Mrs. Watson's Class
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This is how our favorite foods look in their natural habitats

This is how our favorite foods look in their natural habitats | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
We know how to harvest potatoes and apples. There are other fruits and vegetables, however, which have natural habitats we can barely imagine. We see these items in the grocery store every day, but often we have no idea how they got there.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 28, 1:17 PM

This set of teaching images hammers home how natural items become commodities that are removed from their original context.  The fact that these foods are somewhat difficult to recognize shows just how most consumers have been removed from the full geographies of their food.  

 

Tagsfood production, images, agriculture, foodeconomic.

Lilydale High School's curator insight, April 24, 4:39 AM
Food - naturally.
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Rethinking Africa's food insecurity: it's more about the big, often-missed forces driving food choices

Rethinking Africa's food insecurity: it's more about the big, often-missed forces driving food choices | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Rethinking Africa's food insecurity: it's more about the big, often-missed forces driving food choices
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The New Face of Hunger

The New Face of Hunger | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Why are people malnourished in the richest country on Earth?
Nancy Watson's insight:

The US may produce 20% of the world's food, but millions of Americans do not know where their next meal is coming from. Poverty can be found in rich farming areas, low income urban or suburban neighborhoods.

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Animal Care--Taking the Mystery Out of Pork Production at Smithfield Foods

Animal care is central to the success of both Smithfield Foods and our hog production subsidiary Murphy-Brown. Without healthy pigs, we can't produce high qu...
Nancy Watson's insight:

Raising pigs from the mass production point of view.

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

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

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


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 18, 2015 4:31 PM

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


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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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The Trouble with Chicken – FRONTLINE

The Trouble with Chicken – FRONTLINE | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
FRONTLINE investigates the spread of dangerous pathogens in our meat—particularly poultry—and why the food-safety system isn’t stopping the threat.
Nancy Watson's insight:

Great for the Ag unit and a discussion starter.

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Chocolate’s Child-Labor Problem Keeps Getting Worse

Chocolate’s Child-Labor Problem Keeps Getting Worse | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
A new report shows an increase in children working on cocoa farms.
Nancy Watson's insight:

Luxury crops. Child Labor, Chocolate

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Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, July 31, 2015 9:33 PM

Luxury crops. Child Labor, Chocolate

Jukka Melaranta's curator insight, August 2, 2015 9:53 AM

Luxury crops. Child Labor, Chocolate

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Farming with 95% less water—in Newark, New Jersey

Farming with 95% less water—in Newark, New Jersey | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Using 95% less water and half the fertilizer of traditional farming, vertical farms bring sustainable produce to cities.
Nancy Watson's insight:

Farming with less water

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Climate change and female farmers in Botswana

Climate change and female farmers in Botswana | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Poorer Botswana citizens struggle with increasingly unreliable rain-fed agriculture.
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France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels | CSGlobe

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels | CSGlobe | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants
Nancy Watson's insight:

This is going green. Good for Urban unit, culture, development

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Caitlyn Christiansen's curator insight, May 26, 2015 4:18 PM

France recently passed a law that says that all new rooftops must have either plants or solar panels on top. There are lots of benefits to this law because it is environmentally sustainable. Solar panels create a green source of energy and save power and land by using renewable resources. Plants would absorb rainwater which helps with runoff water and cleans the atmosphere of toxic chemicals and adds oxygen back to the atmosphere, helping to reverse the greenhouse effect.

 

This article is related to cities and urban land use through the use of rooftops in urban areas to reduce the environmental effects of urbanization. The urban areas are rather crowded in general and there is not much room for solar panels/ plants. By thinking up and using the rooftops, space is created and greater planning is employed in the use of urban land.

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Seaweed Farms in South Korea : Image of the Day

Seaweed Farms in South Korea : Image of the Day | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Along the southern coast of the Korean peninsula farming doesn’t always happen on land.
Nancy Watson's insight:

Ag unit. Human environmental interaction

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Why Vertical Farming Could Be On The Verge Of A Revolution -- And What's Keeping It Down

Why Vertical Farming Could Be On The Verge Of A Revolution -- And What's Keeping It Down | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Could the future of modern agriculture be found completely indoors?

