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"Where liberty is, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin
Curated by Michael Miller
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Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

The Ogallala Aquifer

The Ogallala Aquifer | HMHS History |
Hidden beneath the 245,000 square miles that make up the Great Plains, resides a lake that’s one of our greatest water assets: The Ogallala Aquifer. Haven’t heard of it? Farming the plains would be unprofitable at best without it, as shown by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. At the time, the aquifer’s existence was known, but the technology to tap into it wasn’t.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 22, 9:27 AM

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.  This podcast explores the environmental and economic impacts of this unsustainable situation.

Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend, podcast.

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Here's what 9,000 years of breeding has done to corn, peaches, and other crops

Here's what 9,000 years of breeding has done to corn, peaches, and other crops | HMHS History |
Corn, watermelon, and peaches were unrecognizable 8,000 years ago.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 28, 2014 1:25 PM

I think the term 'artificial' in the image might be misleading and it depends on your definition of the word.  Humans have been selectively breed plants and animals for as long as we've been able to domestic them; that is a 'natural' part of our cultural ecology and has lead to great varieties of crops that are much more suitable for human consumption than what was naturally available.  Long before climate change, humans have been actively shaping their environment and the ecological inputs in the systems with the technology that their disposal.  This is a good resource to teach about the 1st agricultural revolution.     

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, unit 5 agriculture.

Emerald Pina's curator insight, March 22, 9:39 PM

This article shows how crops were entirely different 8,000 years ago. It shows how much we have breeded and affected the natural crops. With the example of peaches, watermelons, and corn, the article shows how the natural crop didn't taste as good and was a lot smaller. The natural peach had 64% edible food; whereas the 2014 peach had 90% edible food. The pictures comparing the natural and artificial crops also illustrated how the many varieties of that specific crop had grown and where the crop is found has grown. Lastly, the diagrams compares the water and sugar percentages. This article paints a good picture as to how much mankind has affected our land and agriculture. Also, how much our crops have changed due to selective breeding.


The article gives a good illustration of topics in Unit 5: Agriculture, Food Production, and Rural Land Use. The article shows how selective breeding has affected many crops. It gives a good view as to how selective breeding and agriculture has been affected and changed in the Neolithic Agriculture Revolution. The article explains what what life was like and how it changed in the Neolithic times. This article is really interesting in showing how crops were changed.

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Breakfasts Around the World

Via Seth Dixon
Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 11:03 AM

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. 

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 21, 2013 9:17 AM

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. 

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:10 AM

Countries each have their own foods that are unique and freshly made by families everyday. They use foods that are frequently grown and found in the area to make their meals. For example china eats a lot of fish because it is part of their culture. Also people of spanish and mexican cultures are known for cooking spicy delcious foods. Food is apart of what creates cultures.

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Hot Commodities

Hot Commodities | HMHS History |

"77 Photos of the mass production of the Earth's natural resources.  In the picture above, a Tibetan villager works in a salt field. Salt has been the most common food preservative, especially for meat, for thousands of years." 

Tags: consumption, agriculture, resources, labor, industry, economic, unit 6 industry.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 24, 2013 6:55 PM

Coal, steel, gold, iron, copper, aluminum and oil are all incredibly important commodities.  Agricultural products such as rice, cotton, corn, wheat and coffee all travel far beyond their area of origin.   Where do these resources come from?  How are they produced?  This gallery of 77 pictures is a fantastic tour of the resources that are key cogs in the global economy.  

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, February 24, 2013 10:55 PM

Just in time for Industry!

Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 7, 2013 8:52 PM

intensive or extensive agriculture? Why?

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Energy Conservation

Energy Conservation | HMHS History |
Energy conservation starts at home....


This interesting National Geographic article emphasizes how consumption patterns in the home are connected to some of the serious global issues that we currently face.  This article becomes an exploration into how to go about creating a more environmentally sustainable home. 

Via Seth Dixon
Teresa Gallego Navarro's curator insight, December 18, 2012 9:50 PM

The best energy is the one we don´t consumpt!!

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

What Would Happen If The Entire World Lived Like Americans?

What Would Happen If The Entire World Lived Like Americans? | HMHS History |

After making an infographic depicting how much space would be needed to house the entire world’s population based on the densities of various global cities, Tim De Chant of Per Square Mile got to thinking about the land resources it takes to support those same cities.

Tags: consumption, development, resources, energy, density, sustainability.

