ENVR 201 - Midterm 2 Notes

ENVR 201 Midterm - Food Resources ← Food Resources • To feed the 8.5 billion people projected by 2025 we must produce and distribute as much

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Unformatted text preview: Food Resources ← Food Resources: • To feed the 8.5 billion people projected by 2025, we must produce and distribute as much food during the next 30 years as was produced since agriculture began 10,000 years ago ← Global Food Status: • Global food production has increased five fold since 1900, especially since 1950 o Irrigated area has multiplied six fold o Dramatic increase in yields per hectare o Commercial fertilizer use nearly 10-fold increase, pesticides 32 fold o Plant genetics and breeding: Dwarf cereals – long stalk with large heads make it fall over – rice stalks bred to be short with fat stalks so they can grow a high yield rice head o Global spread of crops- wheat, corn, soya, potato Soya used to be domesticated now it is found worldwide o First green revolution in the 1950’s – mono cropping, irrigation, chemical fertilizers, pesticides o Second green revolution in the 1960’s/1970’s with genetic revolution – Fast growing dwarf high yield rice and wheat o Global fish and livestock production increased 5 and 3 fold since 1950 • Global fish and livestock production has increased 5 to 3 fold since 1950 • Nutrition improved dramatically since 1950 due to growth in food production per capita and low food prices • Despite expanded food availability more than 1 billion people are undernourished paired with an obesity epidemic o Low rural productivity, incomes and purchasing ability • 10 million nutrition related deaths under 5 years old everyday – easily preventable o Under/malnutrition disease-infant mortality –productivity-poverty population vicious circle o Poverty creates malnutrition decreased resistance to disease High death rate for children/ decreased energy decreased ability to learn Decreased ability to work shortened life expectancy and poverty (feedback loop) • Food production is slowing, even as population is increasing; per capita food production, crucial for nutrition and economic productivity is leveling off o Global cereal production has increased steadily since 1960’s however kg/capita has been decreasing since the 1990’s ← Global Food Threats: • Food prices are increasing, food shortages, very limited surplus capacity and export potential – implications of large food imports for prices and security • Resource use and environmental impacts: o Ground water depletion – 40% of global food production depends on irrigation; water tables are falling 3-10ft per year in India and China o Rivers running dry (competing, more economic uses) o Soil erosion and loss of soil fertility; highest in Africa and Asia o Loss of genetic diversity – loss of disease, pest resistance o Air and Water pollution Asian brown cloud o Climate change fossil fuel use in agriculture, methane, nitrous oxide o Dramatic increase in fossil fuel use; transportation has increased ← Importance of Food Systems: • The process by which you prepare the ground for planting, plant it, irrigate it, cultivate it,...
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2010 for the course ENVR ENVR 201 taught by Professor Madhav during the Fall '09 term at McGill.

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ENVR 201 Midterm - Food Resources ← Food Resources • To feed the 8.5 billion people projected by 2025 we must produce and distribute as much

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