Geography Education
2.0M views | +42 today
Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Italy’s practically perfect food

Italy’s practically perfect food | Geography Education |

"Pound for pound, Parmigiano-Reggiano can compete with almost any food for calcium, amino acids, protein and vitamin A – and is prescribed by doctors to cure ailments."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this article focuses often on the nutritional aspects of Parmigiano-Reggiano, I want people to notice the understated importance of place and the cultural ethos surrounding the production of this product. True, it is an economic industry for the region, but it is also a defining cultural characteristic of the place and a way of life. The place makes the product and the product makes the place. 


GeoEd Tags: culture, place, Italy, Europe, food, food production, agriculture. Tags: culture, place, ItalyEurope, regions, foodfood production, agriculture.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Crop Intensity Visualized

Crop Intensity Visualized | Geography Education |
This visualization shows Crop Intensity data (regions that produce the most crops), followed by the MODIS croplands product, the 26 countries that produce 82% of the world's food, the population density in 2002 and finally the projected population in 2050.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Follow the link to a video/animation that displays several important global agricultural trends.  NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio has produced many other agricultural visualizations that would be useful for teaching about the patterns of global agriculture. 

Tags: food production, agribusinessvisualization, agriculture.

WordPress TAGS: food production, agribusiness, visualization, agriculture.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Here's How America Uses Its Land

Here's How America Uses Its Land | Geography Education |
The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This set of 15 maps on how land is used in the 48 contiguous U.S. states is a phenomenal resource to visualize how we use our land (admittedly this does exclude Alaska and Hawaii, but given that Alaska's land use patterns can skew the patterns considerably).  This is especially useful in agricultural units, but has many other applications. Tags: agriculture, food production, land userural, USA.

WordPress TAGS: agriculture, food production, land use, rural, USA.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, October 5, 2018 9:11 AM
Good for map analysis practice
K Rome's curator insight, October 6, 2018 7:36 PM

This set of 15 maps on how land is used in the 48 contiguous U.S. states is a phenomenal resource to visualize how we use our land (admittedly this does exclude Alaska and Hawaii, but given that Alaska's land use patterns can skew the patterns considerably).  This is especially useful in agricultural units, but has many other applications. Tags: agriculture, food production, land userural, USA.

WordPress TAGS: agriculture, food production, land use, rural, USA.

Ivan Valles's curator insight, March 4, 11:06 PM
Forthcoming comments....
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

At Seattle Mariners games, grasshoppers are a favorite snack

At Seattle Mariners games, grasshoppers are a favorite snack | Geography Education |

"Chapulines [grasshoppers] have become a snack favorite among baseball fans in Seattle. Follow their path from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Safeco Field. To many, the insect might be a novelty - a quirky highlight for an Instagram story from a day at the ballpark. To those in Mexico consuming them for centuries, they are a building block of nutrition."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Eating insects is incredibly nutritious; raising them is cost effective and environmentally sustainable. And yet, the cultural taboos against entomophagy in the West are barriers to the cultural diffusion of the practice.  At some baseball games and high-end restaurants, grasshoppers are sold as a novelty item.  What I especially enjoy about this ESPN article is that it covers the cultural production of the chapulines in Mexico and follows the story to the consumption of the grasshoppers in the United States.  


Tags: sport, popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms, foodMexico, economic, agriculture.

ricoh's comment, June 13, 2018 6:34 AM
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Robots can pick strawberries. Now what?

Robots can pick strawberries. Now what? | Geography Education |

"The robots have arrived. And they’ll be picking crops in Florida fields soon. Robots can do things humans can’t. They can pick all through the night. They can measure weight better. They can pack boxes more efficiently. They don’t take sick days, they don’t have visa problems.

Google 'are robots taking our jobs?' and you get millions of theories: Robots will take over most jobs within 30 years; yes, but it’s a good thing; yes, but they will create jobs, too; chill out, they won’t take them all. Truckers, surgeons, accountants and journalists have all been theoretically replaced by prognosticators.

But harvesting specialty crops is different: Plants vary in shape and size and determining ripeness is complex — experts have said there are too many variables for robots. Until now."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many industries have been, and will continue to be transformed by automation and robotics.  There is a great amount of uncertainty and anxiety in the labor pools as workers see many low skill jobs are being outsourced and other jobs are being automated.  Some economic organizations are preparing resources for workers to strengthen their skills for the era of automation. 


