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A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger

A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
Corn is not what you think. For starters: Most of the time, it's not human food.

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Rachael Johns's curator insight, October 24, 10:17 AM

The corn we are growing is not helping world hunger but is making the world more unhealthy. Most the corn that we grow is either going to be used as sweeteners or as feed for cows. When we feed this to the cows it is literally killing the cows that WE eat.

Nolan Walters's curator insight, October 25, 11:29 AM

Most of the corn is not even going to us. Most of it goes to the animals, who eat it (which is cheaper than grass), which fatten them up for slaughter for humans.  Corn also gets turned into Corn Syrup, which fattens us.  The Corn industry is mostly to fatten up animals for meat for us humans in MDCs. 

Alex Lewis's curator insight, October 30, 12:46 PM

The fact that we could use this land to grow surplus edible food instead of corn that isn't edible and goes to feed obese and unhealthy cows is sickening. There are millions of people dying in Africa and other LDC's from starvation, but we use our farmland to grow inedible corn and overfeed cows to the point of death. The corn is used to feed animals, and the animals are then slaughtered months, weeks or even days before they would've died of overfeeding. 

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Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
In many countries, eggs aren't refrigerated and they're still considered safe to eat. But in the U.S., we have to chill them, because we've washed away the cuticle that protects them from bacteria.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 12, 12:29 PM

For many Americans that are traveling abroad for the first time, realizing that eggs aren't in the refrigerator is a bit of a culture shock (not to mention the moment they find milk in a box that also isn't being refrigerated).  Agricultural practices dictate storage requirements and some things we might have imagined were universal are actually place-specific or peculiar to our cultural setting.  What we are taught to think of as gross, appropriate, attractive or even sanitary is often steeped in a cultural context.  So is it strange the we refrigerate our eggs in the United States, or that they don't in other places? 


Tagsfood productiontechnology, industry, food, agriculture, perspective.

Diane Johnson's curator insight, September 22, 9:26 AM

Interesting investigation for students

aitouaddaC's comment, September 22, 5:16 PM
Amazing !
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Video: Future of Farming

Video: Future of Farming | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
Mark Bittman speaks to Wes Jackson from The Land Institute, who predicted that a prairie-like system capable of providing food for humans would be viable within 100 years.
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's insight:

Farming, agriculture are what drive the economy in many states. Pay attention to the ideas of the future.

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Smarter Food: Does big farming mean bad farming?

Smarter Food: Does big farming mean bad farming? | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
In Minnesota, ‘industrial’ operation shows effort to balance economic, environmental sustainability.

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Pranav Pradeep's curator insight, February 27, 11:24 AM

Yes it does because in all large scale endeavors, regardless of what for, the quality is always sacrificed for the quantity because it becomes cheaper to produce and profits are greater.

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, February 27, 11:33 AM

The large-scale agricultural practices of modern America tend to lend to the bad image of commercial farming. However, the practices are actually helping feed more people in the US, but they also use genetically modified crops and other highly debated techniques.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 20, 11:45 AM

Yes it does because in all large scale endeavors, regardless of what for, the quality is always sacrificed for the quantity because it becomes cheaper to produce and profits are greater.

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An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

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
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's insight:

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.

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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.

Michael Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 1:41 PM

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

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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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Truthbehere2's curator insight, October 17, 10:30 AM

I think I might as well buy some land and plant my own huge garden for this crap coming up and have a fence around my yard too

Nancy Watson's curator insight, October 19, 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, 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.  

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Sustaining Seven Billion People

Sustaining Seven Billion People | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"With seven billion people now living on Earth, the ever growing demand is putting unprecedented pressure on global resources—especially forests, water, and food. How can Earth’s resources be managed best to support so many people? One key is tracking the sum of what is available, and perhaps nothing is better suited to that task than satellites."

 


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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, July 6, 12:09 PM

Such studies of the agriculture around the world are essential. The way we are doing agriculture to support seven billion people now, peaking at 9-10 billion in another 60 years, it is clear that we are putting severe strains on the environment.  But we have grown lazy, and we are doing it all wrong.

