Tagsfoodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, agriculture.

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Claire Law's curator insight, April 26, 2015 2:01 AM

Ten engaging resources on the geography of food

Kaiden-Leigh Cloete's curator insight, April 29, 2015 11:15 PM

This topic connects to our agricultural unit. This article describes the explaining of food. Knowing where our food comes from is a big component in lit today, with all the GMO's going around we don't know what we r busy consuming daily. Having more information in our minds about food would help decrease the long term affects of genetically modified organisms, help maintain a healthy economy, provide more resources such as water, because if GMO's do come to an end then the water will not be as polluted as it is now due to the runoff from the remaining chemicals in GMO's, and also provide a healthy environment for everyone. 

Lydia Tsao's curator insight, May 26, 2015 2:10 AM

I absolutely love this article. It touches on many of the most important and challenging issues facing food production in the world, ranging from food manufacturing ethics to global hunger. I think it's interesting how, although we all eat food everyday, we don't think about the many implications associated with the production and consumption of food. To more privileged people, food is not a big deal, as anyone can get food at any time of day. However, for people who are trying to solve the problems associated with food in the modern world or for people who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition, the information presented in this article is extremely important. Brilliant minds can come together to propose potential solutions for all the problems facing food distribution. I can't wait for the day every child can go to bed with a full stomach, and I am willing to do my part to help make that happen.

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Inside The Indiana Megadairy Making Coca-Cola's New Milk

Inside The Indiana Megadairy Making Coca-Cola's New Milk | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Coca-Cola got a lot of attention in November when it announced it was going into the milk business. In fact, its extra-nutritious milk product was invented by some dairy farmers in Indiana.
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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, January 23, 2015 12:25 PM

unit 5

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 2, 2015 5:11 PM

As the main producer of certain crops and hogs, the state of Indiana has been chosen by Coca-Cola to spearhead a new innovative project regarding an improved flavor of milk in the future. Indiana’s prime location and abundance of raw materials positively contributed to the decision to establish the project’s headquarters in this state. As a result, it is expected that this innovation will boost Indiana’s economy and create for jobs and advancements in technology. This project allows Coca-Cola the opportunity to expand its brand and offer healthier beverage options to the consumer.

Katie's curator insight, March 23, 2015 11:34 PM

This article is about how coco cola is going into the milk business. There source for milk is from Fair Oaks Farm. This dairy is Americas one and only dairy theme park. I think this would be an example of large scale commercial agriculture and agribusiness.  

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The Data-Driven Farm

"Mr. Tom is as much a chief technology officer as he is a farmer. Where his great-great-grandfather hitched a mule, 'we’ve got sensors on the combine, GPS data from satellites, cellular modems on self-driving tractors, apps for irrigation on iPhones,' he said.

The demise of the small family farm has been a long time coming. But for farmers like Mr. Tom, technology offers a lifeline, a way to navigate the boom-and-bust cycles of making a living from the land. It is also helping them grow to compete with giant agribusinesses."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The New York Times article associated with the video above offers a great glimpse into the inner works of how agribusiness technologies have transformed the American family farm.  


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

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BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:41 PM

The New York Times article associated with the video above offers a great glimpse into the inner works of how agribusiness technologies have transformed the American family farm.  

 

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

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Feeding the Whole World

"Louise Fresco argues that a smart approach to large-scale, industrial farming and food production will feed our planet's incoming population of nine billion. Only foods like (the scorned) supermarket white bread, she says, will nourish on a global scale."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many advocates of local foods favor a small-scale approach to farming and are opposed to large-scale agribusiness. It might be easy for those disconnected from the food production system (like me) to romanticize and mythologize the farmers of yesteryear and yearn to return to this past.  This talk highlights how essential large-scale farming is absolutely critical to feeding the global population; this other TED talk discusses many of the hunger problems especially the uneven access to food.  Here are some other pro-agribusiness resources.   


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

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dilaycock's curator insight, October 19, 2014 6:45 PM

Fresco argues that we tend to see "home-made" agriculture as a thing of beauty, whereas the reality is that many small scale farmers struggle and live a subsistence lifestyle. The adoration of small-scale farming, notes Fresco, is a luxury to those who can afford it. Large-scale production has increased the availability and affordability of food. Food production should be given as high a priority as climate change and sustainability, and we should seriously consider ways in which land can be used as a multi-purpose space that includes agriculture.

Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, October 24, 2014 10:55 AM

Louise Fresco speaks of local food production and small scale control

and the entire food nework

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

Many advocates of local foods favor a small-scale approach to farming and are opposed to large-scale agribusiness. It might be easy for those disconnected from the food production system (like me) to romanticize and mythologize the farmers of yesteryear and yearn to return to this past.  This talk highlights how essential large-scale farming is absolutely critical to feeding the global population; this other TED talk discusses many of the hunger problems especially the uneven access to food.  Here are some other pro-agribusiness resources.   