Questions to Ponder: How will a machine like this transform the agricultural business? How might it impact migration, food prices, or food waste?


Tags: economic, laboragribusiness, industry, food production, agriculture.

Jane Ellingson's curator insight, December 18, 2017 9:05 AM
Structural Changes in the economy.
Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 2018 1:46 PM
Where will this lead us in terms of population, economics, and agriculture?
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

How Does it Grow? Garlic

Telling the stories of our food from field to fork.
Episode Two: Peeling back the layers of nature's most powerful superfood.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 5-minute video is a good introduction to garlic, it's production, environmental requirements, nutritional profile and diffusion.  Historically, garlic was far more important than I ever imagined.  The geography of food goes far beyond the kitchen and there are many more episodes in the "How Does it Grow?" series to show that.


Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, industryvideo, agriculture.

Edward Russell's curator insight, September 12, 2017 5:15 AM
interesting little video
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

The real reason Amazon buying Whole Foods terrifies the competition

The real reason Amazon buying Whole Foods terrifies the competition | Geography Education |
Amazon’s zero-profit strategy is a disaster for anyone who goes up against it.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I have more questions than definitive answers, so let's get right to it. 


Questions to Ponder: How have technological and logistical shifts in various industries made this once unthinkable union workable?  How will a retailer like Amazon change the food industry on the production side of the equation? What are the advantages and disadvantages of creative destruction (eliminating old jobs by creating new ones)?  Who stands to benefit the most, and who are the most negatively impacted?    


Tagsindustry, economic, scale, agriculture, food production, agribusiness, food

Mr Mac's curator insight, June 22, 2017 9:35 AM
Unit 5 - Commercial Agriculture, Agribusiness, Food Distribution; Unit 6 - Services, Distribution of Services, Service and Technology
mouthpaptops's comment, June 24, 2017 2:34 AM
charlytap's comment, June 30, 2017 1:29 AM
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Venezuela Is Starving

Venezuela Is Starving | Geography Education |
Once Latin America’s richest country, Venezuela can no longer feed its people, hobbled by the nationalization of farms as well as price and currency controls. The resulting hunger and malnutrition are an unfolding tragedy.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes.  This is because food production is but a small part of a larger picture; the system of food production and distribution in Venezuela has been decimated by the nationalization of private farms.  Individual farmers can’t make a profit in the new political economy and consequently are going to stop producing for the market.  This vicious cycle is political in nature more so than in is agricultural. 


Tags: food, poverty, Venezuela, South America, economic, political, governance, agriculture, food production.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 9, 2018 10:46 PM
(South America) It's depressing to see the dramatic turn of events in Venezuela's political and economic climate in recent decades, coming from the richest country in Latin America to the country with the world's highest inflation rates and number two on country murder rating. This causes increased levels of crime, stealing and looting food for families to survive. The Venezuelan government has refused foreign aid and yet cannot find a solution to fixing the lack of food, healthcare, and medicine. This problem affects several South American countries and always poses a threat of travelling across borders. We tend to think of the Western World as more enlightened yet just south of the US we find authoritarian countries with the highest crime rates in the world, starving its own people.
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 15, 2018 2:05 PM
Sometimes the world seems like a really hopeless place and this article definetly supports that train of thought.  Venezuela only a few years ago produced enough food to feed themselves and actually had enough surplus that they were able to export.  What they couldn’t grow they would import.  The food shortage that the country is facing is not an agriculture problem in the sense that the land is incapable of producing food or shipping routes have been compromised, but a problem with how the government started running the system.  As one farmer said, “‘The system is created so you can’t win.’”  The government took ownership of many large farms and fertilizer and feed production.  Those groups have barely been producing anything and causes the entire agricultural community to suffer and Venezuelans to starve.  Another problem that is making the situation in Venezuela even worse is that the economy collapsed and inflation is rampant.  The value of currency is so low that people cannot even afford the scarce food available.  There are few employment opportunities, making finances even more strained.  But perhaps the most upsetting part is that children are literally starving to death and there is nothing hospitals can do to stop these deaths because they themselves do not have the resources.  The combination of an economy in shambles and a botched agricultural system have left Venezuelans in turmoil with little government effort to help.  The government is not only not providing help, but they are literally refusing aid from foreign governments who have offered.  Geographically, Venezuela is located in an area with sufficient farm land and large reserves of oil, so they shouldn’t be struggling.  But people have the ability to ruin or ignore what nature has provided them and that is why Venezuelans are withering away.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, September 29, 2018 10:05 PM
Venezuela has so much potential to be such an affluent country however it is severely mismanaged. It seems when the political power was lifted Venezuelas economy went down the tubes. There’s no hope in city for these people because the people in office do not even want to acknowledge that there’s a lack of food crisis. It is so bad that many Venezuelans have lost twenty pounds in only a year. Some call it the Maduro diet. The situation of the lack of food is a big problem the biggest concern is how fast Venezuela got to into this dire crisis. Even the meat in Venezuela is losing weight. Pigs for example have lost close to 60-70 Ibs with the food humans are suppose to be consuming losing weight. How can there be enough food to feed this crisis. 
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Entomophagy: Bugs in the system

