9.1 World Food And Nutrition • Millions of people are chronically hungry • Famines usually have political and social causes • Almost Never Due to Physical Lack of Food • Overeating is a growing world problem • We need the right kinds of food • Vitamins can prevent illness
9.2 Key Food Sources • A few major crops supply most of our food • Genetic Diversity is at Risk • A boom in meat production brings costs and beneﬁts • Seafood is a key protein source • Many Fisheries Near Collapse • Increased production comes with increased risks
9.3 Food Production Policies • Food production can be sustainable (Duh) • Otherwise We’d Be Extinct • Policies can protect the land • Short Term Profit vs. Long Term Benefit • Cash Crops vs. Subsistence Agriculture • Farmers Get Cash, But • Have To Buy Their Own Food, Supplies
9.4 The Green Revolution And GeneticEngineering • The “green revolution” produced dramatic increases in crop yields • Widely Credited with Averting Global Famines that Were Predicted in 1960’s • Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize
Norman Borlaug Quote "Some of the environmental lobbyists of the western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They have never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they would be crying out for tractors, and fertilizer, and irrigation canals, and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things."
Comment on Borlaug • "Dr. Norman Borlaug is the first person in history to save a billion human lives. But he must also get credit for saving the wild creatures and diverse plant species on 12 million square miles of global forest that would long since have been plowed down without the high-yield farming he pioneered. • Senator Rudy Boschwitz, R-MN, former member of the US Senate Agriculture Committee
9.4 The Green Revolution And GeneticEngineering • The “green revolution” produced dramatic increases in crop yields • Genetic engineering uses molecular techniques to produce new crop varieties • Most GMOs have been engineered for pest resistance or weed control • Is genetic engineering safe?
The Green Revolution After 40 Years • Continues to Keep Large Parts of the World Self Sufficient in Food • Many of our Crops are Monocultures • Gene Banks Seek to Preserve Diversity • Heirloom Plant Varieties – Small Scale but Useful • How Long Can We Keep It Up?
The Lesson of Bananas • Thousands of Varieties of Bananas • Seedless Bananas are Asexual Clones • Bananas Largely Wiped out by “Panama Disease” in 1920’s • “Banana Republics” • Resistant Strain, “Cavendish,” Developed • New Strain of Fungus is Attacking the Cavendish