The nature of modern agriculture and our food-production techniques are rapidly changing, which will be a main focus in this section. We will look at the debates surrounding the use of agricultural innovations, what influences food production and consumption, the challenges of providing food for all, and economic factors that affect food-production.
Debates Surrounding Agricultural Innovations
*These innovations have raised questions about their sustainability, soil and water usage, effect on biodiversity, and extensive use of chemicals.
Influences on Food Production and Consumption
What we choose to eat greatly affects food production and consumption patterns, and there are plenty of “movements” related to individual food choices that influence these patterns, such as urban farming, community-supported agriculture (CSA), organic farming, value added specialty crops, fair trade, local-food movements, and dietary shifts.
Food for All (What’s wrong with this?)
*You should know the challenges of trying to feed an entire world’s worth of population (7 billion people is a lot!)
Lack of/Unequal Food Access
Plenty of children and families around the world are food insecure
It means sparse physical, social, or economic access to healthy food needed to meet dietary standards
Areas with very little access to (or even no access to) nutritious, affordable food such as fresh fruits and vegetables
*Know this: There are areas only surrounded by fast food restaurants and run-down gas stations -> how are people in poverty supposed to stay healthy, let alone afford this?!
Issues with Distribution Systems
Unpredictable/Unfavorable Weather Conditions
Food may not reach these areas as readily
Farmlands may be located very far away, making it difficult for regions located in harsh climates to get access to fresh produce
What Economic Processes Affect Food-Production?
To put it simply, you should know that the way food is produced is largely determined by the location of food-processing facilities, economies of scale, distribution systems, and government policies.