J500 Media and the Environment


9 billion growling bellies by mackenzies09
February 12, 2009, 8:14 pm
Filed under: Food + Health | Tags: , , ,

Lugging around, well dragging mostly, soggy hay bails at the KCCUA got me thinking about conservation agriculture. At the time I was actually thinking, why am I doing this? Katherine Kelly briefly talked about using  hay to improve soil quality at the farm, as well as crop rotation and eradicating tilling practices.

But what does all of that mean?

Conservation agriculture convalesces the growing process to be more productive and efficient in the long run. It ensures fertile soil for the future. CA was developed in South America but is now used throughout the world.

As the world population continues to increase, from more than 6 billion currently, to 9 billion in 2050, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, humans need to produce more food. North America accounts for 39% of the 95 million ha of zero tillage. Unfortunately, Europe, Asia and Africa, with some of the fastest growing populations, only account for 3.9%.

A population of 9 billion humans is the epitome of an extreme need for sustainability. How can one little planet sustain so many people? Well, we don’t really know if it can. But we have to be smart about the way we grow our food now to give this little planet it’s best shot in the future.

-Mackenzie

image from the Santa Barbara Independent

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6 Comments so far
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It’s scary to consider how many people are going to be around in the next few years. The problem is most people won’t do the right thing because the convenient action is so much easier. It’s either going to take a catastrophic event or mass education to control population and practices around the world.

Comment by meganr21

It is scary to think about. I almost wish people made decisions based only on convenience. In the States and with big corporations it plays a much bigger role than illiteracy and famine.

Comment by mackenzies09

The population problem is going to be one of the defining events of the coming decades. What I find interesting is that the conversation never reaches any definite conclusions. (Of course, it’s incredibly difficult to come to any solid conclusions.) Will food (or the lack thereof) be our main problem?

Comment by Lauren Keith

While it almost seems like there should be some kind of population control before the world collapses in on itself, a negative population growth can have adverse effects, too. In Japan, I think the average child per couple is less than one, and it’s messing with the economy and leaving elderly people uncared for. Population problems are never easily fixed…

Comment by amandat09

Culture plays such a huge role in population as well. Who are we to change a cultural practice like having a large family or not having one at all? Obviously there are practices like female genital mutilation that we can’t turn a blind eye to. But then where do we draw the line?

Comment by mackenzies09

Hm, Amanda– your comment about negative population growth is really interesting. There are always two sides to every issue.

But I think that this discussion returns to a major issue in our society– we look to science to solve problems with the way that we are living. Monsanto is banking on that by calling sustainable agriculture the development of GMO’s… others might cite the necessity of pesticides to produce the maximum yield…

Comment by brennad87




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