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A computer game wants you to map the world's cropland so farmers can get more out of each harvest.
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.
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These types of approaches to crowd sourcing are becoming bigger and bigger by the day it seems.
"Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner and pumpkins are already showing up at roadside stands. Jack o’lanterns, decorative displays and pumpkin pies are the main destinies of most pumpkins in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, however, the pumpkin is nearly exclusively considered a food crop or animal feed."
Maybe you have never thought about where all the flowers are grown every year just in time for Valentine's Day, the spatial extent of Christmas tree farms or how egg nog's season production changes the diary industry. If you have considered these issues, you are thinking about the geographic impact of seasonal activities. Many of these traditions are rooted in a particular climatic/agricultural region that started from folk cultural traditions connected to that region. As traditions have diffused, the use of pumpkins, Douglas Fir pine trees or other seasonal items have have moved beyond their ecological origins and jumped scales to become a larger global phenomenon. In this Geography in the News article, Neal Lineback and Many Lineback Gritzner discuss the geographic impact and context of our pumpkin traditions.
Tags: seasonal, food production, agriculture.
This could spark a good October class discussion about pumpkins for high intermediates.
Every year it is expected around halloween that my family and friends will carve pumpkins. Then around chrstmas time it is expected that we will get our christmas tree to decorate. This is something lots of people do around this time. However what I never really linked together was that I was thinking about the geography of things by doing this. I know it is part of our culture and most people do it because it was a tradition. However what I never really thought about was where these pumpkins or christmas trees actually came from. There is a process that farmers have to go through to produce pumkins and pine trees, a process we probably don't even think about because we are so used to having these things around the holidays. When we think of pumpkins we thing of Jack-o-laters and pumkin pies, but to some people pumpkins are considered a crop and food source. We may not see it that way because our culture uses them around Halloween and for processed canned pumpkin for cooking. However not all cultures are like that, which is interesting to think about. Something that is considered seasonal in our culture might be an everyday crop for another culture. It is interesting to see how different places in the wolrd use such things as pumpkin so much different that we do in our culture.
I have been a long-time fan of pumpkin coffee, and tomorrow I will probably have some with my cousins and family... Some areas of Asia allow consumption of dogs, other areas of the US allow consumption of roadkill, and that is different from what most people in RI are used to... So I guess, it's not really my business what other people and countries do with their pumpkin crops, as long as it doesn't negatively affect other people. My neighbor has won some prizes, I think 3rd place in RI for largest pumpkin contests, which is pretty cool, because for several months, you can see their pumpkin garden from my backyard. Those pumpkins are enormous, and made me wonder if there was anything being done to make the modified pumpkins more usable in food. I know GMOs are a touchy issue, but to feed the starving people around the world, you have to wonder if one pumpkin at 2000 lbs could feed a village of people. Lots of people that don't like GMOs probably do unhealthy things in other ways, so their huge activism movements really boggle me. Labeling GMOs is one thing, but stopping genetic modifications seems as controversial as starting them, especially when some people can benefit from them. Whatever, I guess pumpkins are cool for whatever people want to do with them, including smashing them... this week on RIC's campus I saw a smashed pumpkin. The only thing that really popped into my head was not "what a waste," or "oh, those delinquents," but rather "that seems fun." I did assume though, that no one was hurt by the smashing of the pumpkin...
From grains to grapes to cabbage and many other crops the harvest season has been in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere.
So few of my students have actual experience working on a farm and being part of the food producing process. This gallery of 38 photos around the world is a great visual to reinforce how important the harvest is for sustaining life on this planet. The picture above shows the a Hmong hill tribe woman harvesting a rice terrace field at Mu Cang Chai district, northern Vietnamese province of Yen Bai. The World Bank on Oct. 7 lowered its 2013 growth forecast for East Asian developing countries to 7.1 percent and warned that a prolonged US fiscal crisis could be damaging to the region.
Tags: agriculture, food production, landscape, images.
Nothing like agriculture to put a dose of "reality check" into urban/suburban students' lives.
An image our Grad 11 students can at least have some empthy with....
