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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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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:13 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 16, 2013 1:51 AM

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.

 

 

Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 21, 2014 2:13 PM

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 perceptive 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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The ironic nature of the world’s food crisis

The ironic nature of the world’s food crisis | Globalisation and interdependence | Scoop.it
EVEN AS we’ve officially reached 7 billion souls on our planet, more than 14% are still chronically malnourished.

And while analysts spend precious time calculating how much more food should be produced to feed the hungry, and thoughtful citizens update their Facebook statuses for an hour to “help eradicate World Hunger,” food prices are slowly increasing and soils are becoming poorer, yielding fewer crops every year.


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Jessica Martel's curator insight, April 29, 2013 1:11 PM

There are many ways our country alone can help the food shortage in the world. Then you stop and think.. there are poeple still starving in the US.

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West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...

 

The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    


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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:38 AM

Its both sad and horrific to think that chocolate, such a pleasure and luxury item in the west comes as such a high cost. It's so sad that so many people are oppressed and used in situations such as this just so those living in places of plenty can enjoy resources like chocolate. Unfortunately it seems for the few to benefit many more have to suffer and endure hardships.  

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:03 PM

I was not aware that slavery is still not unusual in cocoa plantation in West Africa. It sickens me because nations all around the world consume chocolate produced under slave labor. 

AnthonyAcosta/NoahMata's curator insight, April 8, 1:36 PM

 (Social)

 

Chocolate is a very known thing in first world countries and is not known for what is needed to make it. So in Africa they smuggle children from various places in Africa and force them to labor for cocoa beans and work on plantations. Many young children near there   Teen ages are taken and put through labor for most of there young lives.

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Ultimate factories: Coca Cola

nat geo programme about the coke factory and the manufacturing process of coke...

 

Where is Coca Cola produced?  Some products are bulk losing some are bulk gaining in the manufacturing process.  Coca Cola and their containers represent bulk gaining products.  Although not the focus of this video, what is the geography behind where these factories are located?  How would this geographic pattern change if this were are bulk losing industry?  What are examples of bulk gaining and bulk losing industries?  Why are glass bottles not manufactured in the United States? 


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Kamaryn Hunt's comment, October 7, 2013 6:32 PM
As consumers, we never pay THAT much attention to how theproduct is manufactured, but only what's in it. Seeing this vide makes me wonder how many other well-known products are manufactured??
megan b clement's curator insight, October 31, 2013 11:40 AM

"The video displays the maufacturing and distribution of the Coca Cola product globally. Goal is to put Coke in all hands and they need ultimate factories for distribution. For non-alcoholic beverage market Coke is number 1. They produce 800 servings a day and Coke does about 670 billion dollars in sales a year. There recipe is the best kept secret, they use words like natural flavors that help keep the recipe a secret. Logistics, cheap labor, and cheap transportation are key to maximize every dollar. "

Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 12:57 PM

I can't believe how much money this company makes in a single year. The people in this country must have some serious kidney stones lol. But on a serious note, this company definately has a good strategy on how to minimize cost transportation, because to transport 4.5 million servings that Coca Col makes in a single day, let alone, a year, must be quite expensive and time consuming. Not to mention that they distribute their products in 206 countries, they legit serve 99% of mankind. No wonder they make $670 Billion. 

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China now eats twice the meat we do

China now eats twice the meat we do | Globalisation and interdependence | Scoop.it
We can learn a lot from examining the way China's diet has changed in the last 20 years -- as well as its required efficiencies and the agriculture that supports it.

 

The United States still consumes more meat per capita than China, but as China's economy has grown (along with it's income and standard of living), the consumer habits have changed as well.  What will the impacts of the rise in Chinese meat consumption mean?   How do they get all this meat?  http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/1661841673/this-little-piggy-is-going-to-china


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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 29, 2013 2:07 PM

This is actuallty very believable considering the population growth that China has experienced.  It only makes sense that the more people there are, the more meat will be consumed.  It is part of their cuisine to include meat.  Pork and chicken are among many of the popular proteins which are found on their dishes.  There is also the expansion to go along with all of the growth.  The landscape of the eastern part of the country has become more agriculturally accomodating for crops and livestock alike.  Therefore to match the trend of growing population, is the need to match it with meat and other foods.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 2014 6:25 PM

China now eats twice as much meat than America. However, this chart does not touch upon "per-capita" which plays a major role in where the food is being dispersed and consumed. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:55 PM

China's meat demand is being met by importing meat. As the standard of living rises more of China's population are looking to branch out in regards to their diet, what is interesting is that this is also an example of cultures blending. Food is a great indicator of cultural diffusion. As China becomes more globalized we are seeing their diet and consumption patterns becoming less local and tradition.

