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Lect_15 - UNIT III HUMAN USES OF PLANTS Lecture 15...

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UNIT III: HUMAN USES OF PLANTS Lecture 15: Agriculture and Human Nutrition Part I: Agriculture Origins of agriculture Modern agriculture Part II: Human nutrition Macronutrients Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats Micronutrients Vitamins, minerals Dietary guidelines, reading Nutrition Facts labels
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Introduction to Agriculture From Latin Ager = Field; Cultura = Civilization the science, art and practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops and raising livestock For most of their early history, humans survived as foragers or hunter-gatherers, gathering wild plants and hunting animals in their natural environment. Around 10,000 years ago in many areas of the world, there was a shift in human endeavor from foraging to farming. Why this happened is not known, but it appears to have formed the basis of advanced civilization in both the old and new worlds.
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Early Sites of Agriculture 1. The near East, the “fertile crescent” of Mesopotamia (modern day Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel) Archeological sites with plant remnants that date up to 14,000 years ago Early plants: wheat, barley, pea, lentil Early animals: goat, sheep, dogs
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2. The far East In Southeast Asia: modern day Thailand, China (along the yellow and Yangtze rivers) 8,000 years ago began cultivating rice, millet, broomcorn millet, rapeseed, and hemp. There was also evidence of domesticated cattle, pigs, dogs, and poultry
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3. New World In the New World, modern day mexico and Peru 12,000 to 10,000 years ago: Tehuacan Valley Began cultivating, domesticating major crops: Mexico: beans, corn, tomato, peanut, chili peppers, squash Peru and South America: potato, cacao
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Domesticated Plants Plants that have been domesticated are genetically distinct from their wild progenitors Wild plants develop by Natural Selection – ensures their survival in the environment Plants are domesticated by articicial selection traits are selected not for survival, but for our own benefit. Most domesticated plants could not survive in the wild!
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Cultivated plants Centers of orgin: regions where many cultivated plants came from. From these centers, plants and animals were dispersed and spread to other areas of the world – by explorers, invaders, travelers, etc. Wild ancestors of many domesticated plants still exist – they help in the development of new varieties These wild ancestors are important for maintaining the genetic diversity of crop plants
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Modern agriculture Now that we know how agriculture began, let’s look at modern day agriculture World: Food and fiber that sustains the entire population of this planet is produced on just 3% of the planet’s land!
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