3.5 Food Resources
Food Issues
MEDC / LEDC
Food Production and Distribution
Imbalance in food distribution
 Over
1 billion people are living in poverty and
starving in LEDC countries
 MEDC Average Caloric Intake = 3314
 LEDC Average Caloric Intake = 2666
 Causes:



Unequal distribution
Lack of access to clean water
Poor harvesting / farming practices (overgrazing/
overfishing)
Undernourishment worldwide
Food Waste
Terrestrial vs. Aquatic Food
Production Systems
VS
Aquatic Food Production
 Aquatic


Food Production:
Food is harvested from high tropic levels
due to human preference (ex. salmon).
Photosynthesis is less efficient by producers
due to light reflection of water
Terrestrial Food Production
 Terrestrial


Food Production:
Most food harvested from low tropic levels (producers
/ herbivores)
Energy conversions less efficient on land
Food Production affects the
Environment
 Biodiversity
 Soil
 Water
 Air
 Human
Health
Increasing food production output
 GMO
Genetically Modified Organisms
Change genetic make up of living things to make them
look, feel, and taste different
 Pesticides-
chemicals used to kill pest organisms
 Herbicides- chemicals used to kill weeds
 Fertilizers- chemicals used to grow larger crops
 Irrigation- canals used to bring in more water
 Antibiotics/ Growth Hormones- used to grow healthier
and larger animals
Biodiversity Loss
 Loss
of grasslands forests and wetland for cultivation
 Loss of genetic diversity (wild crops replaced with
monocrops)
Soil
 Erosion
 Loss
of fertility
 Salinization
 Desertification
 Increase soil pH
Water
 Waste
water produced
 Aquifer depletion from increased irrigation
Air
 Large
fossil fuel use in farming equipment causes
release of greenhouse gases (CO2, N2O, and CH4)
 Pesticide sprays
Human Health
 Nitrates

in Drinking water
Blue baby
 Pesticides
 Bacterial
(E. coli)
contamination of meat
North American Cereal Farming vs.
Asian Subsistence Farming
Comparison Pair #1
North American
Cereal Farming





Inputs: Fertilizers, pesticides,
fossil fuels, labor, sunlight,
water equipment
Characteristics: Heavy use
of fossil fuels, lots of farming
technology, monocrops
(only one crop)
Socio- Cultural: Fast
production, large amounts,
lots of waste
Environmental impact: loss
biodiversity
Outputs: Air pollution , water
pollution, wheat/corn, lots
of income ($$)





Asian Subsistence
Farming
Inputs: lots of human
labor, water, sunlight
Characteristics: grow
only enough to eat to
feed family &
community, low tech
Socio- Cultural: mostly
LEDC, poor
Environmental impact:
maintains biodiversity,
reduces pollution
Outputs: Usually mixed
crops; corn, beans and
squash (all in same field)
Intensive Beef Production vs.
Maasia Tribal Livestock
Comparison Pair # 2
MEDC- Intensive
Beef Production





Inputs: Hormones,
antibiotics, labor, cattle
feed (corn), breeding stock
of cattle
Characteristics: Many
cattle in crowded area
Socio- Cultural: Fast
production, large
quantities, lots of
waste/death
Environmental impact:
disease, waste
Outputs: Air pollution, water
pollution, beef, lots of
income ($$)
LEDC- Maasai Tribal
Livestock





Inputs: Labor, Cattle feed/
grazing grass
Characteristics: large
herds of cattle, used as
only food source
“Nomadic Herding”
Socio- Cultural: Cattle are
THE source of life (even
used as currency)
Environmental impact:
overgrazing, nomadic
behavior
Outputs: meat, milk, blood
Salmon Farming in Norway vs. RiceFish Farming in Thailand
Comparison Pair # 3
Salmon Farming in
Norway
 Inputs:
antibiotics, fish
food, cages, labor
 Characteristics: fish
raised in large quantity
 Socio- Cultural: MEDC,
employs large number
of workers
 Environmental impact:
growth of algae, water
pollution
 Outputs: salmon, water
pollution
Rice-Fish Farming
Thailand





Inputs: labor, seed
Characteristics: fish and
rice grown together in
same, self sustaining
ecosystem (fed by
natural food chain)
Socio- Cultural: LEDC
countries,
Environmental impact:
reduces waste
maintains biodiversity
Outputs: rice, fish,
income
Slash and Burn/ Shifting
Cultivation
Slash and Burn / Shifting
Cultivation
 Input:
Labor, plow, oxen, seed
 Characteristics: Tropical forest set on fire to clear the
land & ash fertilizes soil. After land is used farmers
repeat this process
 Socio-cultural: Typically harvested food is sold in
community, low population density
 Environment: Loss of biodiversity, fertility, ecosystem
production decreases
 Output: Monocrop, air pollution, income
kg grain required to produce
1 kg of meat
GMO
Become more sustainable
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