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Our Dwindling Food Variety

Our Dwindling Food Variety | Globalisation and interdependence | Scoop.it

"As we've come to depend on a handful of commercial varieties of fruits and vegetables, thousands of heirloom varieties have disappeared. It's hard to know exactly how many have been lost over the past century, but a study conducted in 1983 by the Rural Advancement Foundation International gave a clue to the scope of the problem. It compared USDA listings of seed varieties sold by commercial U.S. seed houses in 1903 with those in the U.S. National Seed Storage Laboratory in 1983. The survey, which included 66 crops, found that about 93 percent of the varieties had gone extinct. More up-to-date studies are needed." 

 

To show the other side of the issue, include this minor, yet crucial part of the article: "A 30-year-old plant pathologist named Norman Borlaug traveled to Mexico in 1944 to help fight a stem rust epidemic that had caused widespread famine. Crossing different wheat varieties from all over the world, he arrived at a rust-resistant, high-yield hybrid that helped India and Pakistan nearly double their wheat production—and saved a billion people from starvation. This so-called green revolution helped introduce modern industrialized agriculture to the developing world." 


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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 23, 2012 10:44 AM
This article raises multiple questions like, what has happened to all these different strains of vegetables? Why have the ones that are still around survived? Was this a process of natural selection? It would certainly be interesting to research this and uncover the reasons.
Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 1, 2013 5:23 PM

"As we've come to depend on a handful of commercial varieties of fruits and vegetables, thousands of heirloom varieties have disappeared. It's hard to know exactly how many have been lost over the past century, but a study conducted in 1983 by the Rural Advancement Foundation International gave a clue to the scope of the problem. It compared USDA listings of seed varieties sold by commercial U.S. seed houses in 1903 with those in the U.S. National Seed Storage Laboratory in 1983. The survey, which included 66 crops, found that about 93 percent of the varieties had gone extinct. More up-to-date studies are needed." 

 

To show the other side of the issue, include this minor, yet crucial part of the article: "A 30-year-old plant pathologist named Norman Borlaug traveled to Mexico in 1944 to help fight a stem rust epidemic that had caused widespread famine. Crossing different wheat varieties from all over the world, he arrived at a rust-resistant, high-yield hybrid that helped India and Pakistan nearly double their wheat production—and saved a billion people from starvation. This so-called green revolution helped introduce modern industrialized agriculture to the developing world."

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 9:13 AM

This article is based on a study done by the Rural Advancement Foundation in 1983. Over the past century, it is hard to know what foods were lost and how many of each. But this study done by RAF gave us some information to solve the problem. It compared USDA listings of seed varieties sold by commercial U.S. seed houses in 1903 with those in the U.S. National Seed Storage Laboratory in 1983. The survey, which included 66 crops, found that about 93 percent of the varieties had gone extinct. 93 percent of these crops have gone extinct. That is a huge chunk that could be used as resources. This tree starts off with ten crops on it. The tree included: beet, cabbage, sweet corn, lettuce, muskmelon, peas, radish, squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. In 1903, all these numbers were up, up, up. The lowest starting with beet at 288 ranging up to the highest with lettuce at 497. However, 80 years later in 1983, numbers dropped. The highest then shifted to tomatoes at 79 and the lowest shifted to sweet corn at 12.

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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Globalisation and interdependence | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.

 

Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 

 

Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 3:14 PM

I think it makes sense that there are not a lot of restaurants (less than 300) restaurants in India seeing as Indian food is not the most popular types of cuisine in the world. As much as I think McDonald's is disgusting, people would rather eat McDonald's than Indian food. It's not a problem to Indians and its Islamic individuals because cows are sacred to Hindus and Muslims don't eat pork so that leaves chicken to be eaten by Hindus and Muslims. McDonald's in the United States is different compared to McDonald's in India because India's McDonalds puts an Indian fusion on there food and they changed their menu to 50 percent vegetarian.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 9:52 PM

When you typically think of a McDonald's, vegetarian is not what comes to mind. India plans on opening it's first vegetarian McDonald's since the majority of the population just simply does not even eat meat. There are already 271 of this restaurant in India already but they are looking for a new growth. Many Hindu's and Muslims don't eat pork, or cows because it is sacred to them. More chicken and vegetables will be served at this new restaurant and the older restaurants menus are 50% vegetarian. This is interesting to see because you do not think of fast food places being healthy at all. I think this is a great idea having different option for individuals who don't eat certain things. This is definitely going to be an attraction for not just people living in India but for tourists as well. It'll be a fun story to tell to say that you went to an all vegetarian McDonald's!