Well see as how my page is called World Photography, i figurd this would be a good article/gallery to put up. Along with so georgous photos one can really see the imporance of farming on a culture and farming world wide. The gallery of photos is increadible, and with a caption to match each photo you are able to see geographilycly and cultulary where certan foods and plants are produced. This makes me feel that cultures are all some what connected, the tobbco from your cigretts comes from mexico, and the nice wine that you drink when your out to dinner is from a vineyard in germany. Its a small idea but food is very cultualy influncing
Baruch Ben-Yehudah is tackling Prince George’s County’s "food desert" problem. His vegan food truck delivers nourishment to neighborhoods lacking fresh groceries.
What are food deserts? Why do they form? What does this Washington Post video suggest about the demographic composition of food deserts?
Tags: Washington DC, agriculture, food, urban, poverty, place, socioeconomic.
la terre peut offrir de la nourriture à tous ses habitants;mais les interets personnels,la recherche de profits et l'absence de plus en plus grande de conscience "écolologique"....une personne comme Baruch Ben Yehuda est tres importante pour ceux qui souffrent du manque de ressources.
After having just driven across country this year I am very in touch with the fact that this model needs to be replicated across the US.
This food truck is bringing healthy, vegan food, to food deserts. A food desert is a place where healthy food is not accesable to the population, which is always impoverished. These people typically rely on unhealthy/cheap foods that are high in fats, preservatives, and sugars. This leads to tremendous health issues for these populations. Sure, this food truck is making a profit but it is also providing a wonderful service to the community, exposure to healthy foods and an alternative to the norm.
"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."
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.
Right in our backyard. We will probably go on a field trip here, but they also offer free tours if you want to go on your own!
This is an absolutlely brilliant idea for creating more food that is not only organic, but also healthy. The idea of growing more items vertically and heating the greenhouses with compost piles and warm water is beneficial to everyone all the way around. This man is a visionary, and has the basis for a very great future in agriculture. -Hannah
This could be the future of agriculture , if we could get everyone doiing this it would be so much more efficent for the earth . Taking small areas and using techniques like vertical farming is a way to Farm smart and efficentially . Also like using the hot water to keep the green house warm in the winter time .
"Stunning gallery of 15 images depicting agricultural landscapes. Shown above are cut flower fields in Carlsbad, California circa 1989."
"Aerial photographer Alex MacLean estimates he has spent about 6,000 hours in the sky photographing American farms. His unique perspective depicts the dramatically changing agricultural landscape in the U.S., something he has been drawn to since he started flying nearly 40 years ago. 'I’ve been photographing agricultural lands since I started flying, in the early 1970s,' he says. 'I was drawn to the aesthetics of farmland, in part because of its natural response to environmental conditions, climates, soils and topography…A lot of what I photograph is through discovery of seeing crops, seeing patterns.'
Tags: agriculture, landscape, images.
These are really beautiful and interesting, but I wish photos could also reveal what substances are used on the land: fertilizers, pest killers, etc. I will go to his site and see if he addresses that.
When photography of farmland becomes an art form..!
Previously I shared a gallery portraying 20 families from around world together with a full week of groceries (from the book Hungry Planet or in this abbreviated online version). Today it's the breakfast table which shows differences in agricultural, development and cultural patterns around the world.
Tags: food, agriculture, worldwide, culture, development.
Looks lke all of these are in some way combined to be an American breakfast. Since this country is a melting pot you mihgt just get a mix of breakfast foods from different cultures in one American breakfast. You can have have the English eggs, over easy it looks like, with a French pastries. A full mix of culture and you might still me in pj's.
These pictures are very interesting and makes you think about the kinds of breakfast you saw when growing up. These pictures allow us to see the kinds of food cultivated in these areas of the world and how they interprete the use of each one. The pictures also show us how each place is related. For example, some of the dishes looked alike in that most of the plate was breads. It makes you wonder where that tradition came from. These pictures also let the viewer in on the development or wealth of the country. Some countries only have a piece of bread and a coffee for breakfast, where other places have huge platefuls of all different kinds of food. Does the amount of food you eat for breakfast have to do with how developed your country is? Food seems so simple, but it can lead to many different interpretations for people.