Entomophagy: Bugs in the system | Geography Education |
IT WOULD once have been scandalous to suggest the merits of eating insects; these days, it has become old hat. Western-educated entrepreneurs will sell you protein bars made from cricket flour. TED talks extol entomophagy's virtue. Top-end restaurants in the West's largest cities tout insect-based dishes.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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 ingrained 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?    


Tagsfoodculturediffusion, economic, agriculture.

Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 2018 1:48 PM
What is your take on this?  What are the positives?  Negatives?
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

The Final Days Of Hawaiian Sugar

The Final Days Of Hawaiian Sugar | Geography Education |
The sugar industry in Hawaii dominated the state's economy for over a century. But it has shrunk in recent years. Now, the last of the state's sugar mills has wrapped up its final harvest.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I grew up hearing commercials that sold the purity of the Hawaiian sugar Industry (C & H, Pure Sugar, that's the one!).  These commercials sold not just the purity of Hawaii's sugar, but also of the people and the place.  These commercials were some of my first geographic imaginings of an exotic tropical paradise on the peripheral edge of the United States.  Just like the imagined tropical bliss, the actual sugar industry of Hawaii is also coming to an end.  "For over a century, the sugar industry dominated Hawaii's economy. But that changed in recent decades as the industry struggled to keep up with the mechanization in mills on mainland U.S. That and rising labor costs have caused Hawaii's sugar mills to shut down, shrinking the industry to this one last mill."   


Tags: industrymanufacturinglabor, economic, agribusiness, agriculture.

Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Factory farming practices are under scrutiny again in N.C. after disastrous hurricane floods

Factory farming practices are under scrutiny again in N.C. after disastrous hurricane floods | Geography Education |
As fecal waste and bacteria flow from hog lagoons into the water supply, North Carolina is revisiting a contentious battle between the pork industry, health experts and environmentalists.


In regions where hog farm density is high, there is an overall poor sanitary quality of surface waters. The presence of mass-scale swine and poultry lots and processing plants in a sandy floodplain – a region once dotted by small tobacco farms – has long posed a difficult dilemma for a state where swine and poultry represent billions of dollars a year for the economy. [Past] hurricane’s environmental impact in North Carolina were so severe in part because of the large number of hog lagoon breaches. Following Hurricane Matthew, the department has counted 10 to 12 lagoons that were inundated, with floodwaters topping the berms and spreading diluted waste.


Tags: food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture, agricultural environment, environment, environment modify, pollution

Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Mekong Delta fights losing battle against salt water

Vietnam's rice region is facing the worst drought to date. Over half a million people have been affected, and the country could lose one million tons of its staple food.Leaders of six countries along the Mekong River met in China to discuss the relief measures.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Economic progress for some often entails job loss and environmental degradation for others.  As dams upstream are slowing the flow of the Mekong River, the low-lying delta that is a rich agricultural region is facing the ocean water that is moving further inland.  The once isolated and remote Mekong is experiencing some impacts of globalization. 


Tags: fluvial, waterVietnamagriculture, SouthEastAsia.

Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 20, 2018 1:18 PM
The location of the pristine rice growing lands on the Mekong delta have also put that very land at risk for destruction. The slow of the flow of water from upstream has allowed saltwater to permeate inland and destroy enormous swaths of land by making them impossible to grow rice due to the salt. For a country like Vietnam that is so heavily dependent on rice exports in a globalized economy, this loss of production could prove to be devastating. 
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 17, 2018 12:01 PM
Vietnam is facing a huge problem that being drought. Because of the drought the Vietnamese are on the verge of possibly losing one million tons of there staple food that being rice. Even though the Mekong looks flooded and has plenty of water. That water is toxic to the crops because its salt water. The water that is coming downstream is reducing allowing for more salt water from the sea to come in ruining people crops and lives.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Why the US government wants Americans to eat more cheese

Why the US government wants Americans to eat more cheese | Geography Education |
The USDA said today that it will buy $20 million worth of cheese to donate to food banks and pantries in an effort to help America's struggling dairy producers.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Do politics, economics, and government policies help to shape agriculture patterns?  Absolutely.  This is an interesting, current example that shows how Chinese and Russian policies are impacting American dairy producers, and how the U.S. government is stepping in. 


Questions to Ponder:  Should the U.S. government protect businesses that are in dire straits?  What would happen if the government did not offer agricultural subsidies/bailouts?  What will happen (or not happen) because of these subsidies/bailouts?  Any way you slice it, 11 million tons is a lot of cheddar.     


Tags: agriculture, food production, economicfood, agribusiness,

No comment yet.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Here’s What Your Part Of America Eats On Thanksgiving

Here’s What Your Part Of America Eats On Thanksgiving | Geography Education |

"Every region enjoys pumpkin pie. But beyond that, there are three Americas: The America that disproportionately has apple pie (New England and the Middle Atlantic), the America that has pecan pie and sweet potato pie (the assorted South), and the America that consumes cherry pie (the Midwest and West)."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In addition to this list of distinctive Thanksgiving recipes from each state (I'd love to try so many on this list), the NY Times has also produced this list of the most 'Googled' Thanksgiving recipes in each state.  This StoryMap from ESRI is my favorite map of food production, showing where the food on the thanksgiving dinner plate actually came from.  These are very late additions to my favorite Thanksgiving day resources. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and may yours reflect some some regional distinctiveness and cultural context that you appreciate.   

GeoEd Tags: food, food distribution, food production, agriculture. Tags: foodfood production, agriculture.

dustin colprit's curator insight, December 7, 2018 1:49 PM
It is interesting to see what people from different regions prefer to eat for a holiday that's celebrated across the whole nation. Some of the results can be associated with food production in those regions. But it is still interesting how some choices have continued to remain with improved access and supply of goods. From being in the army I have been stationed at bases in different regions and have gotten to try some of the local dishes mentioned though there are still more I'd like to try. 
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

The Root Causes of Food Insecurity

Why are some communities more vulnerable to hunger and famine? There are many reasons, which together add up to food insecurity, the world's no.1 health risk.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is an excellent summary of the geographic factors that lead to food insecurity and hunger and the main ways NGO's are trying to combat the issues. This is an incredibly complex problem that, at it's heart, is a geographic issue that can challenge student to synthesize information and make the connections between topics. Tags: food, poverty, economic, political, food desert, agriculture, food production.

WordPress TAGS: food, poverty, economic, Political, food desert, agriculture, food production.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, October 12, 2018 10:21 AM
Unit 5 Ag 
Albahae Geography's curator insight, December 4, 2018 11:22 AM
Share your insight
Ivan Valles's curator insight, March 4, 11:04 PM
The concepts introduced in this video aimed at ameliorating global food insecurities seem so simple. So why then is the implementation of such strategies appear to be ineffective at combating global hunger?
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Identifying Illegal Overfishing

Identifying Illegal Overfishing | Geography Education |

"The vast majority of fishing vessels follow the rules governing fishing – but many are not, and these bad actors can cause a lot of damage. Vessels may take too many fish ­– overfishing – which is causing our fisheries to collapse. Then there is the problem of illegal fishing, which can occur in protected areas, in another country’s waters or on the high seas. This threatens jobs and food security for millions of people, all around the world.

The trouble is, so much of this illegal activity is hidden – it happens out to sea, making it difficult to scrutinize what individual vessels are getting up to. Fortunately, we are now beginning to see what happens after commercial fishing vessels leave port.

The interactive map we created allows anyone in the world with an internet connection to see the activities of the commercial fishing fleet globally." Tags: water, conservation, biogeography, environmentpollution, resourcesmappingfood production, agriculture.

WordPress TAGS: water, biogeography, environment, pollution, resources, mapping, food production, agriculture.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

We’re creating cow islands

We’re creating cow islands | Geography Education |
The parts of the United States that have higher populations of dairy cows are in the West and northern states.


