Food and Agriculture. Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Outline. Food Riddles Ethanol GMOs Organic v Non-Organic. OIL. Riddle 1 I exist, but I can’t be made. China is using more of me than ever before. Canada is wondering how to replace me. Pineapples and bananas need me to get to you.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
• The ethanol industry in Brazil is based on sugar
cane; the US and Canada’s ethanol industries are
based on corn.
• Ethanol is a cleaner burning fuel source than oil, so
it reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute
to climate change.
• Ethanol is expensive to produce and requires intensive
energy inputs; some scientists argue that the
production of ethanol requires more energy than it
High-fructose corn syrup 4.1%
Cereals/Other products 1.5%
Alcoholic beverages 1.1%
(grams/Megajoule of energy)
• Ethanol is the source of much controversy: some people want to increase its production as a more efficient fuel additive (to cut greenhouse gases) and others argue that using crops for fuel rather than food has decreased the global food supply and contributed to rising food prices.
• Farmers in some developed countries receive government subsidies to grow corn for ethanol; $11 to $12 billion US a year in subsidies and tariffs has diverted 100 million tonnes of cereals from human consumption.
Broadly defined: any microbe, plant, or animal developed through breeding and selection
Narrowly defined: organisms produced by gene transfer techniques
Current examples of GMO Crops
GMO Crops on the Horizon
Corn, soy, canola with improved
nutritional qualities for animal feed
Crops with specialty starches and oils
for industrial processes
Nutraceuticals “Golden Rice”
Vaccines in plants
Improved yields and stress tolerance
Genetic engineering is a powerful new technology that is in general poorly understood and whose long term effects are unknown.
GMOs are an innovation that have and will continue to impact all facets of the global agricultural economy.
1. Environmental impacts
2. Increased corporate control of agriculture
Ag-biotech is a recent example of a century-old trend