Mr. Soto's Human Geography
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Food Waste

Producers, sellers, and consumers waste tons of food. John Oliver discusses the shocking amount of food we don’t eat.

Via Seth Dixon, FCHSAPGEO
Jose Soto's insight:

Food waste is a tragedy that we all know happens, but the economic system does not work efficiently to maximize the global food production (Disclaimer: it is HBO's John Oliver, so there is some language and references that might not be appropriate for all audiences). 

 

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

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Bob Zavitz's curator insight, August 5, 2015 7:42 PM

Food waste is a tragedy that we all know happens, but the economic system does not work efficiently to maximize the global food production (Disclaimer: it is HBO's John Oliver, so there is some language and references that might not be appropriate for all audiences). 

 

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

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 6, 2015 4:20 AM

Food waste is a tragedy that we all know happens, but the economic system does not work efficiently to maximize the global food production (Disclaimer: it is HBO's John Oliver, so there is some language and references that might not be appropriate for all audiences). 


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

Sue Byrnes's curator insight, August 6, 2015 6:06 PM

Food waste is a tragedy that we all know happens, but the economic system does not work efficiently to maximize the global food production (Disclaimer: it is HBO's John Oliver, so there is some language and references that might not be appropriate for all audiences). 

 

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

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How American Agriculture Works

How American Agriculture Works | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
There really are two different Americas: the heartland, and the coasts....

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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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The largest city in Brazil is running dangerously low on water

The largest city in Brazil is running dangerously low on water | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Thanks to the worst drought in eight decades, millions of people in São Paulo are facing water outages.

 

Tags: Brazil, urban, water, urban ecology, climate change, environment depend, sustainability, agriculture, food production.


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Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 25, 2014 12:49 PM

Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, which provides one third of the countries GPD, is now running low or water due to one of the worst droughts in 8 years. There are more than 21 million people in this city and 13 million of them are facing water outages. If it doesn't rain soon, the city could face a collapse. The city has blamed the drought of lack of water in the vapor clouds that the amazon usually provides to the city. They also blame it on deforestation and global warming. President Dilma Rousseff has questioned the cities misusage of their water supply, claiming that the city mismanaged their water supply.  

Lydia Tsao's curator insight, March 23, 2015 10:16 AM

This shows just how important water is the human race. It also shows how humans have no sense of urgency in conserving water until it's too late. The saying "you never know a good thing until it's gone" applies in this case. The Brazilian government did not take any sufficient measures to conserve water until it realized how depleted the reservoir is. This event demonstrates the environmental impact of  water depletion on humans, and how humans have such a huge impact on the geographical landscape on Earth. As seen in the picture above, many greens turned yellow as a result of the lowering water levels. The river beds are soon going to be overgrown by shrubbery as water no longer exists there. These are all results of a combination of natural (lack of rain) and human causes of resource depletion.

Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, September 30, 2015 7:19 AM

water

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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 | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Corn, watermelon, and peaches were unrecognizable 8,000 years ago.

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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, 2015 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.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:41 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.

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Population growth far outpaces food supply in conflict-ravaged Sahel

Population growth far outpaces food supply in conflict-ravaged Sahel | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"The Sahel’s ability to produce food is not keeping pace with its growing population, and global warming will only exacerbate the imbalance, according to a new study.  Among the 22 countries making up the arid region in northern Africa, the population grew to 471 million in 2010 from 367 million in 2000, a jump of nearly 30%. As the population grew rapidly, the production of crops remained essentially unchanged.  Using satellite images to calculate annual crop production in the conflict-ridden Sahel belt, south of the Sahara desert, the researchers then compared output with population growth and food and fuel consumption."

 

Tags: Africa, Sahel, population, environment, water, ecology, environment depend, weather and climate, sustainability, agriculture, food production.


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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:59 PM

with the strife in this region it is hardly surprising that it is hard to maintain food supplies in the face of large scale immigration. in a region where it is hard to survive, immigration would be a massive threat, straining already thinly spread resources.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:22 AM

If a country has a big population growth, the resources that it has if they are already scarce may become devastating. As the population of Sahel does increase, the amount of food resources will not have the proper time to react to the growth. Granted it may take a while for agricultural crops to grow and many citizens may face hard times facing finding food, but their hardships will be overcome by farmers trying to produce more crops to help ease that hardship.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:38 PM

this seems like an alarmingly common problem in the world today with population growth happening at an alarming rate in many parts of the world. most notably india and china. as well as in sahel, if your population grows by 100 million in 10 years it will be impossible to keep up and be able to provide for that many people in such a reletively short time.