Milk has moved away from cities between 2001 and 2011. Red areas indicate less milk in 2011 than 2001, green areas mean more and a buff color designates a neutral milk region.

Almost every region where you see a dark red area indicating a sharp decline in production has a large and growing population center nearby.

Seth Dixon's insight:

As many of you will notice, this continues the reversal of some patterns that von Thünen observed and put in his famous agricultural model. 


Questions to Ponder: Why did milk used to need to be produced close to the cities?  Why is the old pattern changing now? How is this changing regions?


Tags: models, food production, agribusiness, agriculture.

ava smith's curator insight, January 8, 2018 11:24 PM
Hello Guys I will complete your assignments any of subjects for cheap Price with quality work Provide you complete solutions..with turnitin Report 0% Plagiarism Guarantee.. Unlimited Revision Free Of Cost 100% Live Support Cheap Price Grauntee High Quality Guarantee to Other 100% Passed Grauntee Before Deadline Delivery Guarantee Regards & Thanks Keith WhatsApp:+61-451059254,+44-7958580065 www.freeassignmenthelp.acom
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 9:09 PM
I've never really wondered which parts of the country produce the milk I consume on a regular basis. But as the maps in this article show there are certain parts of country that are densely populated with cows for the sole purpose of producing milk. This article also indicates that the "cow islands" in the Southeastern part of the United States are becoming smaller, while the density of the "cow islands" in the Northern and Western parts of the country are increasing at a significantly steady rate. While reading this article, I learned more about where the most cows in the U.S. are producing milk and how that might affect the price of the milk I buy.
Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 2018 1:44 PM
How would this relate to the Von Thunen model we discussed?
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Homeland of tea

Homeland of tea | Geography Education |

"China is the world’s biggest tea producer, selling many varieties of tea leaves such as green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea. Different regions are famous for growing different types of tea. Hangzhou is famous for producing a type of green tea called Longjing or the Dragon Well tea. Tea tastes also vary regionally. Drinkers in Beijing tend to prefer jasmine tea while in Shanghai prefer green tea. Processing raw tea leaves for consumption is a time and labor-intensive activity and still done by hand in many areas in China. The Chinese tea industry employs around 80 million people as farmers, pickers and sales people. Tea pickers tend to be seasonal workers who migrate from all parts of the country during harvest time. In 2016, China produced 2.43 million tons of tea."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Tea, the world's most popular beverage, doesn't just magically appear on kitchen tables--it's production and consumption is shaped by geographic forces, cultural preferences, and regional variations.  These 21 images show the cultural, region, and environmental, economic, and agricultural context of tea.  


Tagsimages, foodChina, East Asia, economic, labor, food production, agriculture.

brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 8:45 AM
This shows the importance of a product to a countries economy, culture, and use of physical geography. China is the worlds biggest producer of tea. This stimulates the economy greatly, and gives 80 millions people jobs as farmers, pickets and in sales. Exporting the tea to other countries also helps the economy. The workers are seasonal, and travel to the tea come harvest season. This also boost the economy in the travel sector. Tea is also hugely part of the cultural geography of China as it is believed to bring wisdom and lift the spirit to a higher level. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 2018 9:49 PM
(East Asia) China, the founder of tea, is the largest producer of the most consumed drink in the world. With such an enormous country, regional differences between tea cultivation and culture naturally developed. There are approximately 80 million people involved in tea cultivation, which is non-mechanized in many parts. Linking tea with sanctity, farmers work long hours and come from across China seasonally.

A series of images follows the article. Most remarkable are the depictions of old and young Chinese farmers handpicking tea leaves, the vast plantations and agricultural architecture, and the tea tourism industry
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 3, 2018 10:04 PM
This article looks into how the popular beverage, tea, is produced. China is not only the world's largest producer, but also creates many different types of tea including green, black and dragons well. The drink was discovered in 2737 by a Chinese emperor, and the industry employs approximately 80 million people and it produced 2.43 million tons in 2016
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

How Does it Grow? Avocados

Avocados have become a super trendy food, but few of us know how they're even grown or harvested. We visit a California farm to uncover the amazing story of the avocado — and share the secrets to choosing, ripening and cutting the fruit.
Seth Dixon's insight:

My childhood house in the Los Angeles area had an avocado tree in the backyard; I now realize that the climatic demands of avocado production means this is a rarity in the United States, but as a kid I thought guacamole was as ubiquitous as peanut butter.  This 5-minute video is a good introduction to the avocado, it's production, environmental requirements, nutritional profile and diffusion.  The geography of food goes far beyond the kitchen and there are more episodes in the "How Does it Grow?" series to show that. WARNING: the video does mention the Nahuatl origin of the word (‘testicle-fruit’) in the video so as you manage your own classroom…just so you know. 


