Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Food and Agriculture: Crisis Across the Globe.

Food and Agriculture: Crisis Across the Globe

Food and Agriculture is the heart of our civilization. Varieties of cultures celebrate different aspects of food and agriculture to maintain continuity. Food and Agriculture is an issue that is leaving vast parts of the world in starvation. The accessibility of food is a privilege and should be a human right, considering it is the fundamental of life. And while it is the heart of humanity, it is also the death of humanity.

The map above indicates the parts of the world that are hungry. Places such as East Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean, and other Developed countries. All are in dire need of food and water. East Africa gets its water supply from the annual rainfalls, which supply rivers. However, East Africa is having one of the driest decades ever recorded. People are resorting to illegally tapping into the water lines, and gathering at the community water points. Due to infrastructure, water supply is almost nil to most East Africans.

Food crisis are due to poverty; poverty is the root that leads to hunger. We might ask ourselves: How do physical environments affect political processes? Wouldn’t this be the root that leads to hunger and the lack of water, despite the failed rains?

Work Cited

http://thewaterproject.org/poverty.asp

www.globalissues.org/issue/749/food-and-agriculture-issues

Edited by:

Jacob Standafer

Kyra Binaxas

Ellie Strandquest

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Celiac Disease.

Jason Miller

Final Project Research Paper

Celiac Disease

            Celiac disease is an allergy to a protein called gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye, as well as everything processed with them or on the same machinery. Many people in the U.S. are finding out they have Celiac disease or other health issues caused by the protein gluten, sometimes being labeled as gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. The existence of such issues is an example of food and agriculture and what the causes and consequences of changes in the global distribution of economic activities.

Until the advent of agriculture, human beings survived by hunting and gathering food. Their diets were based off meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and other things that could be foraged or killed with a spear. After the agricultural revolution, humans were able to grow foods rather than look for them, and the human diet shifted towards massive grain consumption. This new system of food production allowed many hunters and gathers to stay home and develop ideas about art, religion,  etc. Prominent grains were rice, corn, and of course, wheat, barley, and rye, the three gluten laden objects of suffering for everyone with Celiac disease.

Not much is known about how Celiac disease began or when it started. The current school of thought is that it is an inherited allergy from your parents, somewhere in your DNA. If one of your parents has Celiac disease, your chances of having it are much higher. Other researchers suggest feeding infants solid foods to early can cause Celiac disease. In the 1800s, a doctor in England labeled children with Celiac disease and attempted to cure them by placing them on a strict diet of meat and sliced toast, devoid of all fruits and vegetables. None of the children were able to stay on the diet. During World War II, the Netherlands did not have adequate distribution of wheat. During this time, the child mortality rate dropped. However, after World War II ended the Dutch were able to resume their regular cuisine, the child mortality rate rose back up to where it had been before the war. Today, more is known about Celiac disease due to far better medical technology than what was in the past. However, I myself had severe medical issues for years, and the doctors I saw never figured out I had Celiac disease. I didn’t find out the cause of my issues until I was about 19, when I googled gluten allergies after a friend’s family suggested I may have been gluten intolerant, like their daughter was.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the gluten molecules cause the body to go haywire and attack the small intestine, destroying the precious villi within the digestive tract. Without these villi, the body cannot absorb precious nutrients and is harshly affected by dairy products. Symptoms of Celiac disease include chronic diarrhea, swollen belly, pain, failure the thrive, weight loss, constipation, short stature, delayed puberty, ADHD, neurological problems, headaches, lack of muscle coordination, anemia, loss of bone density, softening of bones, itchy, blistering skin rash, damage to dental canal, fatigue, nervous system injury, numbness of body parts, problems with balance, join pain, reduced functioning of the spleen, and acid reflux and heartburn. The only known treatment for Celiac disease is to go on a gluten free diet, meaning that any products made with, derived from, or processed on the same machinery as wheat, barley, rye, (and oats, since they are almost always on the same machinery as the previous three) are strictly forbidden. It is also suggested that newly diagnosed people go without dairy for many months to allow their stomach to heal. I can tell you that avoiding gluten is far easier said than done, and if I had a nickel for every time someone else got me sick when they thought they were cooking gluten free, I would have many nickels. There is also a lot of misinformation out there, making people who do not have Celiac disease either ignorant or misinformed about the suffering of others. Things like regular M&Ms and even pepper have made me sick. Undiagnosed Celiac disease can lead to malnutrition, loss of calcium or bone density, infertility or miscarriage, lactose intolerance, and cancer.

