10-1 What is food security and why is it difficult to attain? Concept 10-1A



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10-1 What is food security and why is it difficult to attain?

CONCEPT 10-1A Many of the poor have health problems from not getting enough food, while many people in affluent countries suffer health problems from eating too much.

CONCEPT 10-1B The greatest obstacles to providing enough food for everyone are poverty, political upheaval, corruption, war, and the harmful environmental effects of food production.

  1. Define food security, and insecurity. Note the main cause of food insecurity. Define malnutrition, chronic undernutrition or hunger, and overnutrition. Briefly note the present status of global food supply. List factors that can reduce childhood hunger and malnutrition.


10-2 How is food produced?

CONCEPT 10-2 We have used high-input industrialized agriculture and lower-input traditional methods to greatly increase supplies of food.

  1. Describe the trends in world food production since 1950. Distinguish between the two common forms of industrialized agriculture, and the two common forms of traditional agriculture. Summarize food distribution problems.

  2. Distinguish cross-breeding from genetic engineering. Describe the controversy over genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).


10-3 What environmental problems arise from food production?

CONCEPT 10-3 Future food production may be limited by soil erosion and degradation, desertification, water and air pollution, climate change from greenhouse gas emissions, and loss of biodiversity.

  1. Define the green revolution. Note the stages and the limitations of the green revolution. Note other ways of maintaining and increasing food production. Define the environmental impacts of agriculture.

  2. Describe the problems of soil erosion, soil degradation, and desertification. Describe both world and U.S. situations and explain why most people are unaware of this problem. Describe the problems of salinization and waterlogging of soils and how they can be controlled.

  3. Define soil conservation. List the common ways to approach the problem of soil erosion. Briefly discuss conservation-tillage farming. List the common methods of maintaining or improving soil fertility. Be sure to distinguish between organic and inorganic fertilizers.

  4. Distinguish traditional meat production from industrialized meat production. Describe the current status of global meat production and its limitation. Note the relationship between meat production and fishing. Explain how sustainable meat production can be achieved.

  5. Describe trends in the world fish catch since 1950. Assess the potential for increasing the annual fish catch. Outline the major causes of overfishing. Evaluate the potential of fish farming and fish ranching for increasing fish production.


10-4 How can we protect crops from pests more sustainably?

CONCEPT 10-4 We can sharply cut pesticide use without decreasing crop yields by using a mix of cultivation techniques, biological pest controls, and small amounts of selected chemical pesticides as a last resort (integrated pest management).

  1. Define pests and pesticide, and list five types of pesticides. Distinguish between broad-spectrum and narrow-spectrum pesticides. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of modern synthetic pesticides.

  2. Note that target insects can become resistant to pesticides. Define integrated pest management (IPM). Analyze the pros and cons of using IPM as an alternate strategy to chemical pesticides. Note the two Federal laws in the U.S. for regulating the pesticide industry.


10-5 How can we improve food security?

CONCEPT 10-5 We can improve food security by creating programs to reduce poverty and chronic malnutrition, relying more on locally grown food, and cutting food waste.
10-6 How can we produce food more sustainably?

CONCEPT 10-6 More sustainable food production involves decreasing topsoil erosion, reducing overgrazing and overfishing, irrigating more efficiently, using integrated pest management, promoting agrobiodiversity, and providing government subsidies only for more sustainable agriculture, fishing, and aquaculture.

  1. Note the methods used by governments to encourage food production. Note approaches to mitigating the harmful effects of modern agriculture. Explain sustainable agriculture, and list a few strategies that can be used to transition into a sustainable agricultural system.


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