Typically when I think about different cultural foods I think about lunch or dinner rather than breakfast. When I think about Italy I think about meatballs, pasta, pizza, and gelato. When I think about Germany I think about a lot of meats. However what never really comes to mind is breakfast. Breakfast is one of my absolute favorite meals on the day. I love going out to breakfast and getting some eggs, homefries, sausage, and maybe even a grilled blueberry muffin. This summer I traveled to Italy and that was the first time I realized that breakfast is just as different in their Culture as their lunch and dinner. It was interesting how different things were. They had toast and yogurt, but the yogurt didn't taste the same as it does in America. It is amazing how different each countries breakfast is in comparison to what we are used to. Some things we consider lunch might be served in another countries breakfast meal. For example Deli meats. It is interesting to see how different each culture really is.
Lawmakers in Vermont are looking to regulate food labels so customers can know which products are made from genetically modified crops, but agricultural giants Monsanto say they will sue if the state follows through.
Questions to ponder: Why is Vermont the first state to make some headway in producing this type of legislation? Will other states follow suit? What would the economic impacts be if all places required labels on products that contain genetically modified organisms? How would that change the agricultural industry?
Tags: GMOs, food, agriculture, agribusiness.
Vermont has a strong agricultural history and allot of their local economy is based off of their agricultural movement, which has been trending towards sustainable and organic growing methods. The people of Vermont care very much where their food comes from and what is in their food, hence the push for GMO labeling. I think other states would absolutely follow suit if Vermont wins it's case against the agri-business giant monsanto, but that's a big IF. I think that if there were labeling all across the US either these companies would drastically change their business models or ship them overseas to developing nations that have food security issues of their own,
I don’t think that there is a specific reason on why Vermont is the first state to make some headway in producing this type of legislation, Vermont used to pride themselves on being one of the states with a large numbers of organic farms. And with a company like Monsanto whom use GMO on their product, it doesn’t go well with Vermont image. I do think that other states will follow suit because using Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO) and Genetically Engineered (GE) affect our help and Vermont cannot fight this big corporation by themselves. I feel that even though requiring labels on products that contain GMO is a good thing for us the consumers to know Exactly what we are giving to ur family. I do think that is going to be a bad impact. because this big corporations like Monsanto is a good source of employment for the states. If they feel that the can make their product, they are going to take their business else where.
Stratfor examines Japan's primary geographic challenge of sustaining its large population with little arable land and few natural resources. For more analysi...
Part of knowing Japan's expansionist history has to do with understanding the geographic setting of the islands.
Tags: Japan, population, historical.
It would make sense to me that for a place like Japan to sustain itself successfully, it would have to have some help from other areas with more resources. Again with the concept- people don't choose to be born, or where they are born... To be born in Japan is as unchosen by that person as it would be in any other country. I don't think people should have to pay for resources that they do not have available, especially because they are on an island/island chain that simply doesn't have what they need. I am really repulsed by the bartering system because of absolute indication of beyond excessive surplus and profit and greed and all that garbage that humanity reeks of. Yeah some people are happy, but we could be completely unburdened of all negativity if we banded together to rid the world of negativity itself. I know that Japan would be happy to receive everything that they need for no cost, but I also know that many people would be willing to work, and more willing to work, if they didn't have expenses to pay for... it would really be serving their life's purpose as a component of humankind if they worked to help others, rather than to pay their monthly rent. I don't have a clue how I would go about organizing a movement to transform this idea into a reality, but I'll work on that. In the mean time, I would advise supranationalism for Japan, and hope that with the alliance of other countries, they can band together and make deals that work for the greater good of their country, population, and the world.
See a photo of an aerial view of a terraced rice field in China and download free wallpaper from National Geographic.
This image shows is one of the more beautiful cultural landscapes that shows the great extent of agricultural modifications of the environment. National Geographic's photo of the day is a great source for images that start class discussions and can enliven class content. You may download a high resolution version of the image here.
Tags: National Geographic, agriculture, landscape, China.
The packaging on the McDonald's fry box states, "Why are our fries the gold standard? Because only a select number of potato varieties make the cut. I'm lovin' it®" This is a message is primarily aimed at millions of individual consumers. As geographers who analyze systems, we can look at this message for meaning beyond taste and quality control in how it affect both urban and rural places. Given that McDonald's is the United States' largest purchaser of potatoes, what are the economic and agricultural implications for their fry selection on the market(s)? How does this impact farmers, consumers, competitors and other groups?