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Today, some manufacturing companies are producing gluten free foods like bread, cereal, cookies, pasta, etc. And there are other companies that will label allergens on their products. Sadly, many manufacturers do not, which causes people to get sick because the people buying it (like a child’s parents or someone’s significant other) simply don’t know. The only way to help people with Celiac disease is to spread the word, educate everyone! You most likely do not have it, but you likely do know someone who is suffering. I was 19 when I finally learned I had it, despite my numerous trips to the hospitals and doctor’s offices. And the sad thing is… Finding out is as easy as one google search.

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Works-Cited

Agriculture in India.

Jacob Standafer

Agriculture and Food in India

                Agriculture is a prominent defining aspect in ones culture. Agriculture not only shows the well being of culture, but also shows the growth of one’s particular culture as well. In this paper we will uncover India’s agriculture and how customs evolved into how they are now represented today. We will also uncover the how India has developed over the years and where it stands on a global scale.

There is about seventy two percent of India’s population that still make up the rural areas in India in all of its 1.1 billion inhabitants. Most of these inhabitants are extremely poor and are just trying to survive. Most of the poor inhabitants rely on rain fed agriculture and forestry to survive as well. India’s agriculture makes up about one quarter of India’s economy and employs about sixty percent of the labor force. It truly is sad, because even though this seems like a good amount of agriculture, it’s said that India’s agriculture is said to be extremely inefficient and will not even come close to solving India’s hunger crisis. Also on a side note India rids about one fifth of its annual agricultural income. This is due to inefficiencies in harvesting, lack of transportation, and storage of government – subsidized crops. Another problem that remains significant in India is the improper water management, and this affecting India’s agriculture tremendously. During periods of water shortages in India, rice crops are allocated a significant amount of water the is totally disproportionate. A huge result of the insufficient water use comes from the water tables in regions of rice cultivation are on the rise, but soil fertility is on the decline.

India’s agriculture is comprised of many crops, rice and wheat being their number one food staples.  Sugarcane, potatoes, pulses, oilseeds, cotton, tea, coffee, rubber, and jute are all also crops that are among India’s agriculture. As you can see the land agriculture is definitely of an undeveloped country. However something that surprises many is the fact that India obtains one of the biggest fisheries in the world ranking in the top ten. Per year India brings in a whopping three million tons.

(Commecial fishing boat in India)

When reading the article “India: Priorities for Agriculture and Rural Development” it states

“ The Government of India places high priority on reducing poverty by raising agricultural productivity. However, bold action from policymakers will be required to shift away from the existing subsidy-based regime that is no longer sustainable, to build a solid foundation for a highly productive, internationally competitive, and diversified agricultural sector.” (author unknown)

Recently in India the poorer countries as well as the more prosperous homes have seen a slowdown in their agriculture. Some of the possible reasons for this slowdown could be poor consumption of public expenditures, over regulation of domestic agriculture trade, and government interventions in land, trade, credit markets.  In conclusion India remains as an undeveloped country on the global scale. If India’s agriculture is one day able to sustain India’s economy, maybe there will be a shot at solving India’s desperate hunger situation.

Works cited

ricewindia-map-agricultural-labourersCommercial fishermen pulling aboard a Skip Jack tuna on a commercial fishing dhoni (traditional Maldivian boat), Indian Ocean, Maldives.

Chinese Cuisine.

Shae Kovalchick

Geo 106

    Food, eating, it’s something we all deal with on a daily basis. Food has a strong link to its surroundings though, certain things can’t be found to eat in certain places. It’s interesting to note then how more local cuisine finds its way across the globe. How exactly does foreign food spread to different countries? More specifically to narrow it down to one type of food, how has Chinese food spread from one location to another?

    The Chinese take great pride in their cooking, and it’s part of the reason their food has spread all over the globe. They have a unique style that dates back to ancient traditions, and they’ve been trying out different recipes and combinations for centuries. Some of their ingredients may seem bizarre, but it’s just due to the fact that they would utilize things that would otherwise just go to waste. That being said what most people perceive as “Chinese” food is only the tip of the iceberg. They have so many different ways to prepare and some many different things they use in their cooking that only a small portion of that makes up what people commonly refer to as Chinese food.

