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Lecture 11

HLSC 1F90 Lecture 11: Food Security and Sustainability


Department
Health Sciences
Course Code
HLSC 1F90
Professor
Dr.Kelli-an Lawrance
Lecture
11

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HLSC1F90
March31st,2016
FoodSecurityandSustainability
FoodSystems&HumanHealth
Sustainability:theabilityofasystemtocontinuetodowhatitwasdesignedtodo
Inthecaseofourearth:
toprovidefreshair&cleanwater
toproducefood
toallowsatisfactoryqualityoflife
Inthecaseofourfoodsystem
toensurefoodsecurityforall
FoodSecurity:physicalandeconomicaccessbyallpeopleinasocietyatalltimesto
culturallyandnutritionallyappropriatefoodforahealthyandactivelifestyle 
Unsustainability:thepractice,processorsystemcannotgoonindefinitelybecauseitis
destroyingtheveryconditionsonwhichitdepends
withinthepracticemprocessorsystem,thereareinternalcontradictionsthatwill
leadtoitsbreakdownsoonerorlater
SustainableFoodSystems 
Forthepast5or6decades,foodsystemsofdevelopedcountrieshavebeensustained
by:
clearingindigenousplantsandtrees(andtheirassociatedfloraandfauna)from
largerandlargerswathsofland
farmingasinglespeciesofplant(oranimal)withhighlymechanizedprocesses,
nocroprotation,novariationincommodityfromyeartoyear
usingnaturalgasbasedpesticides&geneticmodificationtomanagebiological
pests(fungi,weeds,insects)
replenishingthefertilityofthesoilwithpetroleumbasedfertilizers
Thissystemofindustrialized,monoculturefoodproduction(akaconventional
farming)ismovingintodevelopingnations
Thissystemmaybedestroyingthebiodiversityonwhichitdepends,andinturn,
negativelyimpactinghumanhealth
*_____includesalllivingmatter,andreferstodiversityatthelevelof:genes,speciesand
subspeciesandtheirfunctionaltraits;populationsorcommunitiesofspecies;ecosystemsor
habitatsandlargelandscapezones
Answer:biodiversity
*_____attemptstocreateormaintainamoreholisticandmultifunctionalsystemthat:involves
andintegratesnaturalecologicalprocessesasmuchaspossible
Answer:alternativefarming
*_____allowsforspecializationinspecificcropsandattemptstousenatureasjustanother
commodity
Answer:conventionalfarming
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Biodiversity:diversityatthelevelof:genes,speciesandsubspeciesandtheirfunctional
traits;populationsorcommunitiesofspecies;ecosystemsorhabitatsandlarge
landscapezones
Includesalllivingmatter(soil,water,insects,plantsetc.)
Biodiversityisnotjustaboutsavingplants/animalsfromextinction…it’sfundamentalto
foodproduction
ConventionalIntensiveAgriculture 
practicesthatallowforspecializationinspecificcropsoranimals;basedonan
industrialmodelof‘highefficiency’productionthat:
(i)separatesfoodproductionfromfoodconsumption
(ii)centralizesfoodproductionanddistribution
(iii)attemptstocontrolandmanagenatureasjustanothercommodity
Alternativeagriculture:practicesthatcreateormaintainaholistic,multifunctional
system,involvingandintegratingnaturalecologicalprocessesasmuchaspossible;
usinghighlevelsofrecycling;andrecognizingthefundamentalinterconnections
betweenagriculture,humancultureandlargersocialissuesintherestofthefood
system
includes:integratedpestmanagement;notill/conservationagriculture;ecological
agriculture,etc.
Biodiversityisfundamentalto…
Healthofsoil
fertilesoilhashighlevelsofsoilorganicmatter(SOM)
SOMholdsnutrientsandtraceelementsimportanttoplant
growth,preventsnutrientleaching,supportstheorganicacidsthat
makemineralsavailabletoplants
highSOMsoilrequiresdiverseplantmatterandsunshine
monoculturesusethesoilforonecrop…thisdepletesSOM,reducessoil
fertility,increasesrelianceonpetroleumbasedfertilizers(whichharm/kill
microorganismsandinvertebratesinthesoil)
Healthofcontiguouslandandwater
whenbiodiversityexists,soilmaintainsitsnaturalfertilityandisresistant
topests;localwatersuppliesareunadulterated
inmonoculture,layersofsyntheticchemicalareused,andlandisbare
betweencropseasons…thereforechemicals:
leechintolocalwatersupplies
risetodangerouslevelsinthesoil
killlocalfloraandfaunathatarenotengineeredforthese
syntheticinputs(ex.Killingbees)
Healthofbirdsandbees
biodiversity:
protectsagainstinvasionsofinsectpests
encouragesdiversityofinsects,thusprotectsagainstextinctionof
birdsthatpreyupon(andcontrol)pests
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