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© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Raising Animals For Food: Livestock, Poultry, And Aquaculture & Sustainable Agriculture AP Environmental Science Mr. Grant Lesson 63
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Objectives: Define the term genetically modified (GM) organisms. Assess feedlot agriculture for livestock and poultry. Weigh approaches in aquaculture. Evaluate sustainable agriculture. TED - Louise Fresco shows us why we should celebrate mass-produced, supermarket-style white bread. She says environmentally sound mass production will feed the world, yet leave a role for small bakeries and traditional methods.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Genetically Modified (GM) Organisms: An organism that has been genetically engineered using a technique called recombinant DNA technology. Define the term genetically modified (GM) organisms.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Assess feedlot agriculture for livestock and poultry. As wealth has increased, so has the consumption of animal products. Eating animal products leaves a greater ecological footprint than eating plant products. Feedlots create waste and other environmental impacts, but they also relieve pressure on lands that could otherwise be overgrazed.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Consumption of animal products is growing As wealth and commerce increase, so does meat, milk, and egg consumption Since 1950, global meat production has increased fivefold and per capita meat consumption has doubled Domestic animals raised for food increased from 7.2 billion in 1961 to 24.9 billion in 2008
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Our food choices are also energy choices Eating meat is far less energy efficient than eating crops 90% of energy is lost from one trophic level to the next Eating lower on the food chain feeds more people Some animals convert grain into meat more efficiently than others
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Environmental ramifications of eating meat Land and water are needed to raise food for livestock Producing eggs and chicken meat requires the least space and water -Producing beef requires the most
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Resources needed for livestock production When we choose what to eat, we choose how we use resources
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Feedlot agriculture Feedlots (factory farms) = also called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) Huge warehouses or pens deliver food to animals living at extremely high densities -Over half of the world’s pork and most of its poultry U.S. farms house hundreds of thousands of debeaked chickens in crowded cages
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. High consumption leads to feedlot agriculture Traditional agriculture keeps livestock on grasslands Feedlot animals are fed grain grown on cropland -One-third of the world’s cropland is fed to livestock Feedlot agriculture allows economic efficiency -Greater production of food -Unavoidable in countries with high meat consumption, like the U.S. Reduced grazing impacts on the land -Manure can be applied to fields as fertilizer
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Livestock agriculture pollutes water and air Feedlots produce huge amounts of manure and urine -Causing eutrophication -Waterborne pathogens sicken people Crowded, dirty housing causes outbreaks in disease -Heavy use of antibiotics, hormones, heavy metals -Chemicals are transferred to people -Microbes evolve resistance to antibiotics Air pollution: odors, ammonia (acid rain) -More greenhouse gases (CO 2, methane, nitrous oxides) than automobile emissions
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Weigh approaches in aquaculture. Aquaculture provides economic benefits and food security, relieves pressures on wild fish stocks, and can be sustainable. Aquaculture also gives rise to pollution, habitat loss, and other environmental impacts.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. We raise fish on “fish farms” World fish populations are plummeting -Technology and increased demand Aquaculture = raising aquatic organisms in a controlled environment -Species are raised in open-water pens or land-based ponds
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Aquaculture is growing rapidly Over 220 freshwater and marine species are grown The fastest-growing type of food production -Provides ¾ of the world’s fish, ½ of the shellfish -Most widespread in Asia
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. The benefits and drawbacks of aquaculture Benefits: -A reliable protein source -Can be sustainable -Reduces pressure on overharvested wild fish -Energy efficient Drawbacks: -Diseases require expensive antibiotics -Lots of waste -Uses grain -Escaped GM fish introduce disease or outcompete wild fish
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Evaluate sustainable agriculture. Organic agriculture exerts fewer environmental impacts than industrial agriculture. It comprises a small part of the market but is growing rapidly. Locally supported agriculture, as shown by farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture, is also growing. Mimicking natural ecosystems is a key approach to making agriculture sustainable.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Sustainable agriculture Industrial agriculture may seem necessary -But less-intensive agricultural methods are better Sustainable agriculture = does not deplete soil, pollute water, or decrease genetic diversity Low-input agriculture = uses smaller amounts of pesticide, fertilizers, growth hormones, water, and fossil fuels than industrial agriculture Organic agriculture = uses no synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, or herbicides -Relies on biological approaches (e.g., composting and biocontrol)
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Organic approaches reduce inputs and pollution Organic Food Production Act (1990) establishes national standards for organic products -The USDA issued criteria in 2000 by which food could be labeled organic Some states pass even stricter guidelines for labeling -California, Washington, Texas Nearly 500 organizations offer certification services
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. The benefits of organic farming Farmers have lower input costs, enhanced income, reduced chemical pollution, and soil degradation -They practice stewardship to the land -Obstacles include risks and costs of switching to new methods Consumers are concerned about pesticide’s health risks -They want to improve environmental quality -Obstacles include the higher price of organics
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Organic agriculture is booming Organic farmers can’t keep up with demand -U.S. consumers pay $22.9 billion/year Production is increasing -1.8 million ha in the U.S.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Governments can support organic farming In 1993, the European Union adopted a policy supporting farmers financially during conversion to organic farming The U.S. offers no support so organic production lags -The 2008 Farm Bill gives $112 million over 5 years for organic agriculture -Many farmers can’t switch, because they can’t afford the temporary loss of income -In the long run, organic farming is more profitable than conventional farming
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Locally supported agriculture is growing Sustainable agriculture reduces fossil fuel use from long-distance transport of products -Food is chemically treated for freshness and color Farmers’ markets = provide fresh, locally grown food Community-supported agriculture (CSA) -Consumers pay farmers in advance -Consumers get fresh food -Farmers get a guaranteed income
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Sustainable agriculture mimics natural ecosystems Ecosystems operate in cycles -Stabilized by negative feedback loops Small-scale Japanese farmers add ducks to rice fields -Ducks eat weeds, insects, snails -Their waste is fertilizer -Their paddling oxygenates the water -Fish and ferns provide food and habitat
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. TED Video A powerful thinker and globe-trotting advisor on sustainability, Louise Fresco says it's time to think of food as a topic of social and economic importance on par with oil -- that responsible agriculture and food consumption are crucial to world stability. "There is no technical reason why we could not feed a world of nine billion people. Hunger is a matter of buying power, not of shortages." Louise Fresco on feeding the whole world (18:04)
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