Food Production


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Food Production

  1. 1. Food Production Sarah Marshall Honors Capstone
  2. 2. 2005 United Nations <ul><li>Millennium Ecosystem Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Agriculture may be the largest threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function of any single human activity.” </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. World Hunger <ul><li>12 preschool children in developing countries die every minute from hunger and malnutrition </li></ul><ul><li>5 million children under 5 years of age die each year </li></ul><ul><li>The cost of childhood diseases in developing countries account for 20-25% of their economic budgets </li></ul>
  4. 4. World Hunger <ul><li>850 million people in the world lack adequate food </li></ul><ul><li>75% of which are in developing nations </li></ul><ul><li>African and Asian-pacific nations are the significant leaders </li></ul>
  5. 5. Food Security <ul><li>Is the ability of individuals to obtain sufficient food on a day-to-day basis </li></ul><ul><li>More than 6 million people rely on food grown on 11% of the earth </li></ul><ul><li>Out of this 11% only 3% is fertile soil </li></ul>
  6. 6. Our Agriculture <ul><li>A gallon of oil = one pound of beef </li></ul><ul><li>2500 gallons of water = one pound of beef </li></ul><ul><li>Cows defecate 65 pounds per day </li></ul><ul><li>10 pounds of grain yields one pound of cow </li></ul>
  7. 7. Our Agriculture <ul><li>16% of greenhouse gasses come from our agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year </li></ul><ul><li>$14 billion a year are given to industrial farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Farm run-off had poisoned ground water in 17 states and polluted 35,000 miles of rivers </li></ul>
  8. 8. Soil <ul><li>25 billion tons of soil are lost annually in the US alone </li></ul><ul><li>This is the area size of the US and Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Renewable, develops from underlying parent material but takes 500 years in order to be useable </li></ul>
  9. 9. Soil Solutions <ul><li>Minimum Tillage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leaves crop residues on land </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greatly reduces soil erosion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only used on 38% of US cropland </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cover Crops </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable tools to manage soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, and increasing diversity and wildlife </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Green manures” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leguminous </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Agriculture Pollution <ul><li>Heating animal homes </li></ul><ul><li>Fertilizers </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel and emissions from tractors </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel to make tractors </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel used in grain production </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel used to dry grain </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation / distribution to supermarkets </li></ul><ul><li>Driving to supermarkets and driving home </li></ul><ul><li>Using energy to prepare food for consumption </li></ul>
  11. 11. Possible Solutions <ul><li>Organic Farming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On the rise </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Green Revolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used successfully in Mexico and India </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Genetically Modified </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Golden rice </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Organic <ul><li>Less than 1% of the US is organic farming </li></ul><ul><li>Can support local demands; buy local </li></ul><ul><li>Labor intensive: can create jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Must have special certification </li></ul><ul><li>Since the early 1900s organic food production has growth rates of 20% a year in developed and developing nations </li></ul><ul><li>April 2008 organic food accounts of 1-2% food sales worldwide </li></ul>
  13. 13. Green Revolution <ul><li>Started after WWII and was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide effort to improve the productivity of wheat and rice by selecting the high yield varieties </li></ul><ul><li>First used in Mexico then India adopted the same strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous attempts to implement in Africa but unsuccessful due to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Widespread corruption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insecurity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of governmental concern </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability of water for irrigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity of soil types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inability to place rice in the farmer’s hands </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Continuing the Green Revolution by Borlaug in 2007 The Wall Street Journal <ul><li>Tools of biotechnology to meet demands for food, feed, fiber, and biofuels </li></ul><ul><li>Plant breeders have problems with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Saline conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resisting diseases and insects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Droughts and water logging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distressed climates </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Bittersweet Harvest by Hsin in 2002 Harvard International Review <ul><li>Genetically modified (GM) crops </li></ul><ul><li>Recently FDA reconsidered policies; in the past allergenicity safety tests were not mandated </li></ul><ul><li>For almost a decade the US government made no distinction between GM crops and organically grown crops </li></ul><ul><li>Could wipeout hunger; especially in countries such as India where the population grows by 20 million every year </li></ul><ul><li>Most potent risk of GM crops: uncontrolled breeding and introduction of foreign genes into the natural ecosystem </li></ul>
  16. 16. Deflating the World’s Bubble Economy by Brown in 2003 USA Today Magazine <ul><li>Food is the most vulnerable sector </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National security threats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terrorists treats </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Worldwide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than 100 countries import wheat and 40 import rice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 6 countries supply 90% of grain: US, Canada, France, Australia, Argentina, and Thailand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>World’s poor spends 70% of income on food </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. World’s Bubble Economy <ul><li>Climate change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The highest temperatures in 11,000 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exhausted soils </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widespread aquifer depletion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of irrigation water unknown to previous generations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Natural disasters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Destructive storms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadly heat waves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collapsing fisheries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Melting of polar ice caps </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Will the World Be Able to Feed Itself in the Foreseeable Future? <ul><li>2006 FAO reported food demand growth will rise 1.5% each year for the next 30 years </li></ul><ul><li>Future problems include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Producing enough food for 67% of population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ridding of chronic malnutrition to world’s poor </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Will the World Be Able to Feed Itself in the Foreseeable Future? <ul><li>YES </li></ul><ul><li>Global food production can keep pace with hunger via policies set in place by governments and organizations </li></ul><ul><li>NO </li></ul><ul><li>Decreasing grain harvests, growing populations, dwindling fisheries and the continuing problem of poverty </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Great Debate Topic: Universal Standards of Living and Global Sustainability
  21. 21. The Great Debate <ul><li>Basic human entitlements should be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. The Great Debate <ul><li>Question 1: </li></ul><ul><li>The effects and influences of technology on human entitlements . </li></ul><ul><li>Will it save or kill us? </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Great Debate Question 1 <ul><li>Pro </li></ul><ul><li>Is technology the solution? </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desalination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reverse osmosis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distilment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alternative energy </li></ul><ul><li>GM food </li></ul><ul><li>Con </li></ul><ul><li>Is technology the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Rain forests </li></ul><ul><li>Dirty drinking water </li></ul><ul><li>Garbage in the oceans </li></ul><ul><li>World hunger </li></ul>
  24. 24. The Great Debate <ul><li>Question 2: </li></ul><ul><li>The incentives for improving human entitlements . </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism or intrinsic motivators? </li></ul>
  25. 25. The Great Debate Question 2 <ul><li>Pro </li></ul><ul><li>Better incentives to work toward solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Little money now compared to lots of money later </li></ul><ul><li>War is bad </li></ul><ul><li>Problems grow and spread </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disease to plagues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hunger to starvation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Con </li></ul><ul><li>Are profits the only motivators that will last and truly work? </li></ul><ul><li>Government and organizational programs come and go </li></ul><ul><li>Mankind is greedy </li></ul>
  26. 26. References <ul><li>Borlaug, Norman, E (2008). Continuing the green revolution. Global Issues , 24 , 39-40. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown, Lester, R (2008). Deflating the world’s bubble economy. Global Issues, 24, 46-48. </li></ul><ul><li>Gulnick, Jeanne (2008). Ecology class. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. Standish, ME. </li></ul><ul><li>Hart, J. E. & Lombardi, M. O (2009). Will the world be able to feed itself in the foreseeable future? Taking Sides, 5, 112-127. </li></ul><ul><li>Hsin, Honor (2008). Bittersweet harvest. Global Issues, 24, 41-43. </li></ul>