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Feeding Our Hungry Planet

"By 2050, the world's population will likely increase 35 percent. But is growing more food the only option—or even the best? National Geographic investigates the challenges and solutions to feeding everyone on our planet, based on an eight-month series in National Geographic magazine.  Visit http://natgeofood.com for ongoing coverage of food issues as we investigate the Future of Food today on World Food Day."

 

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


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Nancy Watson's curator insight, October 19, 2014 8:53 AM

Population increase is just part of the story. How do we feed everyone? How will we provide for the needs of everyone?  Can the earth sustain the use of her resources and the impact of our growing needs and output. First we must eat. Can we learn to do that wisely? 

Bella Reagan's curator insight, November 28, 2014 5:48 PM

Unit 2-Population

 

This video was about the growing population in the world and as a result the growing food demand. This video points out that even though more food production seems like the solution, instead other solutions are more logical. Solutions include reducing wastes, preserving forests, being more productive on current farms and more. It states that farming is a huge business but it goes towards more than growing food for people to eat but also for other things like animals and materials. The worlds population is growing and there needs to be a change in food industries to keep thriving. 

 

This relates to unit 2 about population since it is thinking of ways to adapt to the worlds growing population. By 2050 it is predicted that population will increase by 33% and something has to change about food in order for people to stay fed. There is too much food being wasted that if that could be decreased it could make a huge difference. The video made a good point that it's not that we need more food it's that we need to manage and prioritize production.  

Blayze Padgett's curator insight, January 10, 1:03 PM

The article/video relates to AP Human Geography because it involves Thomas Malthus's theory that population is going to surpass food production if we don't fix our priorities. In my opinion this article makes a very valid point that could be true. We don't exactly need to start more farms and spread agriculture, instead, we should pay attention to our priorities and make the right decisions with the food we harvest from agriculture.

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40 maps that explain food in America

40 maps that explain food in America | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"The future of the nations will depend on the manner of how they feed themselves, wrote the French epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1826. Almost 200 years later, how nations feed themselves has gotten a lot more complicated. That’s particularly true in the US, where food insecurity coexists with an obesity crisis, where fast food is everywhere and farmer’s markets are spreading, where foodies have never had more power and McDonald’s has never had more locations, and where the possibility of a barbecue-based civil war is always near. So here are 40 maps, charts, and graphs that show where our food comes from and how we eat it, with some drinking thrown in for good measure."


Via Seth Dixon, Mr. David Burton
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Treathyl Fox's curator insight, June 26, 2014 12:26 PM

WOW!  Talk about contrast and compare.  So now is contrast, compare and ... uh? ... conquer??  From farming and enjoying the harvest - which could be interpreted as healthy eating back in the day - TO sugary sweet soda pops and fatty burgers - which some might be calling junk food, convenience food, fast food, comfort food you don't have to cook yourself, the cause of obesity, a politician's guide to a potential source of additional revenue from taxes, etc.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 2:16 PM

With more people than ever living in cities and less people than ever working on farms, the future of our food is in question. The riskiness, labor, low gain,  and negative stereotypes of farmers combined with the fear of food conglomerates has led to a depletion of smaller scale farmers. Brain drain in rural farming areas is depleting the number of younger people willing to work in agriculture. With most of our food production being controlled and overseen by large corporations, people are now questioning the quality of our foods. Recently, the local food movement is educating people on the importance of food produced with integrity and supporting  local businesses.  

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:51 PM

Occasionally these lists that say something like "40 maps that..." end up being an odd assortment of trivia that is interesting but not very instructive.  Not so with this list that has carefully curated these maps and graphs in a sequential order that will enrich students' understanding of food production and consumption in the United States.  Additionally, here are some maps and chart to understand agriculture and food in Canada

 

Tags: agriculture, food production, food distribution, locavore, agribusiness, USA

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Seeds of change in rice-growing country

Seeds of change in rice-growing country | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
A group of farmers in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, is exploring ways to market biodiesel fuel made from sunflower seeds, which many consumers are shunning over radiation fears. ...

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Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Agriculture

Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Agriculture | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"Alabama’s new immigration law, H.B. 56, is already devastating the state’s agricultural sector."

 

Does teaching agriculture have to be boring?  This particular issue is an excellent current topic that combines politics, culture and demographics within agriculture.   

 


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Mac steel's comment, March 8, 2013 10:09 AM
Technoloy
Valorie Morgan's curator insight, November 7, 2013 10:13 AM

The new immigration laws have caused farmers to cut back on crops due to low empolyment rate. The immgrants that were currently working for farmers, ran off in fear of being captured. I'm against this law, I see exactly where the farmers are coming from. I believe these laws are pointless, it's just people trying to make an honest buck in the hot sun. Alabama is losing a great deal of agriculture due to this new law. Even though, they say its againast the law. I don't see the point. Why be so hard on these farmer??

Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 12:08 AM

This article shows how important it is to follow the natural way of agriculture. With the new laws in Alabama being passed it now allows people to grow crops in an unnatural way which is devastating predicament to the agricultural world. 

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Natural GMO? Sweet Potato Genetically Modified 8,000 Years Ago

Natural GMO? Sweet Potato Genetically Modified 8,000 Years Ago | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
People have been farming — and eating — a GMO for thousands of years without knowing it. Scientists have found genes from bacteria in sweet potatoes around the world. So who made the GMO?

Via Seth Dixon
Jose Soto's insight:

Yes, the title is somewhat misleading (isn't that almost expected these days?), since humanity has been selectively breeding crops since the first agricultural revolution and genetic alteration can occur independent of human intervention.  Humanity has always been using the best technologies available to improve agricultural practices.  The term GMO though, is usually reserved for scientific, technological modifications that were unimaginable 100 years ago.  

 

Tags: GMOs, technology, agriculture.

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Jamie Strickland's curator insight, July 7, 2015 12:08 PM

Once again, the term GMO has been used without regard for process.  We need to make sure our students have a clear understanding of what it means for a crop to be "genetically modified" now.  Although I get some eyerolls, this is why I continue to include an origin of agriculture segment in every introductory class I teach..

newgen's comment, July 9, 2015 5:42 AM
thanks for share!
Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, March 11, 2016 9:32 PM
Share your insight
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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."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 3, 2014 4:42 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.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 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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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 | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Corn, watermelon, and peaches were unrecognizable 8,000 years ago.

Via Seth Dixon
more...
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, 2015 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.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:41 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.

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GIS Lounge: Thanksgiving Maps

GIS Lounge: Thanksgiving Maps | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Want to know where your Thanksgiving food comes from? 

 

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


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abontempo's comment, January 30, 2012 2:13 PM
This is so interesting! I never really thought about how our thanksgiving meal is so different from others around the world!
Rich Schultz's curator insight, November 28, 2014 2:52 PM

T-giving map stuff...

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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."


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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, 2016 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 Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"One-third of the seafood Americans catch is sold abroad, but most of the seafood we eat here is imported and often of lower quality. Why? Author Paul Greenberg says it has to do with American tastes."


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HazelAnne Prescott's curator insight, July 31, 2014 10:56 AM

Seems like a messed up system.  We do not have "taste"

Abigail Mack's curator insight, July 31, 2014 11:27 AM

What would make Americans opt for the lower quality, imported fish?

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:45 PM

The United States exports the best-quality seafood that Americans catch, but import primarily low-grade aquacultural products.  This is just one of the counter-intuitive issues withe U.S. fish consumption and production.  This bizarre dynamic has cultural and economic explanations and this NPR podcast nicely explains these spatial patterns that are bound to frustrate those that advocate for locally sourced food productions. 

 

Tags: food production, industry, food, agriculture, agribusinessconsumptioneconomic, sustainability.

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NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico

NAFTA an empty basket for farmers in southern Mexico | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"When the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect in 1994, it removed nearly all trade barriers between the countries. Among the industries affected was agriculture, forcing small Mexican farmers into direct competition with big American agribusiness. Cheap American corn – heavily subsidized, mechanized and genetically modified – soon flooded the Mexican market to the detriment of local farmers.  As U.S. farmers exported their subsidized corn to Mexico, local producer prices plummeted and small farmers could no longer earn enough to live on."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 28, 2014 9:06 AM

International trade agreements are usually discussed at the national level.  "NAFTA benefits Mexico" is a commonly heard saying because trade with the United States and Canada strengthens the manufacturing sector in Mexico.  Even if there is an overall benefit to a country, there are always winners and losers for different regions, economic sectors and many other demographic groups.   Farmers in southern Mexico were certainly a sector that struggled mightily under NAFTA.


Tags: Mexicosupranationalism, industry, place, agriculture, food production,

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 29, 2014 11:44 AM

The American agricultural industry has been highly subsidized by the government to create interest in farming and food production. This causes problems for America's neighboring countries' resident farmers. The Mexican corn farmers are struggling mightily with the influx of cheap American corn into Mexico due to the open trade policies created by NAFTA. Some tariffs or new economic regulations must be created to protect Mexican corn farmers and regulate the amount of cheap American corn that is flooding Mexican markets. 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 29, 2014 12:44 PM

With all the good we thought NAFTA did for the three countries involved, I feel that sometimes we overlook the bad.  Southern Mexico has felt all negative affects from NAFTA.  While the northern states in Mexico are able to keep up with the advanced agricultural processes that America has, the south is unable to.  The old techniques and lack of machinery prevents the south from having any possible competition with the north as well as America leaving the south to become extremely impoverished and potentially unsuitable for any living.