Via Seth Dixon
Michelle Carvajal's comment, September 18, 2012 6:23 PM
Its very interesting that the United Arab Emirates would need more land mass than lets say China and the US. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the common misconception of people is that China has the greatest population. I definetely will rescoop this because people could actually see how hard it must be to house people who in essence would need all this land mass to live comfortably.
Thomas D's comment, April 22, 2013 4:13 PM
I thought that this was a very interesting graph and article to read. It shows that if the rest of the world lived like us Americans we would need four times the world’s surface, which is pretty substantial to think about. Although the United Arab Emirates is the leading this graph it’s hard to believe that America is in second. This goes to show that our way of living is out of hand, that the only reason we haven’t consumed everything is because the rest of the world is living of more reasonable amounts of resources or no resources at all. That we need to be as a country more conservative of our resources before we have to rely even more heavily than we already do on other countries. I was surprised to see that India has such a small percentage of resource consummation considering it is such a highly populated country.
Brianna Simao's comment, April 30, 2013 10:23 PM
Countries with a more advanced and urbanized way of life clearly would need more space to survive but if everyone lived like these more developed countries then natural selection dies and survival of the fittest takes over. Eventually all the natural resources would be used up. If they all continued to use the same amount and reproduce then the fertility rate would rapidly increase making the area overpopulated and the quality of life decreased. It is a good thing the entire world lives differently and has a diverse ecological footprint because it creates a balance in the world. As one country’s consumption is out of control another is holding down the fort because they lice more reasonably. It is interesting to see that even though China and India have the largest populations they don’t consume as many resources as the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming

Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming | HMHS History |
In Indonesia, efforts are underway to grow palms in a sustainable way. But that's putting a squeeze on small farmers.


Palm oil is in everything, from pizza dough and chocolate to laundry detergent and lipstick. Nongovernmental organizations blame it for contributing to assorted evils, from global warming to human rights abuses. But in the past year, this complex global industry has changed, as consumers put pressure on producers to show that they're not destroying forests, killing rare animals, grabbing land or exploiting workers.


Tags: Indonesia, conservation, environment, consumption, SouthEastAsia, podcast.

Via Seth Dixon
LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, May 3, 9:00 AM

Will they also stop using Glyphosate to kill the old trees in order to plant new ones? Or use Glyphosate to keep the grass from growing in their fields? Sometimes the changes are more on the marketing side, than the actual day-to-day practices.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 9, 3:06 PM

Look at many household goods, and you can be sure to find palm oil in the list of its ingredients. It is one of the most commonly traded commodities in the world, but it has come under increasing scrutiny from both governmental and civilian groups concerned with the environmental and human impacts of the trade. Indonesia, one of the largest exporters of the good in the world, has made moves to make sure the continued exportation of the crop is sustainable, as they do not want to lose the revenue and job creation generated by the continued existence of the trade. Proponents of the crop argue that it takes less space to cultivate than any other competing vegetable oil, making it the easiest crop to sustain at current rates of demand. Environmentally, government and civilian groups have rallied against deforestation and have made strides to reverse the practice in regions both within Indonesia and in other areas as well.

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | HMHS History |

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.


Via Seth Dixon
Michael Miller's insight:

The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.

Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 20, 2013 12:29 PM

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: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 2, 2013 5:58 PM

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.

Scooped by Michael Miller!

What the world eats -- a week's worth of groceries

Jen-ai's curator insight, May 1, 2013 10:03 AM

!  This is so informative.  

Laurie Diamond's curator insight, May 3, 2013 9:03 AM

An interesting look and different cultures

Samuel Yeats's curator insight, May 8, 2013 12:40 AM

Q1) How does this slideshow depict the differing socioeconomic situations of countries around the world? (Use the example of at least 2 countries)

Q2) Do you think that the image of an Australian weekly diet is accurate to your own family and why?

Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

Fresh Water Resources

View full lesson: Fresh water accounts for only 2.5% of Earth's...

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 12, 2013 2:45 PM

How much of the Earth's water is fresh water?  How much of that is used for industrial, agricultural or domestic uses?  Why is groundwater becoming increasingly utilized?  Enjoy this TED-ED video for the answers. 

Tags: water, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

Agron S. Dida's comment, December 17, 2013 5:33 AM
Ben, there is a good link about the lack of water:
Rescooped by Michael Miller from Geography Education!

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."

Via Seth Dixon
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.