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Making Food Production Efficient. Why can producing food not be energy efficient? ●There are many levels in a food chain in which lots of energy is lost.

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Presentation on theme: "Making Food Production Efficient. Why can producing food not be energy efficient? ●There are many levels in a food chain in which lots of energy is lost."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Food Production Efficient

2 Why can producing food not be energy efficient? ●There are many levels in a food chain in which lots of energy is lost between each level through waste, respiration, movement etc. ●Food can also take more energy to produce than it actually releases, making it inefficient.

3 The ‘fun’ activity: How many food chains in my lunch? Evaluate these items by making a food chain for the production of each one. Which has the fewest stages?

4 Some crazy meat eating facts Through Life Cycle Analysis, scientists have been able to put figures on the environmental impact of different meats. The worst offenders are the grass-eating, methane-producing animals such as cows and sheep. Every year we raise and eat 65 billion animals, that's nine animals for every person on the globe. Roughly 30% of crops are fed to animals. Livestock are responsible for roughly 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions - the same amount produced by the all of the world's vehicles. A single cow can produce 500 litres of methane every day and it has a vast environmental impact because methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Pigs and chickens, which eat a more mixed diet, fare better. Mussels are very eco- friendly, taking relatively little energy to rear.

5 How can food production be made more energy efficient? ●Prevent animals from moving around too much and keep their surroundings warm ○Mammals and birds maintain a constant body temperature using energy released by respiration → Lots of energy lost ○Warm sheds with little space to move = more efficient production ●Another solution is for everyone to become a vegetarian which would be much more energy efficient and space efficient, as the room required for food per person is much lower, and the stages in the food chain are reduced. This reduction in stages means that less energy is lost.

6 If we continue to eat meat, how can it’s production be made more efficient? Since grass is what fuels methane production, one way to reduce the belching is to change what the cows eat. In Texas, for example, thousands of cattle confined in grass-free, mud enclosures and fed a diet based on a carefully formulated mix of corn, fat, growth hormones and antibiotics. The scientifically formulated diet means his cows put on weight faster and produce far less methane than cattle reared the traditional way. Studies have shown that beef produced this way produces up to 40% less methane than grass-fed cattle. If you really want to be an environmentally friendly carnivore, your best bet is to stick to less than 100 grams (3.5 oz). of meat per day. That's about half what we currently eat

7 What are food miles? Food miles are the distance travelled by food from origin to where it is consumed. Foods with a higher food mileage have a bigger impact on the environment due to the increased emissions that are released in transition from start to finish.

8 Increasing food production Fertilizers are substances applied to plants to encourage growth and increase their yield. Artificial fertilizers are usually created to have a specific effect. For example, a plant grown mainly for its leaves needs a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content. A problem with fertilizers is that they can be washed off fields and into lakes and rivers, where they cause eutrophication.

9 What are pesticides? A pesticide is a substance used to prevent, destroy or repel pests. Insecticideskill insects kill unwanted plants (i.e. weeds)Herbicides kill fungi (e.g. moulds and mildews)Fungicides The major problem with using pesticides is that they can accumulate along food chains and poison wildlife. Different types of pesticides include:

10 What are genetically-modified crops? Crops can be genetically engineered to alter their characteristics. They are usually called genetically-modified (GM) crops. For example, potato plants can be genetically modified so that their leaves are toxic to pests such as the Colorado beetle. This removes the need to spray the crop with potentially harmful pesticides and reduces the risk of both pesticide accumulation and crop damage.

11 GM crops yield more food and are better able to feed the world’s rising population. GM crops are more resistant to insects and diseases, so fewer pesticides are needed. High-nutrition GM crops need very little water and fertilizer, so droughts would not cause famine. Crops can be modified so that less food is wasted by spoiling during storage. GM is sustainable

12 The long-term effects of GM produce on human health are unknown. Biotech companies could modify crops to produce sterile seeds, so that farmers are forced to buy new seeds every year. GM is not sustainable There is a risk of cross- pollination between GM and non-GM crops GM produce is too expensive for many people to afford.

13 Organic farming is an alternative to conventional farming that relies on strictly sustainable methods, without chemicals. What is organic farming? To keep the soil fertile: A different type of crop is grown each year so that the same nutrients are not depleted from the soil each year. This is called crop rotation. Vegetable waste and manure are composted to recycle the nutrients and improve the soil fertility and structure. However, organic farming produces lower yields and is more expensive to maintain than conventional farming practices.

14 To control pests, organic farmers use: resistant crop varieties – these are naturally resistant to pests or diseases, minimizing damage and preventing the need to use chemical pesticides. Organic pest control biological pest control – natural predators of a pest are used, which eat the target pest but leave other wildlife unharmed. For example, ladybirds are used to control aphids, mites and small caterpillars.

15 Algae ●Spirulina ●65% protein and amino acids ●Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) - anti-inflammatory properties ●High in chlorophyll - Helps remove toxins from blood and boosts immune system ●Contains Omega 3,6,9 ●Very high conc. of iron ●26x more calcium than in milk ●1 gram per day can combat malnutrition

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