Culture-Lecture 3-The Price of Progress-Feast and Famine Mar 12 2009

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23 Aug 2010
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Lecture 3: The Price of Progress: Feast & Famine
I. Introduction
x Have food production systems progressed over time?
x Way culture limits choices we exercise when we decide what we are going to eat
x Food choices and consequences
II. The Agricultural Revolution
x Foraging strategies of subsistence
x Agriculture: using domesticated plants and animals
x Changing fundamental ways of humans organized themselves socially, politically
biologically
1. Labour
o Far more human nature is needed when you shift from foraging to
domestic farming
o Increase in populations (trend upwards- pop growth)
o Feed back loop
o Steady rise in human population
o 6SHFLDOL]HGMREVPDNLQJSRWWHU\HWF«
o Net increase in amount of surplus farmers can produce overtime
2. Property
o Energy intensive (farming)
o Soil (not infinite)
o Leave land fallow (after you grow crop- QH[W\HDU\RXGRQWJURZ
anything)
o Fertilization
o Pay very close attn to soil (investment in time and energy)
o Land=private property (not shared resource)
o Once you invest a lot of time, work into land (you start to deny other
people access)
o Claim private ownership
3. Consequences
o Population increases
o People to become possessive about land
o Every generation we have a lot of people who want own land
o Not enough land to go around= social hierarchies
o Some people can mainWDLQRZQHUVKLSRIODQGVRPHGRQWJHWDQ\
o Status differences (some people have guaranteed access to food some
SHRSOHGRQW inequality, poverty)
o Organized warfare
o Writing systems get invented
o Account books for farming (how much taxes are getting charged on
producers)
o Human health status only surpassed the level attained by foragers
o +HDOWKKDVGHFOLQHGDQGKDVQWFRPHWRWKHOHYHORIKHDOWKRIIRUDJHUV
until more recently
o Contagious diseases came from domesticating animals
o As we were living in close knits groups= spreading disease
o = Low life expectancy
o Epidemic diseases
x Positives
o Occupational specialization
www.notesolution.com
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Document Summary

Lecture 3: the price of progress: feast & famine. N way culture limits choices we exercise when we decide what we are going to eat. N changing fundamental ways of humans organized themselves socially, politically biologically: labour, far more human nature is needed when you shift from foraging to domestic farming. N positives: occupational specialization www. notesolution. com, urban living. N how we produce food agriculturally in the cotemporary world. N mid 20th century (farming in euro, na, aus, nz) started to change due to new fuel (oil/petroleum) N machinery is obvious way farming became more depended on oil. N machines adopted in greater number (replaced human labour- efficient) Fertilizers (nitrogen- comes from air, nature gas must be burned in order for the nitrogen to be used) N huge surpluses of food with very little human labour. :9:70- capital intensive, large scale farms, not competing with other land uses (building cities, highways)

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