Challenges in feeding a growing human population
1.) Human population has slowed but it is still expected numbers to swell to 9 billion in 50
2.) Feeding 50% more mouths half a century requires sustainable agriculture
3.) Actual problem is the majority of the problem is rooted in political inefficiencies in
4.) Agricultural scientist and policy makers now find it a goal to reach food security which is
the guarantee of an adequate, reliable, and available food supply to all people at all times
5.) There are people suffering from undernourishment which is the condition where people
receive less than 90% of their caloric needs.
reasons could be economic
some have no access to food bank
6.) Whereas, overnourisment is receiving too many calories each day
7.) Malnutrition is the shortage of nutrients the body needs including a complete
nourishment of vitamins and minerals
kwashiorkor results from people eating highstarch diet but not enough protein and causes
bloating, mental disability, reduced growth, immune suppression and discoloration of hair.
marasmus causes wasting or shriveling among millions of children in the developing
Contributors to Food Security (5 A’s)
1.) Availability. Sufficient quantities and not diverted into other uses use as biofuel prod.
2.) Affordability. Poverty since people can’t afford food
3.) Accessibility. Can result lack of transportation or unrest in specific region
4.) Acceptability. Religious reasons? Exotic foods? Really anything if hungry?
5.) Adequacy. Nutritional quality and abundance must be sufficient to maintain health.
• What it is?
o Resulted from desire for greater quantity and quality of food for the growing population
o Realizing that farmers could not go on indefinitely cultivating more and more land to
increase crop output per unit area of existing cultivated land.
o Characterized by both extensification and intensification
intensification in which new technologies permit greater resource productivity from
each unit of land
extensification in which increasing resource productivity by simply bringing more land
o Brought industrialized agriculture use of large amounts of synthetic fertilizers,
chemical pesticides and heavy equipment powered by fossil fuels. • Advantages
Planting large expanses of large single crop types has made planting and harvesting more
efficient and has thereby increased output
o Chemicals Used
Put up “solution” to control pests(anything that damages crops) and weeds (anything
that competes with crops)
1.) pesticides for insects
2.) herbicides for plants
3.) pesticides a collective term for chemicals that target pests
Contributed to society economically
$32 billion expended annually and $1.2 billion in Canada
Brought about the possibility of concentrating crops to produce much needed biofuels
for principles of sustainability.
this increased cultivated area by 33% yet increased energy inputs into agriculture by
there are impacts on environment in terms of pollution, salinization and desertification
with the use of intensive use of water, fossil fuels and chemical
some of the less educated farmers may also not be able to benefit much with high
has biodiversity compromised This is because fewer wild microorganisms are able to
live in monocultures than in native habitats in smallscale polyculture.
Since crops are similar, diseases can quickly spread in the whole lot.
Indirect effect of narrowing our food diest
o Chemicals Used
despite toxicity of pesticides, pests have evolved to resist them
can potentially be harmful to humans and other insects especially insects useful for the
pollination of some crops
Is it ethical to use foods intended for human and animal consumption to instead be used
for car fuels
• Addressing the Disadvantages
o Biological Control
based on the idea that the enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend
a modern effort is the use of Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring soil
bacterium that produces a protein that kills many caterpillars and the larvae of some flies
it can however affect nontarget organisms
o Integrated Pest Management
uses combined chemical and biological method including biocontrol, use of chemicals,
close monitoring of populations, habitat alteration, crop rotation, transgenic crops and
alternative tillage methods and mechanical pest removal to achieve longterm pest
o Conservation of Pollinators o Genetically Modified Foods
genetic engineering is the process by which scientist directly manipulate an organism’s
genetic material in the lab by adding deleting or changing segments of its DNA. What is
produced is called genetically modified organism
technique is called recombinant DNA. Steps include:
1.) Scientist first need to isolate plasmids, or small circular DNA molecules
from a bacterial culture
2.) At the same time, DNA containing gene of interest is removed from the
cells of another organism.
3.) Scientist insert the gene of interest into the plasmid to form recombinant
4.) This recombinant DNA enters new bacteria, which then reproduce,
generating many copies of desired genes.
5.) Gene can be inserted into a plant cell and the plant will regenerate with
the inserted gene in the cell. Sometimes, they use a “gene gun” to shoot DNA
directly into plant cell when the plant is resistant to plasmids
genome is the genetic makeup of the organisms. Transgenic organism is an
organism that contains DNA from another species. Transgenes are the genes that
have moved between organisms.
1.) Proponents argue that early farmers selected plants and animals that
grew faster More resistant to disease and drought and produced large amounts
of fruits and vegetables.
2.) Detractors argue that traditional breeding mix genes of individuals of the
same species whereas in recombinant DNA, scientist mix genes of diff
3.) Traditional breeding is not done in the lab