Food Safety, Urban Sprawl, & Land Use Essay

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Food Safety, Urban Sprawl, & Land Use Issues (01)In the United States, we are fortunate to have an abundant supply of food, and much of this is due to our agricultural technology. However, there are many concerns about our food source, including genetically modified crops, the use of more chemicals, and climate change just name a few. Give examples of how humans have increased their food supply and what effects these methods have on the environment overall. Discuss concerns you have about the overall safety of the food you eat? (01,-page).

Clearly the discussion of the abundance of food supplies must occur nation-by-nation as the disparity is very broad and deep depending on the region under consideration. Regardless of where they are located, farmers must be concerned about their ability to sustain food production over time and still be profitable. Consumers desire foods and plant fiber products that are safe, inexpensive, and aesthetically attractive -- and they want food and fiber production to occur in agricultural systems that are ecologically friendly. The philosophical and practical tensions between these competing goals are readily apparent.

Crop quality and food safety. Environmental and economic factors critically influence the types of farm management practices and technologies that farmers adopt and that consumers demand. Some examples of practices that help to promote sustainable farming practices are integrated pest management, nutrient testing, precision farming,, biotechnology, conservation tillage, and organic farming,

Of particular importance is the consideration of genetically engineered crops because the modifications are designed to enable herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant genes. Many herbicides will actually destroy the crops that farmers desire to protect along with the weeds. When farmers plant genetically engineered crops, they can use a broader spectrum of herbicides to control weeds. Plants that exhibit glyphosate tolerance include cotton, corn, soybeans, and canola -- foods that are the foundation of many prepared foods on the market. In other words, herbicides are widely...

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Organic foods, by default, become an important alternative choice for many American consumers.
Organic foods. The demand for organic food has far outstripped supply, widening particularly in the last decade. In 2008, for the first time, Congress added language to the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (2008 Farm Act) that provided financial support to farmers who would convert their farms to the production of organic food. The organic food sector has constricted some as the fiscal crisis impacted levels of discretionary income, and some former consumers of commercially grown organic food are growing their own organic food.

Nutrient testing. The ability of farmers to maintain consistent and critical levels of nutrients in their farming processes is impacted by many variables. Farming operations may include combinations of grain and forage production with livestock raising, all of which add uncertainties into the mix. Nutrients produced on the farm and commercial nutrients purchased from non-farm sources may create different results. When economy drives these farm management decisions, less natural nutrient forms may be used.

Sources:

Greene, C., Dimitri, C., Biing-Hwan Lin, B., McBride, W., Oberholtzer, L, and Smith, T. (2009, June). Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry. Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-55) 36. Retrieved https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib55/

Retrieved http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/AgChemicals/geneticengineered.htm

(02)Examine the obvious environmental impacts as well as significant social and physical ramifications of urban sprawl. What is the relationship between landscape and psychological well being? After defining this relationship, discuss how the presence or absence of natural beauty in your environment affects your psychological well being on an everyday basis. Give at least one specific example.

The relationship between psychological well-being and landscape (presumably the construction of environments that appear to be natural and use natural components, or environments that…

Sources Used in Documents:

Sources:

Galindo, M.P.G., and Rodriguez, J.A.C. (2000). Environmental aesthetics and psychological well-being: Relationships between preference judgments for urban landscapes and other relevant affective respsonses. Psychology in Spain, 4 (1), 13-22.

Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution Study on Urban Environments, Well-being and Health, Desk Study: Urban nature. Retrieved https://www.facebook.com/notes/palace-road-nature-garden/the-relationship-between-nature-and-human-health-and-well-being-in-urban-areas/158334140891119

(03)Environmental Footprint

Complete the first part of this lab at Footprint Calculator (accessible through the Labs section of Contemporary Environmental Issues). You will use the ecological footprint calculator to evaluate your environmental footprint. Then, complete the second part at Household Emissions Calculator (accessible through the Labs section of Contemporary Environmental Issues). You will use the EPA's household emissions calculator to quantitatively identify three to five everyday products or practices that contribute most to your footprint and identify measurable solutions to each. That is, you will estimate savings of both carbon emissions and money that can be achieved via the solutions. In the study questions, reflect upon your results and relate them to themes covered in Contemporary Environmental Issues. (01-page)


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