 

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

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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

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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, 9:34 PM
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Where our food came from

Where our food came from | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Explore the geographic origins of our food crops – where they were initially domesticated and evolved over time – and discover how important these 'primary regions of diversity' are to our current diets and agricultural production areas."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an incredibly rich website with great interactive maps, dynamic charts, and text with rich citations.  This is one of those resources that an entire class could use as a starting point to create 30+ distinct project.  This is definitely one of the most important and best resources that I've shared recently, one that I'm going to use in my class.  Where did a particular crop originally come from?  Where is it produced today?   How do these historic and current agricultural geographies change local diets and economies around the world?  All these issues can be explored with this interactive that includes, but goes beyond the Columbian Exchange

 

Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, agriculture, APHG, unit 5 agriculture, globalizationbiogeography, ecology, diffusion.

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Sally Egan's curator insight, June 16, 6:43 PM

Great interactive map to illustrate the source regions of the world and foods that originated there. Hover over each region and the foods of that area popup.


Rory McPherson's curator insight, July 3, 5:39 PM

Very informative! It's great to learn where our food comes from. The author is able to communicate this information through simple but effective maps and visualizations.

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How Orange Juice Is Made

The process of making orange juice on a humongous scale. The Americans drink so much of the stuff I'm surprised they still have any left for export.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If you image that your orange juice comes from farmers on ladders picking, then hand-squeezing oranges into orange juice, then you need to see just how mechanized this agribusiness is.  The machinery alone means that a small-scale farmer simply can't compete on the open market.  

 

Questions to Ponder: Why is OJ concentrate cheaper in the store if they have to work hard to extract the water out of the juice?  How would OJ concentrate be an example of either a bulk-gaining product or a bulk-reducing product?  

 

Tagsfood production, agriculture, foodeconomic, industry, economic, scale, agribusiness.

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Antonio Andrade's curator insight, May 4, 5:47 PM
Excelente conocer todo el proceso!

Character Minutes's curator insight, July 1, 7:07 PM
Great resource for FACS teachers.

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PBS Food: Potatoes

PBS Food: Potatoes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Follow America's favorite vegetable from field to factory — to see how potatoes grow and how they're turned into chips."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This 5 minute video is a good introduction to the potato, it's hearth, diffusion, population impacts, nutritional profile and industrial production.  The geography of food goes far beyond the kitchen and there are more episodes in the "How Does it Grow?" series to show that.

 

Tags: foodeconomic, food production, agribusinessindustry, video, agriculture.

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Jessica Ruddy's curator insight, March 21, 10:57 AM

This 5 minute video is a good introduction to the potato, it's hearth, diffusion, population impacts, nutritional profile and industrial production.  The geography of food goes far beyond the kitchen and there are more episodes in the "How Does it Grow?" series to show that.

 

Tags: food, economic, food production, agribusiness, industry, video, agriculture.

Jodi Esaili's curator insight, March 22, 9:41 AM

This 5 minute video is a good introduction to the potato, it's hearth, diffusion, population impacts, nutritional profile and industrial production.  The geography of food goes far beyond the kitchen and there are more episodes in the "How Does it Grow?" series to show that.

 

Tags: food, economic, food production, agribusiness, industry, video, agriculture.

Ari Galant's curator insight, August 25, 9:53 PM
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Dear Subway, I really wish you would have talked to a farmer.

Dear Subway, I really wish you would have talked to a farmer. | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Dear Subway, I really wish you would have talked to a farmer. I really wish you would have done so before your big announcement saying you would, as of 2016, be sourcing all of your turkey and chicken as being raised without antibiotics."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not a typical source, but it captures an important perspective on our food production systems.  Some policies (like this one from Subway) are designed to increase customer confidence in the quality of the product, but they don't reflect some of the practical issues that farmers have to face on the farm.  


Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness.

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Vicki Bedingfield's curator insight, November 15, 2015 4:58 PM

Food production

Cade Johns's curator insight, January 7, 6:47 PM

Why are they not using antibiotics?Is it to be healthier or for flavor.Either one should attract different crowds.The healthier alternative brings healthier people in there.C.J.

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, March 11, 9:29 PM
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Food Processing

"Trying to break a whole lamb into steaks and roasts in just a little over three minutes."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Where does our food come from?  As the global population becomes more urban, the percentage of our population that is more disconnected from their food sources grows.  Additionally, our economic system works to actively separate consumers from the unseemly parts of the commodity chains, in hopes that our propensity to spend money on more goods won't decline.  All animals killed for human consumption go through some sort of butchering process before they become a meat product that we might recognize in the grocery store. 


Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness.

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Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexico's farms, a bounty for U.S. tables

Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexico's farms, a bounty for U.S. tables | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers.
American consumers get all the salsa, squash and melons they can eat at affordable prices. And top U.S. brands — Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Subway and Safeway, among many others — profit from produce they have come to depend on.These corporations say their Mexican suppliers have committed to decent treatment and living conditions for workers.  But a Los Angeles Times investigation found that for thousands of farm laborers south of the border, the export boom is a story of exploitation and extreme hardship."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a hard read, but it is important to understand that there is a dark underbelly to many of the economic systems that are reshaping the world today.  Sometimes we ask all the wrong questions, like "why is organic, local, or fair trade food so expensive?"  We should really be asking why the other options are so cheap. 


This, unfortunately is part of the answer.  This is a 4-part series (I-camps, II-labor, III-Company Stores, IV-Child Labor) from the LA Times that has excellent pictures, videos, and interviews highlighting the working conditions of farm workers in Mexico.  For an audio version, here is an NPR podcast interviewing Richard Marosi, the investigator behind the story.    


Tagsfoodeconomic, laborglobalizationfood production, agribusiness, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture, indigenous.

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BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:24 PM

This is a hard read, but it is important to understand that there is a dark underbelly to many of the economic systems that are reshaping the world today.  Sometimes we ask all the wrong questions, like "why is organic, local, or fair trade food so expensive?"  We should really be asking why the other options are so cheap. 

 

This, unfortunately is part of the answer.  This is a 4-part series (I-camps, II-labor, III-Company Stores, IV-Child Labor) from the LA Times that has excellent pictures, videos, and interviews highlighting the working conditions of farm workers in Mexico.  For an audio version, here is an NPR podcast interviewing Richard Marosi, the investigator behind the story.    

 

Tagsfoodeconomic, laborglobalization, food production, agribusiness, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture, indigenous.

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The Precision Agriculture Revolution

The Precision Agriculture Revolution | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Thousands of years ago, agriculture began as a highly site-specific activity. The first farmers were gardeners who nurtured individual plants, and they sought out the microclimates and patches of soil that favored those plants. But as farmers acquired scientific knowledge and mechanical expertise, they enlarged their plots, using standardized approaches—plowing the soil, spreading animal manure as fertilizer, rotating the crops from year to year—to boost crop yields. Over the years, they developed better methods of preparing the soil and protecting plants from insects and, eventually, machines to reduce the labor required. Starting in the nineteenth century, scientists invented chemical pesticides and used newly discovered genetic principles to select for more productive plants. Even though these methods maximized overall productivity, they led some areas within fields to underperform. Nonetheless, yields rose to once-unimaginable levels: for some crops, they increased tenfold from the nineteenth century to the present.  

Today, however, the trend toward ever more uniform practices is starting to reverse, thanks to what is known as 'precision agriculture.' Taking advantage of information technology, farmers can now collect precise data about their fields and use that knowledge to customize how they cultivate each square foot."


Tags: technologyfood production, agriculture, agribusiness, spatial, GPS.

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Landon Conner's curator insight, November 3, 2015 8:57 PM

Our world has evolved and changed many ways in agriculture than it used to be. We've changed from horses pulling plows to using tractors with mowers on the back. Planting seeds by hand one at a time to using machines that can plant ten at a time five times faster. Watering plants one at a time to using water hoses. Our generation has advanced in farming technology and is helping our agricultural community. LDC

Cade Johns's curator insight, November 5, 2015 7:49 PM

Over the years agriculture has changed for the better,production has increased, pesticides have helped development,and technology has helped speed up the production and make the quantity bigger. CJ

Cade Johns's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:57 AM

Agriculture has evolved very much over time to many different methods of growing things and theyve changed the way we affect the soil.-CJ

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We're all gonna die!

We're all gonna die! | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Yes. It’s true. In the meantime, I’d also like to live. Except, nobody wants to let me live--they all want to remind me of how I’m going to die, or how I’m going to cause my children to die. I was packing my kid’s lunch the other day, and tossed in a Twinkie with a smile and stroke of endearment, when I happened to glance at my kid's class newsletter on the table. It informed me that if I feed my child Twinkies, I might as well be feeding him rocket fuel."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I can't agree with everything mentioned in this article, but the overall message something that I do think is worth discussing.  Our society can be swayed by fear and a few statistics to wildly overreact to a situation (Ebola, Y2K, etc.).  So many movies tap into the our societal fears that an over dependence on technology or chemical alterations will destroy humanity (like Terminator, the Matrix, the Net, etc.).  The anti-GMO movement successfully taps into that cultural zeitgeist, and some like 'the Food Babe' stir up fear to the chagrin of many scientists.     