It is sad that so much foods gets wasted all the time because it doesn't look appealing to buyers. Just because some potaoe is shaped funny or is a little darker or lighter than what is considered "normal", it is thrown away. To me, that is ridiculous when so many people are starving around the world. Or that these imperfect foods are given to animals for consumption. Why is it acceptable to animals to eat bad food when we are going to eat those animals? Somewhere down the line of history, the way we view food has been changed and not for the better. If we want to be able to sustain ourselves and this world for many more centuries, we need to revalute how we look at food.
I have eaten McDonalds fries and bunch of times and never thought about what 'golden standard" actually meant. McDonalds like it says in the article is one of the top potoate buyers in the world. I'm sure most other fast food places aren' too far behind. However since McDonalds is one of the top buyers of potatoes farmers much make sure they produce enough of the potatoes that McDonalds sells. However it doesn't stop there. Not only do farmers have to produce enough potatoes, but they have to produce quality potatoes. All of McDonalds fries look exactly the same. You never really get a french fry that looks extremely different. That is done on purpose. McDonalds only purchases potatoes that meet their "golden standard". This makes you think how much goes to watste. Farmers are probably discarding "bad" potatoes all the time that don't meet the "golden standard". Does it really matter what the fries look like, if they taste the same? There are people in the world who are hungry, yet we waste food like this all the time. I really don't think it is that big of a deal if not every french fry looks exactly the same. We should make an attempt at trying to limit our food waste.
Fries are the essential food that everyone enjoys in the world. But it is a good thing because if a potato has a growth defect probably that would affect someone and that is a law suit waiting to happen. In the United States people love suing for anything that they could probably win and receive money. The fries are delicious but they are so fattening that could really effect people if they have any issues with there health.
By adding artificial sweeteners to flavored milk, the dairy industry hopes to boost flagging consumption in schools.
The very definitions of food are being rewritten as modern industries reformulate the products on our shelves and what we put into our bodies. What cultural and economic forces are driving these changes?
Tags: Food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture.
Good example of how a real food turns into an artificial variation of a real food. Shame that kids don't even like milk! That's the parents fault. All kids like milk from birth (of course) so what turns them off?
In my opinion I believe that the milk companies are trying to add sweeteners to their products in order to increase sales. So many drinks now are containing such things as aspertame. However I don't agree with putting it in a childs milk unless it is made known. I understand the milk company's argument that no one else has to put it on the front of the label, but I think that is because those products were not known to be made without aspartame so most people consuming the product would check. However in order for milk to keep up with competitors it has to take a step in the direction of adding sweeteners to their products. However I think they should have to state artificial sweeteners on the front of the product if it is still called milk. However if they change the name to something other than milk then I would say it would be fair to put artificial sweeteners on the back. Kids comsume drinks all the time with artificial sweeteners, so I still think milk would have sales if people knew there were artificia sweeteners in the milk. But trying to hide it is unfair. People should be made known what they are consuming in their milk, especially since it has been around for so long and is considered a healthy choice for kids. Lastly I think if such a product is put in schools that kids should have the choice between regular old fashion milk and the artificially sweetened milk.
Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.
In northern Saudi Arabia near Jordan, oil resources are sparse and so is surface water. Water might just be the more important liquid natural resource, especially for sustaining a population. There are underground water reserves that are stored in aquifers, layers of rock that hold water. The water that collects in aquifers may take many years to replenish so this practice is sometimes referred to as water mining.
Question to ponder: If Saudi Arabia is rich enough to buy their own food and they are at a competitive disadvantage for food production, why would they invest so much money on farming marginal lands?
Tags: food, agriculture, water, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, unit 5 agriculture.
"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."
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, food, globalization, South America, folk cultures, culture, Bolivia.
Quinoa has been named the Grain of the Year by a branch of the UN. It is wonderful to have this grain available. But the increased production of growing it in South America has been a blessing and put a strain on that area. It is being grown in parts of North America now. That seems to help.
