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AP Environmental Science:
Transcript of AP Environmental Science:
Chapter 11) Feeding the World
Applying the techniques of the Industrial Revolution - mechanization and standardization - to the production of food.
Alternatives to Industrial Agriculture
Small-scale farming can also be economically successful.
It might be more sustainable, but sometimes it is not.
Soil & Fertilizers
A steady diet of high calorie, low nutrition fast food may lead to overnutrition and malnutrition.
Having a diet that lacks the correct balance of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Nearly 3 billion people worldwide are malnourished.
The ingestion of too many calories and improper foods, causing a person to become overweight.
Over 1 billion people in the world are overweight.
The energy input per calorie of food produced.
Energy subsidies are relevant to food production.
The energy content of 1 kg of beef is not equal to the energy content of 1 kg of poultry.
Most of the energy subsidies in modern agriculture are in the form of fossil fuels.
Ex: The average food item in the U.S. travels 2000 km from harvest to table.
We spend more energy transporting food than we get from the food itself.
Produces more food per hectare of land.
More efficient crop growth.
Lower cost of production --> food is less expensive for consumers.
The ratio of energy input to calorie output is low.
Can easily deplete nutrient resources in the soil.
Pesticides and other industrial products have environmental consequences.
Shifting agriculture & nomadic grazing
Integrated Pest Management
Not consuming enough calories to be healthy.
Worldwide hunger reached a low point in 1995-1997 with approximately 825,000,000 people suffering from undernutrition.
Poverty and many different political and economic factors are responsible for world hunger, not lack of resources.
Currently, the world's farmers grow enough grain to feed at least 8 billion people.
Less sustainable methods as populations increase.
Involves clearing land using "slash-and-burn" and using it for only a few years until the soil is depleted of nutrients.
Moving herds of animals to seasonally productive feeding grounds.
The best sustainable agriculture technique for soil types with low productivity is most likely nomadic grazing.
IPM uses a variety of techniques designed to minimize pesticide inputs, including crop rotation and intercropping, the use of pesticide resistant crop varieties, creating habitats for pest predators, and carefully inspecting crops to minimize pesticide use.
Fisheries are being depleted around the world and are experiencing the "tragedy of the commons."
Choosing which fish to harvest is important.
Currently, more sustainable choices are wild Alaskan salmon and farmed rainbow trout.
Less sustainable choices are shark and Chilean sea bass.
Fertilizers contain essential nutrients for plants, primarily nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Composed of organic matter from plants and animals- typically decomposed animal manure. Mostly used by traditional farmers.
Produced commercially- highly concentrated & designed for their specific need.
Because of their effectiveness, the use of synthetic fertilizers has increased about 700% worldwide over the last 5 decades.
Modern agriculture involves plowing and tilling soil, processes that disturb and break apart plant roots and soil particles, making it susceptible to erosion.
Many other agricultural practices also accelerate the erosion process.
Certain soils can lose an average of 1 metric ton of topsoil per hectare per year.