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May the Box Office Be Ever in Your Favor: How Divergent and The Hunger Games Avoid Race and Gender Violence | Bitch Media

May the Box Office Be Ever in Your Favor: How Divergent and The Hunger Games Avoid Race and Gender Violence | Bitch Media | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it

Commercially marketable dystopia is a strange place, where the real world’s current legion of ills—racism, sexism, transphobic violence, widespread and increasingly successful attacks on reproductive rights, SNAP cuts, et cetera ad nauseam—are inexplicably absent, replaced by a host of more melodramatic and glamorous kill-or-be-killed concerns.

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Why We’re in a New Gilded Age | by Paul Krugman

Why We’re in a New Gilded Age | by Paul Krugman | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
Thomas Piketty isn’t a household name, although that may change with the English-language publication of his magnificent, sweeping meditation on inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. This is a book that will change both the way we think about society and the way we do economics.
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The future of agriculture

The future of agriculture | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
The Economist offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
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Opinion | Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us - The New York Times

Opinion | Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us - The New York Times | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
Whenever you disapprove of young people, you’re in the wrong, because you’re going to die and they’ll get to write history.
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Southern Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Southern Shrimp and Grits Recipe | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
A southern specialty, sometimes called breakfast shrimp, this dish tastes great for brunch, dinner and when company’s coming. It’s down-home comfort food at its finest. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Video | Center for Global Humanities | University of New England in Maine, Tangier and Online

Video | Center for Global Humanities | University of New England in Maine, Tangier and Online | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
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My Gun-Loving, Anti-Government, Right-Wing Cousin

My Gun-Loving, Anti-Government, Right-Wing Cousin | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
A treatise (with gunplay) on “the two Maines,” peace on Earth, and good will towards Ben.
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Feeding 9 Billion | National Geographic

Feeding 9 Billion | National Geographic | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
n. Trading tropical forest for farmland is one of the most destructive things we do to the environment, and it is rarely done to benefit the 850 million people in the world who are still hungry. Most of the land cleared for agriculture in the tropics does not contribute much to the world’s food security but is instead used to produce cattle, soybeans for livestock, timber, and palm oil. Avoiding further deforestation must be a top priority.


Step Two: Grow More on Farms We’ve Got

Starting in the 1960s, the green revolution increased yields in Asia and Latin America using better crop varieties and more fertilizer, irrigation, and machines—but with major environmental costs. The world can now turn its attention to increasing yields on less productive farmlands—especially in Africa, Latin America, and eastern Europe—where there are “yield gaps” between current production levels and those possible with improved farming practices. Using high-tech, precision farming systems, as well as approaches borrowed from organic farming, we could boost yields in these places several times over.


We can no longer afford to increase food
production through agricultural expansion.
It would easier to feed the planet if more
of the crops we grew ended up in
human stomachs.

Increasing yields on underperforming farms could
significantly boost the world’s food supply.

We can be more efficient about
where we grow, what we grow, and how we grow.
PAN AND ZOOM ON MAPS

PASTURECROPLAND
Where Agriculture Exists
Nearly all new food production in the next 25 years will have to come from existing agricultural land.


FOODFEED AND FUEL
How Our Crops Are Used
Only 55 percent of food-crop calories directly nourish people. Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised on feed supply another 4 percent.


LOWHIGH
Where Yields Could Improve
Improving nutrient and water supplies where yields are lowest could result in a 58 percent increase in global food production.

Step Three: Use Resources More Efficiently

We already have ways to achieve high yields while also dramatically reducing the environmental impacts of conventional farming. The green revolution relied on the intensive—and unsustainable—use of water and fossil-fuel-based chemicals. But commercial farming has started to make huge strides, finding innovative ways to better target the application of fertilizers and pesticides by using computerized tractors equipped with advanced sensors and GPS. Many growers apply customized blends of fertilizer tailored to their exact soil conditions, which helps minimize the runoff of chemicals into nearby waterways.

Organic farming can also greatly reduce the use of water and chemicals—by incorporating cover crops, mulches, and compost to improve soil quality, conserve water, and build up nutrients. Many farmers have also gotten smarter about water, replacing inefficient irrigation systems with more precise methods, like subsurface drip irrigation. Advances in both conventional and organic farming can give us more “crop per drop” from our water and nutrients.