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 3:50 PM

It is often said that food is one of the best identifiers of a culture. What better way to define America than McDonalds, right? However, fueled by globalization, McDonalds has moved to several different countries around the world, including India. For religious reasons, the traditional American menu wouldn't fit well in the Indian diet, as most hindu people wouldn't jump at the chance to eat a quarter pound of greasy cow. Globalization and a desire for economic profit has fueled a change in the McDonalds menu in India as well as other countries. In order to succeed in the global market, a comp any must be willing to change to appeal to a more diverse client base. 

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The State of Food Insecurity

The State of Food Insecurity | Globalisation and interdependence | Scoop.it
Millions of Americans don't have reliable access to food. Here, we take a look at who's affected and why.

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Food, Nutrition and Geography

Peter Menzel's beautiful photography and our Hungry Planet...

 

This video is a fascinating portal into global food systems and how globalization is impacting local foods.  He traveled around the world to see what families eat in a given week, and how much all the food cost and where it can from.  Many wealthy countries exhibit poor nutritional habits (eating food high in fat, sugar and salt) while some in poorer people have a very balanced diet.  This leads him to describe the 'Nutritional Transition.'  Warning before showing in class: there are brief instances of non-sexualized nudity in the video. 


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International Fast Food Consumption

International Fast Food Consumption | Globalisation and interdependence | Scoop.it

This cartogram shows the distribution of one major fast food outlet brand (McDonalds's). By 2004 there were 30,496 of these McDonald's worldwide with 45% located in the United States.  The next highest number of these outlets are in Japan, Canada and Germany.

 

The world average number of outlets of this one brand alone is 5 per million people. In the United States there are 47 per million people; in Argentina and Chile the rate is a tenth of the American rate; the rate in Indonesia, China and Georgia is a hundredth of the American rate. In all the territories of Africa there were only 150 outlets: mostly in South Africa.  What does this say about consumption, economics, development, globalization and branding? Search http://worldmapper.org for more excellent cartograms. 


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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:08 AM

No wonder America is the biggest one. People here are mostly too busy to prepare proper food for their diet. Is easier and more efficient just stop by and go back to work as soon as possibly. 

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Agriculture is Everywhere

Farmers Fight is a student-led initiative to reconnect American society to the world of agriculture. Beginning with university students, Farmers Fight encour...

 

This video makes several important points about agricultural production within our modernized world, things that often go unnoticed and taken for granted.  Food for thought. 


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Lauren Sellers's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:58 AM

The video brings attention to the complex process that brings food, and sheets, into our lives. Agriculture is often overlooked and undesirable. The video gives a young face to agriculture.

 

Payton Sidney Dinwiddie 's curator insight, October 25, 2014 6:27 PM

I like this article because it shows that most of the things we do is related to agriculture there are so many things we take for granted  and things that people dont recongnize have to deal with agriculture its almost surprising after watching this I believe that people who do agriculture need more respect

Bella The Non-Vampire's curator insight, December 1, 2014 5:11 AM

Agriculture involves everyone. People today dont think about where their food comes from. They don't think about how their food is made. Which is all agriculture.  Now agriculture has faded where no one remembers it still exists. Agriculture is something we include in our daizly lives. The big process of food. 

I.C.

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NASA Earth Observatory - Vegetation Index

The NDVI (Normalized Digital Vegetation Index) is on of the primary methods for detecting healthy vegetation using satellite imagery.  This also serves as a useful way to distinguish between distinct ecological and agricultural regions and the temporal patterns of planting seasons.  

 

This video was found on a site titled "Explorations in agricultural research" with many great links http://zerogravitygardening.blogspot.com/


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Learn about your Food

Learn about your Food | Globalisation and interdependence | Scoop.it

Many consumers don't know much about the production of their food.  Is your food Genetically modified?  Organically produced?  Learn how to know.   


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