    Another big reason the food has so easily spread is just due to the food itself. The ingredients themselves are generally quite cheap, and when cooked correctly they stay fresh for quite some time. When you factor this in when considering that a lot of people really enjoy the food you can easily see why the food has spread to the locations it has touched down upon. The main way it’s actually sprung up in different locations is just the Chinese people themselves. As they’ve taken to spreading across the globe they’ve more or less just brought their cuisine with them. The first major location outside of China that adopted its cuisine was the Philippines. This was around the 16th century and when a large number of Chinese immigrated there. It’s also evident when you look at locations dubbed “Chinatown” the Asian culture and cuisine in such locations is everywhere.

   Despite these central hubs being where the cuisine is most prevalent, it’s overall appeal and cheap price is what helped it spread even further beyond these locations. It’s not uncommon to see a Chinese restaurant pretty much anywhere in the United States, and that fact rings true for a great majority of the world. It may have originated in China, but the Chinese way of cooking has truly become a global cuisine.

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Work Cited:
Wiradji, Sudibyo M. “Chinese Cuisine Has Spread around the World.” Home. The Jakarta Post, 4 May 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

Wu, David Y. H., and Sidney C. H. Cheung. The Globalization of Chinese Food. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi, 2002. Print.

Pictures:

http://www.chinesefoodmishawaka.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Jan-mee.jpg

http://inkchromatography.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/chinese-food.jpg

http://www.chinahighlights.com/image/map/chinacitymap.jpg

Edited by:
Nathan Lee
Kyra Binaxas
Jennah Reiman

Sustainability of Biodiversity and the Economy in Costa Rica.

Jennah Reiman

Prof. Bullen

GEO 106-101

11 Dec. 2013

Article # 2

Sustainability of Biodiversity and the Economy in Costa Rica

            A new course of action towards bettering the environment has changed distribution of economic activities.  Recently, a technique using buffer zones has hit the market in improving biodiversity.  This technique involves creating a neutral area between natural reserves and city limits to help create a cushion for protecting the environment.  Buffer zones are a key influence in the global distribution of agriculture and the economic properties that follow.

Conserving protected areas not only enhances environmental biodiversity but also the economy of the surrounding areas.  An example of where buffer zones have proven to be beneficial is in Costa Rica.  In effort to better conserve national parks, Costa Rica has boosted the economy by creating pull factors for many individuals.  The natural beauty that has been restored to the protected areas creates a lot of tourism.  Dense forests in the county give people incentive to visit historical parks and to regain a connection to nature.  Tourism greatly helps the economy of Costa Rica as an article discussing the topic explains; “raising fees for protected areas (particularly for foreign visitors) has shown great potential for providing a sustainable flow of funding to protected areas” (Economic Incentives and Protected Areas, 54).  These buffer zones are also gaining popularity for use of farming and live stock.  Many farmers however, are reminded not to over-harvest, use many natural resources or contribute to deforestation.  Regarding migrants, anthropologist David Hoffman mentions that “in the Costa Rican case, many migrants are urban-to-rural migrants, often sacrificing the educational and economic amenities of urban San José for the perceived safety, tranquility and rurality of PA buffer zones” (Hoffman).  The introduction of buffer zones has created many changes to the Costa Rican economy.

Buffer zones have well benefitted Costa Rica, in that both the sustainability of the environment and the economy seem to have bright futures.  The economy is flourishing from this green revolution and so is the biodiversity.  People are moving from urban to rural areas and the economy is following; creating a change in distribution of economic activities.  Promoting this idea could help other countries economically as well as return the earth back into a habitable region for all species.  Although it may take time and effort, the end results are well worth making a change.

Edited by: Shae Kovalchick, Nathan Lee and Emily Flora

Works Cited

“Economic Incentives and Protected Areas.” 47-60. Mekong-protected-areas.org. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <http://www.mekong-protected-areas.org/mekong/docs/tlp-04.pdf&gt;.

Hoffman, David M. “What Do Migrants Think?” Anthropology News. American Anthropological Association, 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

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