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How the Potato Changed the World

How the Potato Changed the World | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Brought to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers, the lowly potato gave rise to modern industrial agriculture

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Gina Panighetti's curator insight, August 4, 2014 5:35 PM

Columbian Exchange Unit

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 12:57 PM

Potatoes are one of the most widespread foods in the world, due to its resiliency to harsh weather conditions and its ability to grow to large sizes. Potatoes can also be traced to show the beginning forces of globalization. Before modern communication and transportation technology, globalization occurred at a much slower rate. Globalization spread through trade routes in the forms of foods, resources, and therefore cultures and people. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:52 PM

The Colombian Exchange is a term that describes the most dramatic biologic transfer in history.  European explorers brought animals and agricultural items from the Old World to the New and subsequently brought back items from the New World back to the Old.  This exchange profoundly reshaped many societies as agricultural diffusion of the potato lead to the changes across northern Europe. 

 

Tags: agriculture, food production, diffusionhistorical colonialism, Europe

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After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.

 

Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places.  This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly.  Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.   


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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:57 AM

This is another article that highlights the skill deficit in this country.  People seem to be afraid of doing hard work and would rather do nothing then work hard to learn this skill.  If it were a choice between no job and this type of job people would take the jobs but the third choice of unemployment payments makes people who might do these jobs decide not to.  As long as they are paid more to not work then work, they will not do the jobs that need workers.  The farmer made a good point that a skilled picker can make $200-$300 a day but an unskilled worker doing the job makes only $24 a day.  The work ethic of this country needs to be changed, young people today do not want to work hard or put in the effort.  When farmers can no longer get workers how long will it be before there is a food problem as well as a worker problem in this country.  It is possible to make a good living doing these types of jobs but not as long as people feel the work is beneath them or they are unwilling to do the hard manual labor required to do the job well.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:26 PM

i see this as a very good law. America is on the verge of recovering from an economic recession and the United States can benefit from every job given to a natural born american citizen. i do see the problems that a  farmer can have such as receiving a decline in profits if they must pay more for the product. in the article the farmers also say that Americans just do not work like seasoned Hispanics and production is way down. another looming problem that the Americans have is that they are slow, and want to call it a day after lunch, and expect to get paid more. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 5:36 PM

As the title implies, this is about how Americans are not cut out for doing intensive farming jobs because the workers just quit quickly. A few politicians mentioned in the story, Governor Robert Bentley and Senator Scott Beason, said they received thank you messages from constituents who found work. This was supposed to be evidence of Americans benefitting from jobs that immigrants took, but I would love to know how many of those people actually stayed with the job. Furthermore, I find it a bit too suspicious that none of the people wanted to speak with the press as the author mentioned or that the names just weren’t given. I am more inclined to believe the owners of the famers mentioned in the article, who said they can’t keep Americans on their site happy due to lack of pay and benefits. Mind you now it wasn’t just one owner who said this either. I think this is telling as well because the owners are the individuals who best know the industry as they work it every day.

 

From the farmers perspective the new law is now a huge problem that could also affected consumers. They lost steady “Hispanics with experience,” who they knew could handle the work. For some farmers, according to the article, has made it so the produce is left on the vine rotting because it isn’t picked. So in essence, what the Arizona law just did was harm agriculture and the buyers too because if enough of that food perishes the price will go up. Now I can understand a state being aggravated over illegal immigration (it is a serious problem that is nowhere close to being solved), but to pass a law with these kinds of economic ramifications isn’t really helping the situation much either. As much as people hate to admit it, our economy needs immigrants from Mexico for our agriculture sector to work. It is just a little known fact.

 

The new law isn’t the only law at issue in this article. Connie Horner of Georgia tried to legally hire workers through the government’s visa program. She soon found it is too costly for her to do and too time consuming, so instead Ms. Horner is turning to machines. The fact that visas are that hard to attain for workers is also part of the reason the immigrants come illegally. Rather than spending more money to watch the boarder how about the government figure out a way for the bureaucracy of the immigration process to move quicker. This isn’t an issue of 2011 either when the article was written. Listening to the news, I have heard farmers complain about the visa program for years. No wonder immigrants come over illegally and then citizens get angry at these people. Really, American’s should be more annoyed with their government’s ineffective stance on boarder control.