That’s the question on the mind of Caleb Harper, the research scientist behind the CityFARM project of MIT Media Lab’s City Science Initiative.

On any given day on ...
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El Niño Upsets Seasons and Upends Lives Worldwide

El Niño Upsets Seasons and Upends Lives Worldwide | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
The World Health Organization has estimated that changes related to the weather phenomenon are putting 60 million people at increased risk of malnutrition and illnesses.
Nancy Watson's insight:
The impact of weather patterns in one part of the world can significantly impact the lives of people far from the phenomena
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Jukka Melaranta's curator insight, March 20, 2:40 PM
The impact of weather patterns in one part of the world can significantly impact the lives of people far from the phenomena
Jacob Ballard's curator insight, March 21, 2:02 PM
The impact of weather patterns in one part of the world can significantly impact the lives of people far from the phenomena
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The Next Green Revolution

The Next Green Revolution | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Can science prevent our next food crisis?
Nancy Watson's insight:

Unintended consequences diminished the success of the first Green Revolution, despite its success in ending the Bengal Famine in India. Calls for a New Green Revolution will be fraught with doubt, but also have the potential to undo the original unintended consequences.

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molly gates's curator insight, March 8, 5:13 PM

Unintended consequences diminished the success of the first Green Revolution, despite its success in ending the Bengal Famine in India. Calls for a New Green Revolution will be fraught with doubt, but also have the potential to undo the original unintended consequences.

Isabelle McCreless's curator insight, March 12, 3:49 PM

Unintended consequences diminished the success of the first Green Revolution, despite its success in ending the Bengal Famine in India. Calls for a New Green Revolution will be fraught with doubt, but also have the potential to undo the original unintended consequences.

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Gendering Agriculture | Africa Renewal Online

Gendering Agriculture | Africa Renewal Online | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Nancy Watson's insight:

Women in Agriculture - African women are highlighted in this Special Edition article, Gendering Agriculture

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Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 12:03 PM

unit 5

Women in Agriculture - African women are highlighted in this Special Edition article, Gendering Agriculture

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40 maps that explain food in America

40 maps that explain food in America | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

ExceThe 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.

Nancy Watson's insight:

Excellent current and historical maps for food and agricultural production. Great for the Ag Unit

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The Geography of Food: An Article Selection

The Geography of Food: An Article Selection | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services
Nancy Watson's insight:

This article is co-authored by William Moseley, professor at Macalester College and addresses many of the issues in the agriculture unit.

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Here's what your food would look like if it weren't genetically modified over millennia

Here's what your food would look like if it weren't genetically modified over millennia | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
[Business Insider] Bet you've never seen fruits and veggies that look like these before.
Nancy Watson's insight:

We have been changing the genetics of our food from the beginning of domestication of plants. As we have learned more about genetics that has been applied to our food supply. GMOs are not new, just the methods we use to do this 

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Midwest Dairy Association

Midwest Dairy Association | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Nancy Watson's insight:

Searching for a virtual agricultural experience for those in urban areas, I came across this sustainable dairy that uses robots to milk the cows. Having grown up on a dairy farm, this is like science fiction!

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Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet

Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Later this summer, United Airlines will begin using fuel generated from farm waste and oil from animal fats to help power its commercial flights.
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Why eating insects makes sense

The world's population is projected to reach 11 billion by the end of the century. Feeding that many people will be a challenge, and it is further complicated by the impact of climate change on agriculture. That is why some people advocate an unusual way to boost the food supply and feed people sustainably: by eating less meat, and more insects.

http://econ.st/1sDYlfM


Via Seth Dixon
Nancy Watson's insight:

Agriculture, Food security, sustainability, Culture - Yuck factor!