I have tried Quinoa, and thought that it was satisfactory, but I do not feel that it is worth importing to the US, given the negative effects that were mentioned in the article, such as harm to the poor, and malnutritioning the natives of Bolivia. While it might be making money for the Bolivians (well, some of them), it is something that is damaging the soil as well... As the Bolivians plant and harvest this crop for purposes of exporting, the over-abundance of their agricultural efforts is harming the land, making it less fertile for people to grow Quinoa and other crops in. I can see why the immediate desire to produce this crop arises, and it is logical, because little else will thrive in the Bolivian environment, but after examining the lasting impact, I would have to say that it reminds me of consumption of fossil fuels as a primary energy resource in first world countries today. Using something that will only be available for a short time, and something that harms the environment and Earth, does not seem like something that we humans should get involved in, especially in such a day and age where the ignorance card cannot be played, and other excuses for us to continue with bad habits are dwindling away. I look forward to the colonization of other worlds, but hope that by then we have perfected our methods instead of harming the environment in capitalistic rat races.
This phenonomo with quinoa has spread though out the world, but is also having local affects at the same time . This newly discovered heathy grain is beoming more and more popular due to how healthy it is. While it is a diffuclt crop to grow, the areas of the world where it is harevested are also in need of the grain to help sustain the nutrition of there people. However due to this recent spark in demand thoughout the world, the local price has skyrocketed and locals arent able to afford the grain anymore. This almost seems unfair, however its a common trend with certin popular foods.
In Minnesota, ‘industrial’ operation shows effort to balance economic, environmental sustainability.
In the long run, a successful farmer needs to find a balance between economic and environmental sustainability. Some big farms are working towards that so the 'big-equals-bad' narrative about agriculture may be easy, but it doesn't tell the whole story about modern agriculture.
Tags: GMOs, sustainability, agriculture, agribusiness.
The author of thid article shares how his father moved to the farm in search for economic prosperity and opportunity. Then as a soon he desires one day to make his fathers farm into a place were organic food would be sold one day. Due to land projects and government needing the land his fathers orginal agricultural enterprise in the Minnesota region shifted. I was very suprised after reading this article that the best way to have economic and environmental sustainability is to work with with the markets and develop genetically modified foods as the most viable way to create a surplus in a highly urbanized growing landscape. I found it very saf fake food is prefered over real food that ws once made though the old school agricultural process of sowing reaping and harvesting natural foods to be placed in the market and provided to people.
Unfortunately in today's society, in order to participate successfully in the global economy, you have to have a big farm. Foods must be grown in a certain way in order to have the best yield and appease the consumers. The small farming approach just won't yield enough for the 7 billion people living on the planet. As bad as big farming may be, it has kept us all afloat and has even yielded surplus. In my opinion the problem is not with the big farming equation, the problem is what we do with the abundance of surplus we do away with.
"Feedlots, a new series of images crafted by British artist Mishka Henner, uses publicly available satellite imagery to show the origins of mass-produced meat products."
Tags: Food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture.
Beautiful imagery at one scale tells an unsavory story at another.
Is this sustainable practice?
Ag-gag laws.... Nunca volvere a comer comida que no sea de mi linda Bolivia
Does this motivate you to become #vegetarian?
The supercheap and palatable noodles help low-wage workers around the world get by, anthropologists argue in a new book. And rather than lament the ascendance of this highly processed food, they argue we should try to make it more nutritious.
Ramen is the most successful industrial food ever (100 billion serving yearly). This NPR article acts as a book review for The Noodle Narratives which explores the global impacts of this massively important food source. In developed countries, most food experts bemoan ramen's lack of nutritional value and see it as a symptom/cause of larger issues of unhealthy diets and obesity. At the global scale however, some anthropologists are seeing ramen as the 'proletariat hunger killer' as it becomes a staple of the undernourished in megacities and less developed countries, and the poor in .
Questions to Ponder: If the United States is only the 6th highest consumer of ramen, what does that say about the geogaphy of ramen? Why and how did a post-World War II Japanese food come to be so crucial to the diets of those in Papua New Guinea and Nigeria?
Tags: food, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture, agribusiness.