Tags: foodeconomic, agribusiness, video, agriculture.

M Sullivan's curator insight, July 23, 2017 12:00 AM
An insight into how avocados are grown.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Drought and Famine

In which John Green teaches you a little bit about drought, which is a natural weather phenomenon, and famine, which is almost always the result of human activity. Throughout human history, when food shortages strike humanity, there was food around. There was just a failure to connect those people with the food that would keep them alive. There are a lot of reasons that food distribution breaks down, and John is going to teach you about them in the context of the late-19th century famines that struck British India.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Famine is exacerbated by natural factors such as drought, but those only stress the system, they rarely cause the actual starvation.  The real failure is that the political/economic systems created by governments and how they handle stains in the food production/distribution systems.  Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes.  Many of the recent examples have come from collectivation strategies that governments have implemented (currently Venezuela, but historically the Soviet Union and China).  The Choices program has some good resources about teaching current events with the famines today.


Tags: food, povertyhistoricalcolonialism, economic, political, governance, agriculture, crash course


Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Long-time Iowa farm cartoonist fired after creating this cartoon

Long-time Iowa farm cartoonist fired after creating this cartoon | Geography Education |

"Rick Friday has been giving farmers a voice and a laugh every Friday for two decades through his cartoons in Farm News.
Now the long-time Iowa farm cartoonist tells KCCI that he has been fired. Friday announced Sunday that his job was over after 21 years in a Facebook post that has since gone viral."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are some intriguing layers connected to the politics of agribusiness in this story.  First off, the political cartoon highlights a pithy truth--that while the 'traditional' farmer is a lucrative position, in the global economy, there are corporations that are amassing fortunes in agribusiness.  The second connection is more telling--the newspaper company felt compelled to fire the cartoonist as for voicing this perspective as the newspaper advertisers flexed their pocketbooks to change the direction of the news being reported.  


Tags: agriculture, food production, agribusiness, foodeconomicindustry, scale, media

No comment yet.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

The global food waste scandal

Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it's inedible -- but because it doesn't look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.
Seth Dixon's insight:

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perceptive on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 


Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.

Sabrina Ortiz's curator insight, March 5, 2017 7:29 PM
My scoop it opinion piece was on global food waste. How globally food is thrown by the tons daily. Its audience is everyone and its purpose is to try to get people to open their eyes and waste less. America makes over four times the amount needed to feed its people. We are hurting the environment by making so much food that just go to waste. The purpose of this is to illustrate the huge issue we have with countries of people who don’t have food to begin with and here we are throwing away perfectly good food that could be use for these people or to feed pigs to make more meat. His exigence is all the food that could be use for other people or animals and its going to land fills daily. Its like a ticking time bomb hurting earth. His constraints are the laws set on food given to live stock in Europe and companies and the corporations that control the food. He urges people to use the amount of food they truly believe they will eat.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

The Spice Trade's Legacy

The Spice Trade's Legacy | Geography Education |

"In its day, the spice trade was the world’s biggest industry. It established and destroyed empires and helped the Europeans (who were looking for alternate routes to the east) map the globe through their discovery of new continents. What was once tightly controlled by the Arabs for centuries was now available throughout Europe with the establishment of the Ocean Spice Trade route connecting Europe directly to South Asia (India) and South East Asia."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The spice trade changed how we eat forever but it did so much more.  The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire cut off Europe from the vital trade routes to the east and access to the most prized commodities of the day.  What drove European exploration to get around Africa and to cross the Atlantic?  It was to reshape their situation location relative to the economic networks that shaped the emerging global economy.  In essence, the spice trade reshaped the fortunes and trajectories of several major world regions.   


