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Geography of Quinoa

Geography of Quinoa | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it

"The popularity of Quinoa has grown exponentially among the health-conscious food consumers in the developed economies of the world.  Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is rich in protein and is a better grain for those seeking to lose weight.  Quinoa has historically be rather limited but this diffusion is restructuring the geographic patterns of many places." 


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I have tried Quinoa, and thought that it was satisfactory, but I do not feel that it is worth importing to the US, given the negative effects that were mentioned in the article, such as harm to the poor, and malnutritioning the natives of Bolivia.  While it might be making money for the Bolivians (well, some of them), it is something that is damaging the soil as well... As the Bolivians plant and harvest this crop for purposes of exporting, the over-abundance of their agricultural efforts is harming the land, making it less fertile for people to grow Quinoa and other crops in.  I can see why the immediate desire to produce this crop arises, and it is logical, because little else will thrive in the Bolivian environment, but after examining the lasting impact, I would have to say that it reminds me of consumption of fossil fuels as a primary energy resource in first world countries today.  Using something that will only be available for a short time, and something that harms the environment and Earth, does not seem like something that we humans should get involved in, especially in such a day and age where the ignorance card cannot be played, and other excuses for us to continue with bad habits are dwindling away.  I look forward to the colonization of other worlds, but hope that by then we have perfected our methods instead of harming the environment in capitalistic rat races.

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 9, 2015 10:10 PM

Quinoa appears to be originated as grain crop for edible seeds in parts of Bolivia, Argentina, Peru and along to Andes Mountain. However, they increase the crop value as it spreads to other areas of the world such as Europe and United States. One thing that I wonder is that if the production is going to be popular in any region other than South America but manufacturing regions started on eastern United States and they spread overseas to Europe. I wonder if production of Quinoa will spread to other continents. Believe it or not, it has partially spread to small parts of southwestern Europe.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:20 PM

Quinoa will be a staple for generations to come and the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay and Argentina would do well to provide all the assistance to the farming community in their respective countries. This product is like New Age rice, it provides multiple benefits to health conscious consumers such as protein, fiber, and a "full" feeling when consumed. Any recipe that calls for a rice base can incorporate Quinoa just as easily and it tastes great. being a bit of a health freak, I use Quinoa in my diet and it works.

While the success of the grain has made it less accessible price-wise to those who grow it, it should provide for a greater economic benefit for years to come, lifting a population from near poverty levels to hopefully one of a strong and vibrant middle class.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:43 PM

Quinoa has been grown in the high mountains of the Andes for decades and has been a localized food for the population. As their health benefits became known in to the global community, the demands for them increases. This made it difficult for the locals to find cheap Quinoa, which is normally eaten in their diet. I feel that it is unfair for the locals to have seek new source of food alternatives now that their healthy Quinoa will become more expensive as the demand for it goes up.

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Maple Syrup Time

Maple Syrup Time | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I actually made maple syrup about a year ago, a couple of roads away from my house.  I know a family that makes it every year, and I was invited to come join them harvesting the syrup.  I had done it there many years ago, but I had a blast.  The father of a guy I went to school with was there boiling the sap, and we had a lot of interesting discussions about the process, including the importance of the climate.  Apparently, if I remember correctly, it is vital to have the freezing temperatures, followed by warm days- which is also mentioned in the article.  He said that gets the "blood" of the tree pumping, and greatly increases the syrup production.  I got to taste the sap as it was being boiled down to concentrated levels, and it was amazing.  I think that using natural resources like that is really cool.  I had a great time, and know that it takes a LOT of sap to make very LITTLE syrup, but it can be totally worth it. I enjoyed gardening when my family had a garden, and I think that that sort of natural harvest and refinement for consumption can be immensely entertaining, as well as rewarding.  I know this family usually makes enough for themselves, and that they give a little away, and end up having enough to get through the year.  It is a really enjoyable activity, and I reccommend it to anyone that doesn't mind getting cold outside or covered in tree sap.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 7, 2013 10:45 PM

March and April are key months for harvesting sap from trees, making this sugar time in New England.  New England's climate and biogeography make this the right time because the because the combination of freezing nights and warm spring days gets the sap in the native species of maple trees to flow.  The sap get boiled down to syrup, but did you know that it takes roughly 40 gallons of sap that to get 1 gallon of pure maple syrup?  

Louis Culotta's comment, April 8, 2013 11:45 AM
this is cool. A friend of mine bought all the equipment and is making it in the woods in his backyard up in Cumberland.
Mary Burke's comment, April 12, 2013 3:53 PM
When I get pancakes at a restaurant I always ask for real maple syrup. They charge more but its worth it. I venture to say that the Canadian maple syrup subsidies might have something to do with less syrup production around here and also might be why syrup so expensive.
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Food Machine

Food Machine | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it

UPDATE: The PBS episode "Food Machine" premiered on April 11th, 2012 on the series "America Revealed."  Now the episode is available online. 