Oh!! Ramen noodles, I don’t think I can find a person who says that the hasn’t try them. Well Ramen noodles are inexpensive and simple to make. Which is the best product for a poor country like Nigeria to consume. It might not be the healthier food in the world, high on salt and oily but like I said before is very affordable and accessible also is nonperishable so it can be send anywhere in the world. When someone is hungry they don’t care if the food is healthy or not all they want is to eat.
It is amazing what ramen noodles can do. Many people in this world do even want to see ramen noodles while other people would die to have some food in there systems. Ramen noodles are good for people who are on a budget like college students or people who are struggling to make `ends meet. It amazing what some people take for granted. Some people would wish to have ramen noodles to eat.
It's safe to say Ramen is saving lives. A food product such as Ramen is so cheap and affordable to use to help fight World Hunger. Ramen helps all low-wage workers around the world to get me, I mean hey it even helps us college students. Cheap meals for the dorms and cheap meals for the poor.
"The country has taken on a bold new strategy in the face of expensive food imports: make farming patriotic and ubiquitous."
Jamaica's historical agricultural products are cash crops that were connected to the plantation economy and in turn slavery. Today, Jamaica is restructuring their agricultural production to address local food security issues rather than global market commodities. This push will increase food security and to do so the government started a campaign with the slogan “grow what we eat, eat what we grow.” Grocery stores in Jamaica now identify local produce with large stickers and prominent displays as school children, backyard gardens and local businesses are all a part of the new agricultural initiative.
Tags: agriculture, locavore, Jamaica, Middle America.
After the British took control of Jamaica from the Spanish, it became one of the largest sugar exporting colony of the new world. It also had one of the largest slave populations to support that sugar plantation industry. Sugar crops destroy the soil which makes it harder to grow other crops. i also think that had alot to do with Jamaica having to always import alot of its foodstuffs. Now that the sugar planting, through technology, is not as destructive and the fact that it isnt as intensvie as it use to be, the soil has recovered in some sense allowing for different crops to be grown. This will in turn can lead to a more stable economy in the area as a large part of the country's GDP will not have to go to buying imported food as they will now be able to provide their own foodstuffs. Moving form a one crop, especially a cash crop, to multiple different crops will just better the outlook of this country's growth.
I have discussed Jamaica with some former classmates of mine, and they informed me that a lot of people are really poor there. They said that the people there were very friendly, and hooked my friends up with some outstanding agricultural products at a really good price, but these people are very poor. I think that because Jamaica was involved in the slave trade, and they didn't really as much of have slaves to do work like the US, but Jamaica was still involved in the slave trade, which ensured the presence of slaves. While the US was building as a country, Jamaica was not thriving as much. I think that the agriculture in Jamaica is (by what my friends say) fabulous as far as illegal crops go, but the agriculture FOR the Jamaicans (such as food) is lacking. I read in the article that a European Development Agency sent money to Jamaica to help them be able to build chicken coops... So the chickens are enslaved too, and doomed to lay eggs or become a Sunday dinner. That is kind of sad. In all truth, I enjoy the taste of meat, but look forward to when meat and plants will be synthesized with no living tissue involved, because, after all, plants are alive too. There are so many things that people have taken from the Earth, without giving anything back. We are approaching the era where people should be more concerned with the environment, and what they can do for the Earth. I think Jamaica should be given new technology that serves synthetic meat and synthetic vegetables, as a way to aid their agricultural and economic situation, rather than money for chicken coops from some pompous European cults.
Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.
The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here. "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."
Tags: water, agriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.
The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.
Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.
March and April are key months for harvesting sap from trees, making this sugar time in New England. New England's climate and biogeography make this the right time because the because the combination of freezing nights and warm spring days gets the sap in the native species of maple trees to flow. The sap get boiled down to syrup, but did you know that it takes roughly 40 gallons of sap that to get 1 gallon of pure maple syrup?