Tags: Southeast Asia, food productiondiffusionglobalization, agriculture, economicindustry, economic, historical, regions.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 3, 2018 8:10 AM
A very insightful article and shows the uttermost importance of geography in many phases. First off, it shows the importance of  having key resources within your country or region. Southeast Asia is know for its spices which made it especially key during the age of exploration. Also, which is key is how do we get there? What are the best trade routes? Over the years, first the Romans then the Ottoman Empire controlled key lands in which connected Europe and Southeast Asia. Since, the Christian Europeans did not want to work with the Muslims  they found new trade routes and well eventually we end up discovering the New World (the Americas". This shows how everything like always connects. Southeast Asia, which for most of its time  has been colonized up until almost the mid 1980s is finally starting to grow on its own. It will be interesting to see how they use there own resources to try to gain traction in the global markets throughout the next few decades and it we see any smaller world powers come out of the area. The spice trade dominated thousands of years of trade, but Southeast Asia has many other key resources as well and it will be key for politicians and businesses in the future to capitalize on this into the future. 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 3:06 AM
It is no exaggeration to say that the spice trade shaped the world as we know it today. Southeast Asia's location made it the only place in the world to obtain some of the most popular spices and other goods. Meanwhile Constantinople, being situated squarely between Europe and Asia, was the perfect middleman through which spices could get to markets in Europe -- where demand was high from Antiquity through the Middle Ages -- until the city fell to the Ottoman Empire and turned its back on Europe. This motivated Europeans to develop the sailing and navigational technology necessary to find sea routes to Asia, which led to the discovery of the Americas, and the rest is history. What followed were centuries of colonization, conflict, trade, and globalization on a scale the world had never seen before. All because people were crazy for spices that could only be found half-way around the world.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 8:22 PM
The spice trade not only opened up all the amenities Southeast Asia had to offer but spread their culture throughout Western Europe. It also opened up new routes for Europeans to explore Eastern Asia and then sail around the world. 
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race | Geography Education |

"Forced to choose between limiting population or trying to increase food production, we chose the latter and ended up with starvation, warfare, and tyranny. Hunter-gatherers practiced the most successful and longest-lasting life style in human history. In contrast, we're still struggling with the mess into which agriculture has tumbled us, and it's unclear whether we can solve it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Jared Diamond wrote this highly controversial essay back in the 80's and it still can elicit strong reactions from anthropologists, geographers, historians, and other scholars.  This is a good reading to give students during an agricultural unit.  This can get students to question many of the assumptions about humanity that they probably never knew they had (Diamond challenged the mainstream progressivist position).


Questions to Ponder: What is the progressivist view?  What were the negative impacts that early agriculture had on human health?  What social problems does Diamond attribute to agriculture?  What evidence would you present to argue against Diamond's position?


Tagsagriculturefolk culturestechnologyindigenous.

Eben Lenderking's curator insight, October 12, 2016 3:07 AM

Is it too late to reprogram ourselves?

Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 2018 1:50 PM
Another of Jared Diamond's theories.  Agree or disagree?  Support your stance!
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Cotton Candy Grapes?!?

Cotton Candy Grapes?!? | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

After years of seeing fruit-flavored candy, we are now seeing candy-flavored fruit. The company Grapery is very careful to highlight that these patented fruit varieties are not GMOs, but the cotton candy flavored grapes are cross pollinated by hand (by fruit geneticists). You can watch this 4 minute CBS video about the agricultural production and marketing of this new product. Yes, I've experimented with these at a friend's house, and they really do taste like cotton candy (and no, I'm not planning on purchasing any).     


Questions to Ponder: Does this make you leery about eating this or totally excited to try it? How come?  Why is the company so adamant to state that these grapes are non-GMO? According to the video, what are the primary concerns of most grape producers and how does that contrast with this company?  


Tagsfood, food production, agribusiness, agriculture, GMOstechnology.

Shir Turgeman's curator insight, April 11, 2017 9:24 AM
טעמו של סוג ענבים זה הוא בדיוק כמו של "שיערות סבתא" שהיינו אוכלים בתור ילדים. בנוסף, בשונה מ"שיערות סבתא", ענבים אלו אינם דביקים ואינם מלאים בתוספי סוכר אבל הם הרבה יותר מתוקים בטעמם מענבים רגילים ומכילים יותר מיץ. על ענבים אלו מדברים בכל העולם- מעיתונים וכתבי עט ועד חדשות בפריים טיים. אנשים לא מאמינים עד כמה זה קרוב בטעם לממתק (שיערות סבתא) המוכר, עד אשר הם טועמים את זה.
Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 2018 1:51 PM
GMO's creating a sugary agribusiness product!