 

Tags: GMOstechnology, agriculture, agribusiness.

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asli telli's curator insight, April 15, 2015 12:49 AM

Who's feeding us rocket fuel?

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How American Agriculture Works

How American Agriculture Works | Geography Education | Scoop.it
There really are two different Americas: the heartland, and the coasts....
Seth Dixon's insight:

These maps together show that most of the grain from the American breadbasket does not directly on the table but into the feed trough.  I imagined before I saw this data that the percentage of animal feed in the Midwest would be higher than the rest of the United States, but I would not have guessed that it was that high. 


Tagsfoodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, agriculture.

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Bob Beaven's curator insight, January 29, 2015 2:38 PM

These maps are interesting, in the fact that the heartland of the United States differs so much from either coast.  Both the coasts, as seen in the first map grow fruits and vegetables.  The center of the country grows wheat, and wheat is the dominant  crop of the country.  This might account for the reason why fruits and vegetables are more expensive than grain based products.  The second map helps to drive home this point even further, of how different the coasts are from the heartland.  What I also thought was funny, however, was the author's comment that it looks like an electoral map.  Perhaps, the reason heartland states tend to side with each other and republicans is because of shared interests in the political arena.

Adriene Mannas's curator insight, March 22, 2015 10:24 AM

Unit 5 Agricultural and Rural Land Use

 

This picture and article talks about the main use of the agricultural growth in the United States. It shows how most and almost all of the agribusiness is in the growth of feed and food for animals on the ranches rather than humans. The amount of money made is astounding with how far the table tilts toward animal feed.

 

This relates to Human Geography because agriculture is one of the main points. It shows how people use agribusiness and ow it leans more toward the consumption of animals rather than humans. 

Daniel Lindahl's curator insight, May 25, 2015 1:22 PM

This link consists of two maps that show agricultural land use in America. Nearly all of the "breadbasket region" is used not to feed people, but rather to create feed for cows and other animals. 

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French scallops cleaned in China then sent back

French scallops cleaned in China then sent back | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Scallops pulled out of the waters off the western coast of France are taken on an incredible journey that sees them shipped off to China to be cleaned, before being sent all the way back to France to be cooked up. Producers say its worth the cost.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This type of nonsense only makes sense in a world where the bottom dollar is the only way to way to evaluate decisions.  However, resource conservation (think of the food miles!), fair labor prices, and the preservation of local cultural economies are certainly issues that should be considered. 


Tagsfoodeconomic, laborglobalizationfood production, agribusiness, agriculture.

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Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 22, 2015 6:50 PM

this is crazy

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 22, 2015 7:03 PM

This makes absolutely no sense to me.  How does the freshness of the scallop even last a trip like this?  What is the transportation time back and forth? 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:40 PM

This type of nonsense only makes sense in a world where the bottom dollar is the only way to way to evaluate decisions.  However, resource conservation (think of the food miles!), fair labor prices, and the preservation of local cultural economies are certainly issues that should be considered. 

 

 

Tagsfoodeconomic, laborglobalization, food production, agribusiness, agriculture.

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A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger

A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Corn is not what you think. For starters: Most of the time, it's not human food.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Land use practices that determine what is grown in a particular place are partly determined by the health needs of a local population, but they are more directly shaped by economic markets.  Over 75% of the corn produced in the United States is destined for animal feed or fuel; since global population projections are now supposed to be 11 billion by 2100, these are some important issues for us to consider before we are forced to reassess our societal choices.    


Tagspodcast, political ecologyagriculture, food production, land use.

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Nolan Walters's curator insight, October 25, 2014 11:29 AM

Most of the corn is not even going to us. Most of it goes to the animals, who eat it (which is cheaper than grass), which fatten them up for slaughter for humans.  Corn also gets turned into Corn Syrup, which fattens us.  The Corn industry is mostly to fatten up animals for meat for us humans in MDCs. 

Alex Lewis's curator insight, October 30, 2014 12:46 PM

The fact that we could use this land to grow surplus edible food instead of corn that isn't edible and goes to feed obese and unhealthy cows is sickening. There are millions of people dying in Africa and other LDC's from starvation, but we use our farmland to grow inedible corn and overfeed cows to the point of death. The corn is used to feed animals, and the animals are then slaughtered months, weeks or even days before they would've died of overfeeding. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:42 PM

Land use practices that determine what is grown in a particular place are partly determined by the health needs of a local population, but they are more directly shaped by economic markets.  Over 75% of the corn produced in the United States is destined for animal feed or fuel; since global population projections are now supposed to be 11 billion by 2100, these are some important issues for us to consider before we are forced to reassess our societal choices.    

 

Tagspodcast, political ecology, agriculture, food production, land use.

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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.

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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, 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.