I actually made maple syrup about a year ago, a couple of roads away from my house. I know a family that makes it every year, and I was invited to come join them harvesting the syrup. I had done it there many years ago, but I had a blast. The father of a guy I went to school with was there boiling the sap, and we had a lot of interesting discussions about the process, including the importance of the climate. Apparently, if I remember correctly, it is vital to have the freezing temperatures, followed by warm days- which is also mentioned in the article. He said that gets the "blood" of the tree pumping, and greatly increases the syrup production. I got to taste the sap as it was being boiled down to concentrated levels, and it was amazing. I think that using natural resources like that is really cool. I had a great time, and know that it takes a LOT of sap to make very LITTLE syrup, but it can be totally worth it. I enjoyed gardening when my family had a garden, and I think that that sort of natural harvest and refinement for consumption can be immensely entertaining, as well as rewarding. I know this family usually makes enough for themselves, and that they give a little away, and end up having enough to get through the year. It is a really enjoyable activity, and I reccommend it to anyone that doesn't mind getting cold outside or covered in tree sap.
The Network of Alliances for Geography Education is sponsored by the National Geographic Society; these alliances are tremendous local resources. I am working with the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance and hope that everyone in the United States and Canada can connect with your local alliance and support it. Click here to find your local Alliance.
"Aerial photo tour across countries and continents with a French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand"
I love Yann Arthus-Bertrand's photography; so many of them are geography lessons in and of themselves as he captures compelling images of the cultural landscape. This particular gallery shows 32 stunning images including this one above showing urban agriculture in Geneva, Switzerland.
"Worldwide, there are 800 million amateur farmers in built-up areas. In estates in south eastern Asia and some towns in central and South America, many people depend on this activity for survival. It’s the same story in Europe; in Berlin there are more than 80,000 urban farmers, and in Russia more than 72% of all urban homes till their own patch of land, balcony or even roof. Urban agriculture is on the [rise] and there could be twice as many people enjoying it within twenty years."
Tags: agriculture, food, landscape, images, urban, unit 5 agriculture, unit 7 cities.
I think that urban farming goes to show how people adapt to their environment regarding agricultural practices. People are breaking the bondage of the stereotypical idea that you can"t farm in the city. However, in this article, we see that citizens are conforming to their environment to make the best agricultural use of land. -Scout
"The tiny black-eyed pea is about to wage battle in Malawi. The small country in southeast Africa is the site of a project to help with food security, nutrition and income. Western University researchers are among those who will work with 30,000 farmers to help diversify crops into protein-rich legumes, such as the black-eyed pea, a popular type of cow pea in Malawi."
Tags: food, agriculture, Africa, Malawi, unit 5 agriculture.
Review for you!
A rice enriched with beta-carotene promises to boost the health of poor children around the world. But critics say golden rice is also a clever PR move for a biotech industry driven by profits, not humanitarianism.
This is a great podcast that emphasizes various geographic themes including agriculture, development and economics. This new genetically-modified rice was designed to provide vitamin A (something no natural rice provides) to impoverished diets. Skeptics point out that the history of the industry shows that the goal is to enrich a select number of corporations while some are hailing this as a major advancement that will benefit the poor. Where people side on this is often ideological, so those that are firmly against genetically modified foods find the flaw in the plan and vice versa. What do you think? How might this change food production and consumption worldwide and at a local scale?
Tags: GMOs, development, NGOs, Food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture.
This a very difficult debate because whoever is against using any type of enhancement to food or any other product, no matter if is for their benefit they wont want to here about it. But I do feel that if is for the best and if is going to help for a better nutrition, I think is a good idea. I think that people are going to consume rice no matter what, if the price of the rice doesn’t goes up, the consumption will be the same but if they raise the prices because it has “more vitamins” them the consumption will be less. The world every day is getting poorer and people are having aDifficult time feeding their love ones.
I thought this NPR broadcast was a great out of class referece to listen too. As it explaine all the work and research that was being done with GMOs, it also exposed them for there flaws and what the real motives behind them are. While this ex source of rice with extra vitman A will deffenitly provid more nutitonal value then regular rice, it also provides higher profit margins for the bioengneer compaines that make it. So its almost hard to say weather GMOs are a bad or good thing beacuse they do have benifts, but one thing is clear there not just being made to help the poor, there being made for big profit possibilities.
This conveys some important realities about the demographic necessities of agriculture, the economic impact and the cultural differences in agricultural production. As with all long infographics on this site, you can "scroll down" on the image by putting the cursor in the top right-hand corner of the image and sliding on the translucent bar.
Tags: agriculture, infographic, unit 5 agriculture.
Rescooped by Allison Anthony from AP Human Geography Herm