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GGR287H5 Lecture Notes - Nutrient Density, Protein Quality, Mulch


Department
Geography
Course Code
GGR287H5
Professor
Pierre Desrochers

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GGR287 031813
Why are we still eating meat?
- Animals can turn into high quality proteins
- biomass we cannot digest
- organic waste / crop surplus / damaged crops
- animal crops (lower quality, higher yields)
- Increased food security in Subsistence Agriculture (> resiliency)
- Humans, physiologically omnivorous
- require high quality proteins (vegetarians do not live longer nor are healthier)
- dietary transition everywhere when income goes up
- wartime > vegan diets never last
rDNA Goals
Main goals (up to now): to improve
- yields
- resistance to plant diseases
- tolerance of herbicides
Future goals:
- altering nutrient content of food
- reducing allergenic potential
- improving efficiency in harsh environments (salt, drought, < nutrient, etc.)
Friends of the Earth (2008-11)
Alleged Problems with GMOs
- yield less than conventional crops
- harm the environment
- technologically stagnant
- have done nothing to help poor farmers
- monopolized by few giant corporations
Are “Modern” Cultivars less Nutritious?
Nutrient density: nutrient content
energy content
Common claim: modern cultivars are “empty calories” (ie., lower micro-nutrient density)
Problems with claim:
- seeds larger than they used to be
- absolute quantity of micronutrients might be same
- bit diluted by high increases in starch & protein
Other problems:
- people eat diet, not specific food
- older varieties yield less & more susceptible to disease
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