What will we be covering?
Agriculture: How is food
Producing food by green
revolution an traditional
Producing more meat
Checking our progress at
Introduction to Agriculture
Food and Soil Resources
Where is our food produced?
What systems provide us with food?
Croplands: produce grains and provide about 77%
of the world’s food.
Rangelands: produce meat and provide about 16%
of the world’s food.
Ocean fisheries: supply about 7% of the world’s
Since 1950, huge increase in global food
production (think of our population!)
This occurred because of technological
tractors and farm machinery, high
tech fishing gear, inorganic chemical fertilizers,
yield varieties of wheat, rice,
and corn, raising of cattle, pigs, and chickens,
and the booming industry of aquaculture)
Population is going to explode to 8.5 billion
people by 2050 (expected to at least).
We need to produce and distribute food to
support all of these people in an
environmentally sustainable way… can we do
Some say we can… some say we can’t!
One way…. Genetics!
Through genetic engineering we can manipulate
food and create new organisms… a lot faster than
through natural selection!!
BUT is it worth it…
We still will be faced with environmental
degradation, pollution, lack of water for
irrigation, overgrazing by livestock, overfishing,
and loss of vital ecological services.
Another challenge: Poverty
1 in 5 people do not have enough land to
grow their own food or enough money to buy
regardless of how much is
The great irony of food production is that
about 1 billion people in developing nations
do not have enough food to maintain good
health but about 1 billion people in developed
countries face health problems associated
with the overabundance of food!!!
Today, however, we still need food!
How do we produce our food?
Four major types of Food production:
Traditional subsistence agriculture
Traditional intensive agriculture
Also known as high
input agriculture, uses large amounts of
fossil fuels, water, commercial fertilizers, and pesticides to
produce single crops or livestock.
It makes up about ¼ of all croplands (most in developed
Includes: potato, corn, wheat, barley, rye, etc.
A lot of industrialized agriculture is used to support the
growth of livestock production as feed.
A form of industrialized agriculture used in
tropical developing countries.
Involves cash crops: bananas, coffee, soybean,
sugarcane, cocoa, etc.
Traditional Subsistence Agriculture
Typically uses mostly human
animals to produce only enough crops or
livestock for a farm family’s survival.
Traditional Intensive Agriculture
Farmers increase their inputs of human and
, fertilizers, and water to get a
higher yield per area of cultivated land.
Produce enough food to feed their families
and then to sell for income.
Croplands used for Agriculture
Croplands, like natural ecosystems, provide
ecological and economic services:
: help maintain water flow and soil
infiltration, provide partial erosion protection, can
build soil organic matter, store atmospheric
carbon, and provide wildlife habitat for some
: food crops,
crops, crop genetic
resources, and jobs.
Agriculture in Canada
Continues to be an important part of Canada’s
economy, but the industry is grappling with
environmental costs and emerging threats.
It is a $95 billion industry!
8.8% of its gross national product
14% of its employment
Farms have been switching from small private
farms to large corporate farms
The net result of farming has left the same
amount of land being farmed.
We export $26 billion worth of raw and value
including grains, oilseeds, fruits,
vegetables, and meats
to 200 different
Eat Real Eat Local.ca
Food Production, Nutrition, and
After increasing significantly since 1950, global
grain production has mostly
1985, and per capita grain production has
declined since 1978.
Today, we produce enough grain to feed
everyone on Earth
The only problem is that it is not distributed
equally to everyone because of differences in soil,
climate, political and economic power, and
average per capita income.
Hunger and Malnutrition
The root cause of hunger and malnutrition are
and will continue to be poverty and inequality,
which prevent poor people from growing or
buying enough food regardless of how much is
Other factors include war, corruption, and
tariffs and subsidies that make it hard for poor
people to acquire food they produce.
We produce more than enough
food to meet everyone’s basic needs.
One out of size people in
developing countries is not getting enough to
eat because food is not distributed equally
among the world’s people.
Occurs because of soil, climate, political and
economic power, and average per capita income
People suffer from chronic under
when they cannot grow or buy enough food to
meet their basic energy needs.
Children can suffer from mental disabilities and
stunted growth and will be susceptible to
Macro. and Micro. Nutrients
Macronutrients are important for maintaining
proteins, carbohydrates, and
Micronutrients are important for helping
maintain good health
vitamins and minerals
Difference between Under
Children that suffer from under
cannot afford to feed themselves on a daily
basis and are missing a lot of the
macronutrients that are needed for growth
and body functions.
Malnourished children can afford to live on a
protein but high carbohydrate diet
consisting of grains (wheat, barley, rice, or
Nutritional deficiency diseases
occurs when a diet is low in both
calories and protein. Most victims are nursing
infants of women that are malnourished or
children that are malnourished.
a severe protein deficiency
occurring in infants and children age 1
usually after a younger sibling is born and
needs the breast milk.
Prevention of childhood deaths related
Immunizing children against diseases
Encouraging breast feeding
Preventing dehydration from diarrhea by
giving sugar and salt in a glass of water
Providing family planning services to help
Increasing education for women, with
emphasis on nutrition, drinking water
sterilization, and child care
In Canada, 700 000 meals are handed out
each year to people that don’t have access to
enough food for good health.
In the US, 11 000 000 people do not have
access to food on a regular basis.
240 million children are deficient in
. A, 80%
die within a year,
1/3 women and children are deficient in tropical
regions, causes fatigue, infections may occur, and
women’s chances of dying during childbirth increase
Needed for thyroid gland function, helps regulate
body’s rate of metabolism, can lead to deafness if
continued not to be monitored.
Occurs when food energy intake exceeds
energy use and causes excess body fat.
Lower life expectancy, greater susceptibility to
disease and illness, and lower productivity and life
1 billion struggle from not enough food and 1.7
billion people have too much food…
¼ people in the world are overweight with 5% of
the world being obese… (stats may be skewed…)
Environmental Effects of Producing
Modern agriculture has the greatest
environmental impact than any other human
It affects air, soil, water, and biodiversity
factors in sustaining a healthy human population.
Debate: Can we overcome the
negatives of food production
Some say we can, some say we can’t!
Some analysts say we can continue to produce
food and overcome the environmental effects.
However, others say that soil erosion, salt
of soil irrigated
lands; water deficits and droughts; and loss of
wild species will limit food production.
What has happened so far?
In a 2002 study by the UN Department for
Economic and Social Affairs, close to 30% of
the world’s croplands had been degraded to
some degree by soil erosion, salt buildup, and
As well, 17% was seriously degraded.
This can lead to limits in food production in
India and China
as well as other nations.
Increasing Crop Production
Ready or not, the world is entering a new generation
the age of genetic engineering!
In North America, supermarket shelves contain
ingredients made from genetically engineered crops.
Bioengineers are working on and developing crops that
are resistant to heat, cold, herbicides, insect pests,
parasites, viral diseases, drought, and salty or acidic
They are also hoping on developing crops that can
grow faster and survive with little to no irrigation and
with less fertilizer and pesticides.
How safe are genetically modified
There is much controversy over GMF
Many people see it as a way of solving the
world’s food problems, but critics consider it
See figure 14
19 (page 308)
What is your
They cannot be ‘recalled’ if they cause
unintended harmful genetic and ecological
as some experts believe may occur.
Results could be catastrophic
Helping provide food for the poor
Need less fertilizer and water
Grow in new areas
One thing about GMFs
GMFs are not going to solve food shortages
and feed everyone.
The reason not everyone has food is because
of POVERTY and INEQUALITY
using perennial crops can
produce higher crop yields than current green
revolution and genetic
What else can we do??
Increasing Crop Production