 

"Over the past century, an American industrial revolution has given rise to the biggest, most productive food machine the world has ever known.  In this episode, host Yul Kwon explores how this machine feeds nearly 300 million Americans every day. He discovers engineering marvels we’ve created by putting nature to work and takes a look at the costs of our insatiable appetite on our health and environment.  For the first time in human history, less than 2% of the population can feed the other 98%." 


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

The Industrial Revolution really changed things, but it is hardly an improvement, because so many people are without the benefits of the rich percentage.  People's roles are becoming solid components that are entirely replacable and part of the machine rather than becoming creative- and by creative, I don't just mean artsy.  I think that the Research and Development part of any machine entity is the part that allows it to adapt and modify in order to change for the better and the greater good.  I look at humans as an alien species inhabiting a planet, and I could make the analogy to a college fraternity.   The planet is a mess, people try to make a buck off each other at every given opportunity, and I particularly dislike that the rich people band together like frat brothers, instead of giving less-priveledged persons the opportunity to attain equal status.  I don't think like everyone else, but I do make efforts to partake in realistic activism to cause change for the betterment of all beings- human or not.  I do believe in predestination, and that everything around us is a material and spiritual echo from the dawn of creation, but I also believe that the flaws present today will disappear tomorrow through courses of events where chosen people will alter the formation of the future, for the benefit of all beings.  Right now, with people undertipping pizza delivery men, and not donating the optional dollar at stop and shop, it is the flawed 'today' phase of the timeline, but the Industrial Revolution has made it easier for society to embrace component roles, however replacable or expendable, and that in the end will achieve greater contentment and universal success.

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Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 7, 2013 8:46 PM

This is a great video covering our industrial agricultural complex

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What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Food

What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Food | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
Myths and facts about health, corruption, and saving the world

Tags: food, agriculture, agribusiness, locavore, unit 5 agriculture.


Via Seth Dixon, Gregory S Sankey Jr.
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

I mentioned this through an allusion in another article, but GMOs and the movements against them perplex me.  I don't think that fossil-fuel burning engines are natural, but many anti GMO people that claim they are bad for the environment leave me completely stunned as to their intolerance for what could possibly  benefit other people.  I feel very much an outsider when I examine many topics of controversy related to GMOs, and I am quite sure that I have consumed them before -- and loved them?  as for the FDA... I don't approve of the FDA.  They like more money coming into their pocket more than bettered well-being of citizens.  When I mentioned to my doctor that I wanted to apply for medical marijuana for a series of conditions that I have following a severe accident, I was told that they refused because it was not fully endorsed, approved, or even allowed by the FDA.  That really pissed me off because I suffer from excruciating pain every day and night of my life.  Could you imagine being a poor person in need of food, and the only viable way of getting food was through the production of GMOs...? and then some pseudo-hippie activists that didn't live through the 1960s trying to be all like, "We don't want anyone to have GMOs!"... I pose that abstractly, because I view most everything with a level of abstraction and distance from the situation, sampling perspectives with which I may empathize or consider.  I keep thinking that this world around us all came from a big bang, with other possible universes before that, and something  before that... and I really can't see Capitalism ever becoming as bad as it is, with such disregard for other people's wellbeing, until I look at today's world.

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Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, October 24, 2013 1:41 PM

I love the hard facts that this article presents, in a very unbiased way. I've heard many claims from 'both sides of the aisle' about GE crops, but have never in one article seen such a clear and concise representation on the actual truths (or myths) surrounding the GMO debate.  

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 4:02 PM

So many articles about organic or genetically engineered foods are written with someone with a very defined position on the subject (much like abortion, gun control or other controversial topics).  This article is an attempt to separate out the good the bad and the ugly regarding genetically engineered foods.   

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 2016 12:00 PM
unit 5
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Where Does the South Begin?

Where Does the South Begin? | Matt's Geography Portfolio | Scoop.it
Roads? Religion? Accent? Food? Which factor dictates where the North ends?

 

This is a great intellectual expercise to help student think about regions and how we define them.  The article can help also inform some of their thinking since one of the main problems for students in drawing regional boundaries is a lack of place-based knowledge.   

 

Tags: regions, USA.


Via Seth Dixon
Matthew DiLuglio's insight:

Borders... the first thing I think of was a giant bookstore near my hometown... it now ceases to exist, having been replaced by Barnes and Nobel...  As for the political organization of space, I could apply this situation and laugh.  Borders will cease to be, and they will be called after people's last names!  I think this has already happened, when people unite together in countries such as the USA- although borders are specific, the general federal laws and many policies still apply in all states... generally. And people's names are often the namesakes of places.  I don't like the idea of borders, though, it seems like a bunch of warmongers trying to get ahead in a world where they can't truly cheat death, so they cheat other people of land that may have been decreed in ancient documents as property of their ancestors, or even in accordance with the righteousness of the universe and what should be alloted to whom.  Ownership is a concept of denial, because no one can truly own anything, not even our bodies, which contain trillions of infinite universes the size of the large one around us that we commonly refer to.  Borders are relative, and will likely become recognized as obsolete.  I know this was abstract, but it's my thoughts on the topic.

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