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 20, 2015 10:00 AM

While it might make economic, nutritional, and environmental sense, I'm sure that many are squeamish at the idea of insects primarily because in violates many deeply engrained cultural taboos.  The main reasons listed in the video for promoting the production and consumption of more insects:

  1. Insects are healthier than meat.
  2. It is cheap (or free) to raise insects.
  3. Raising insects is more sustainable than livestock.


Questions to Ponder: Would you be willing to try eating insects?  How do you think this idea would go over with your family and friends?  What cultural barriers might slow the diffusion of this practice?    


Tagsfoodculturediffusioncultural norms, economicfood production, agriculture.

LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, June 8, 2015 9:33 AM

When speaking of sustainability, many seek new options, new and more efficient—productively speaking—ways of exploiting resources, different types of energies to make up for the missing future expected quota. However, at not point do they seem to ask themselves what makes inefficiency be the norm, and scarcity the automatic reason to why we need more. The solution is right there, in front of our eyes, and not necessarily in the form of insects., though under the current monetary and economic paradigm, that may seem like a good option.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:31 PM

While it might make economic, nutritional, and environmental sense, I'm sure that many are squeamish at the idea of insects primarily because in violates many deeply engrained cultural taboos.  The main reasons listed in the video for promoting the production and consumption of more insects:

  1. Insects are healthier than meat.
  2. It is cheap (or free) to raise insects.
  3. Raising insects is more sustainable than livestock.

 

Questions to Ponder: Would you be willing to try eating insects?  How do you think this idea would go over with your family and friends?  What cultural barriers might slow the diffusion of this practice?    

 

Tagsfoodculturediffusioncultural norms, economic, food production, agriculture.

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Core Truths: 10 Common GMO Claims Debunked

Core Truths: 10 Common GMO Claims Debunked | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Genetically modified organisms have become the world’s most controversial food. But the science is more clear-cut.
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Caitlyn Christiansen's curator insight, May 26, 2015 4:41 PM

GMOs have caused a lot of controversy since they first appeared in markets. This article lists 10 claims against GMOs and uses scientific studies and other information to prove that GMOs that make it to the shelves are in fact safe to eat.

 

This article is related to agricultural and rural land use through the genetically modified foods as an agricultural practice in food production. This remains an area of controversy but is very common today and is found in many different kinds of plants.

Tori Denney's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:09 AM

Biotechnology, including genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Genetically modified Organisms(GMOs) are a result of new technologies of the Green Revolution and apart in finding ways to feed the world. Many questions and negativities come up from these gene injected, manipulated organisms. GMOs are mass produced in the United States, but many people are unaware that most of the food they eat contains GMOs, unless there is a label to clarify otherwise. Once people are educated on this part of the deal, they are furious, because they think that they deserve to have the right to choose GMO or non-GMOs, but companies producing GMOs will not take full credit for it (Monsanto for example). Many argue whether GMOs are a solution to world hunger, or if they are dangerous due to the lack of knowledge of their long term effects. Many negatives are raised about foods, such as that they cause allergies, diseases and other health issues, if they cause decrease in biodiversity, or super crops which create super pests, if they are a harm to beneficial pests, that GMOs spread to other crop fields, and that they create a food that is not essentially natural to how the organism was created to be. Brands of apples are coming out that are genetically modified to contain natural fertilizers to keep pests away, and mixed genes so that they take longer to brown or bruise. Also most corns, soy, papayas, sugars, and cheeses are all products of GMOs, and are put into foods across the globe that people are not warned about. If people eat GMOs, it is mostly because they do not know about them or they don't care what they eat. But, the world deserves to know all the factors of Genetically Engineered Organisms and they deserve to choose a side. 

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A Chart Showing You How Much Water It Takes To Grow All The Food You Eat

A Chart Showing You How Much Water It Takes To Grow All The Food You Eat | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
How much more water does it take to produce an ounce of bread, than a ounce of juice? The answer is not quite what you might expect.
Nancy Watson's insight:

How taxing is your food on the environment?

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