Only the Brazil nut trees—protected by national law—were left standing after farmers cleared this parcel of Amazon rain forest to grow corn. Despite progress in slowing deforestation, this northern state of Pará saw a worrying 37 percent spike over the past year. PHOTOGRAPH BY GEORGE STEINMETZ

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Step Four: Shift Diets

It would be far easier to feed nine billion people by 2050 if more of the crops we grew ended up in human stomachs. Today only 55 percent of the world’s crop calories feed people directly; the rest are fed to livestock (about 36 percent) or turned into biofuels and industrial products (roughly 9 percent). Though many of us consume meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised on feedlots, only a fraction of the calories in feed given to livestock make their way into the meat and milk that we consume. For every 100 calories of grain we feed animals, we get only about 40 new calories of milk, 22 calories of eggs, 12 of chicken, 10 of pork, or 3 of beef. Finding more efficient ways to grow meat and shifting to less meat-intensive diets—even just switching from grain-fed beef to meats like chicken, pork, or pasture-raised beef—could free up substantial amounts of food across the world. Because people in developing countries are unlikely to eat less meat in the near future, given their newfound prosperity, we can first focus on countries that already have meat-rich diets. Curtailing the use of food crops for biofuels could also go a long way toward enhancing food availability.

A World Demanding More

By 2050 the world’s population will likely increase by more than 35 percent.


To feed that population, crop production will need to double.


Why? Production will have to far outpace population growth as the developing world grows prosperous enough to eat more meat.


Step Five: Reduce Waste

An estimated 25 percent of the world’s food calories and up to 50 percent of total food weight are lost or wasted before they can be consumed. In rich countries most of that waste occurs in homes, restaurants, or supermarkets. In poor countries food is often lost between the farmer and the market, due to unreliable storage and transportation. Consumers in the developed world could reduce waste by taking such simple steps as serving smaller portions, eating leftovers, and encouraging cafeterias, restaurants, and supermarkets to develop waste-reducing measures. Of all of the options for boosting food availability, tackling waste would be one of the most effective.



Taken together, these five steps could more than double the world’s food supplies and dramatically cut the environmental impact of agriculture worldwide. But it won’t be easy. These solutions require a big shift in thinking. For most of our history we have been blinded by the overzealous imperative of more, more, more in agriculture—clearing more land, growing more crops, using more resources. We need to find a balance between producing more food and sustaining the planet for future generations.

This is a pivotal moment when we face unprecedented challenges to food security and the preservation of our global environment. The good news is that we already know what we have to do; we just need to figure out how to do it. Addressing our global food challenges demands that all of us become more thoughtful about the food we put on our plates. We need to make connections between our food and the farmers who grow it, and between our food and the land, watersheds, and climate that sustain us. As we steer our grocery carts down the aisles of our supermarkets, the choices we make will help decide the future.

Jonathan Foley directs the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. Jim Richardson’s portraits of farmers are the latest in his body of work documenting agriculture. George Steinmetz’s big-picture approach reveals the landscapes of industrial food.

The magazine thanks The Rockefeller Foundation and members of the National Geographic Society for their generous support of this series of articles.

All maps and graphics: Virginia W. Mason and Jason Treat, NGM Staff. A World Demanding More, source: David Tilman, University of Minnesota. Agriculture's Footprint, source: Roger LeB. Hooke, University of Maine. Maps, source: Global Landscapes Initiative, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota.


1996-2014 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TERMS OF SERVICE PRIVACY POLICY
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The Seven Dimensions of Culture - from MindTools.com

The Seven Dimensions of Culture - from MindTools.com | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner's Seven Dimensions of Culture model helps you work better with people from different cultures.
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Presentations | Learning Fundamentals

The 2018 Information Pack is available for download now! Click below: 2018 Information Pack Study
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Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination –

Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination – | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
Believe it or not, the Internet did not give rise to procrastination. People have struggled with habitual hesitation going back to ancient civilizations. The Greek poet Hesiod, writing around 800 B.C., cautioned not to “put …
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Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students | Health Professions Advising

The Association of American Medical Colleges (the AAMC) Group on Student Affairs, Committee on Admissions developed a set of fifteen core competencies that they seek in entering medical students. Premeds should reflect on what activities are helping them to develop and/or demonstrate these competencies.
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The Intellectual War on Science

The Intellectual War on Science | Cultural Criticism | Scoop.it
It’s wreaking havoc in universities and jeopardizing the progress of research.
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