 

We CAN drastically reduce the amount of meat we consume, and thus quickly reduce the amount of arable land we need.  We CAN grow plants in ways that actually sequester more carbon and improve the soil it over time rather than erode and degrade.  And we CAN in fact grow all the food we need in the space we live in, thus enabling us to recycle all the water used as well, which is mostly just lost in evaporation. 

Tom Cockburn's curator insight, July 13, 5:52 AM

Vital debate for the future

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 7:44 PM

APHG-U2

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Geography in the News: Pumpkins

Geography in the News: Pumpkins | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner and pumpkins are already showing up at roadside stands. Jack o’lanterns, decorative displays and pumpkin pies are the main destinies of most pumpkins in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, however, the pumpkin is nearly exclusively considered a food crop or animal feed."


Via Seth Dixon
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's insight:

Curcubitas!!!!

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 4:25 PM

I have been a long-time fan of pumpkin coffee, and tomorrow I will probably have some with my cousins and family... Some areas of Asia allow consumption of dogs, other areas of the US allow consumption of roadkill, and that is different from what most people in RI are used to... So I guess, it's not really my business what other people and countries do with their pumpkin crops, as long as it doesn't negatively affect other people.  My neighbor has won some prizes, I think 3rd place in RI for largest pumpkin contests, which is pretty cool, because for several months, you can see their pumpkin garden from my backyard.  Those pumpkins are enormous, and made me wonder if there was anything being done to make the modified pumpkins more usable in food.  I know GMOs are a touchy issue, but to feed the starving people around the world, you have to wonder if one pumpkin at 2000 lbs could feed a village of people.  Lots of people that don't like GMOs probably do unhealthy things in other ways, so their huge activism movements really boggle me.  Labeling GMOs is one thing, but stopping genetic modifications seems as controversial as starting them, especially when some people can benefit from them.  Whatever, I guess pumpkins are cool for whatever people want to do with them, including smashing them... this week on RIC's campus I saw a smashed pumpkin.  The only thing that really popped into my head was not "what a waste," or "oh, those delinquents," but rather "that seems fun."  I did assume though, that no one was hurt by the smashing of the pumpkin...

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 19, 5:14 PM

Although you wouldn't think it there are many different countries and specific regions that demonstrate the perfect cropping land and fertilization process to grow pumpkins. Out of the US power house pumpkin growing Illinois is named number 1. Along side California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvainnia, Mississippi. But lets travel abroad to Africa, now me personally I wouldnt think that there are alot of pumpkin patches in Africa but there are many different places in Africa that pumpkins are grown. SOme of these places are Egypt with (690,000) and then there is South Africa with (378,776). I found these numbers quite interesting because one wouldn't think that there are pumpkin patches in Africa.

Pamela Shields's curator insight, August 29, 10:10 AM

@Danyl †  so inspirational!

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Rethinking Agriculture

"Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities."


Via Fabio Padovan
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's insight:

Awesome ideas.

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Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:56 AM

with the increasing numbers of urban citizens in years to come the key to success in the city will be its ability to adapted to its growing enviroment. It would be nearly impossible for cities to exsit in the future with the current ways of agriculuture, there needs to be a change in the way things are done. Thats why this next gen way of agriculuture is going to take off in urban areas. with the ability to have full farms on rooftops the city will be able to self sustain itself more properly than it does in current times.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:40 PM

For the past three years I have had the luxury of having a garden in my backyard, it is a lot of work but there is nothing better than knowing where my food is coming from. I enjoy going in my backyard and being able to grab vegetables whenever I need them. I also go to farmers markets for vegetables that I don't grow in my own garden.  I would defeniately support local people to get good quality food. 

Lauren Shigemasa's curator insight, January 23, 1:28 AM

a powerful way to increase access to healthy foods! this organization called Growing Power is using urban gardening not only to create a sustainable food source for its neighbors, but also provides a system so we can donate and send a week's worth of fresh fruit/vegetables to any surrounding community in need. so amazing!

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An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

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
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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.

Michael Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 1:41 PM

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

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.