STEM Connections
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Science, technology, engineering and math in K-12
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Big Seed: How The Industry Turned From Small-Town Firms To Global Giants

Big Seed: How The Industry Turned From Small-Town Firms To Global Giants | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"Most food, if we trace it back far enough, began as a seed. And the business of supplying those seeds to farmers has been transformed over the past half-century. Small-town companies have given way to global giants. A new round of industry consolidation is now underway. Multibillion-dollar mergers are in progress, or under discussion, that could put more than half of global seed sales in the hands of three companies."

 

Tags: food, economic, food production, agribusiness, podcast.


Via Seth Dixon
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Zack Zeplin's curator insight, April 24, 5:16 PM
The seed industry, one of the largest industries in modern agribusiness, is quickly being swallowed up by the global giants that lead the seed industry. All over the world small seed businesses are being bought out by larger businesses who seek to mass produce their own genetically modified seeds and strengthen their grip on the global seed market. In American agriculture seed giants rule by providing the highest quality seeds to grow the cereal grains in the U.S. produces. But as a result the consumer benefits, farmers can now run farms that aren’t as capital-intensive because of the biotechnology that goes into these seeds. However it is also important to realize that the number of seed companies is dwindling, and that there are only a few large corporations that control all of the seeds that the world needs to grow enough food to survive. I found this article to be very helpful in shedding some light on how the seeds that go into our food is handled, and the truth on how modern agriculture is run.
Rescooped by Bonnie Bracey Sutton from Geography Education
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How the warming Arctic might be behind Boston's deep freeze

How the warming Arctic might be behind Boston's deep freeze | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
There may be a counterintuitive explanation for the deep freeze that hit New England this winter: The rapidly warming Arctic is causing big disruptions in the jet stream, which carries weather across North America. Is this the worst winter you've experienced?

 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, Arctic, Boston, climate change, podcast.


Via Seth Dixon
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Gail McAuliffe's curator insight, March 1, 2015 11:12 AM

Perhaps this article will sway some climate change skeptics...

Paul Farias's curator insight, April 9, 2015 11:33 AM

So bizarre how the rate of the arctic warming causes us to get smacked with the cold weather. Its one of those things that are like how does the jet stream actually work. Including the fact that California is getting hit with a major drought. 

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Earth: Science in Action - free on iTunesU

Earth: Science in Action - free on iTunesU | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
Preview and download the podcast Earth: Science in Action on iTunes. Read episode descriptions and customer reviews.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Suvi Salo
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Rescooped by Bonnie Bracey Sutton from Geography Education
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The Ogallala Aquifer

The Ogallala Aquifer | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
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
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 22, 2015 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.

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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.

Via Seth Dixon
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Nolan Walters's curator insight, October 25, 2014 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, 2014 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. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:42 PM

Land use practices that determine what is grown in a particular place are partly determined by the health needs of a local population, but they are more directly shaped by economic markets.  Over 75% of the corn produced in the United States is destined for animal feed or fuel; since global population projections are now supposed to be 11 billion by 2100, these are some important issues for us to consider before we are forced to reassess our societal choices.    

 

Tagspodcast, political ecology, agriculture, food production, land use.

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Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
The high-tech project would help officials decide which abandoned buildings can be demolished.

Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 19, 2014 8:36 AM

This crowd-sourced mapping project is an great example of how a community can work together (using geospatial technologies and geographic thinking) to mitigate some of the more pressing issues confronting the local neighborhoods.  Many optimists have argued that Detroit has "good bones" to rebuild the city, but it needs to built on as smaller scale.  This project helps to assess what is being used by residents and should stay, and what needs to go.  Want to explore some of the data yourself?  See Data Driven Detroit.      

 

Tagsurban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhoodmapping, GIS, geospatial.


Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, September 17, 2014 1:18 PM

So many of the buildings in Detroit have fallen out of use, and are being inhabited by squatters, drug users and vermin. The kindest thing to do is to demolish the ragtag structures in hopes of a chance to revitalize the fallen city. It was one of the first major cities in the US to be primarily built for the automobile. Although the city has fallen out of favor as industry has relocated, it was a well planned metropolis, and has a repairable infrastructure. The sewer lines, electric grid and paved streets lend to the idea of regrowing the city. By using input of the citizens, the government and city planners are able to identify what is useful and what needs to be demolished.