Category Archives: Week 2

Blog Post 2 DRAFT

      No Comments on Blog Post 2 DRAFT

My takeaway from this week’s material is that our planet is in a constant tug of varying systems. Large, complex systems that often seem random and complex viewed from afar, but manage to sustain themselves in relative harmony. For example the industrialized food system has both adopted to and influenced the planet’s water cycle. Each system is a set of… Read more »

Approaching Environmental Issues: Individualization vs. Systems Theory.

  There are two contrasting approaches to understanding human being’s responsibility and capacity to change difficult social or environmental problems. One perspective places accountability on the shoulders of the individual; this is the idea that a single person has the power to make changes in their personal conduct that could alter the course of complex issues. In his essay on… Read more »

It’s a Man’s World

      No Comments on It’s a Man’s World

In 1966, James Brown belted, “This is a man’s world.” Although Brown’s simplistically chauvinistic, yet beautifully sung, words may not resonate with the contemporary listener, Mother Earth may have a considerably harder time dismissing the general concept. This thought can be daunting. On one hand, we are a product of this world, and on the other, we have shaped it…. Read more »

The Need for Access

      4 Comments on The Need for Access

Social justice and equity are important areas of exploration in the political ecology of the world food system. Socioeconomic factors contribute greatly to resource and information access, and those in vulnerable circumstances seem to have significantly increased risk factors in both overall health and exposure to contaminants due to the food they consume. As Norah MacKendrick points out, for her… Read more »

I Think I Need a Garden!

      2 Comments on I Think I Need a Garden!

What is the real cost of cheap food?  In Michael Carolan’s book, The Real Cost of Cheap Food, he tries to answer this question by explaining chapter by chapter what we lose when we consume “cheap” food (anything mass produced and sold as affordable to the working class.)  Whether a country that produces cheap food or a human who consumes… Read more »

Cheap Food and Systems Theory

      No Comments on Cheap Food and Systems Theory

The Real Cost of Cheap Food has got me thinking about the hidden costs of “cheap food.” What may seem cheap in terms of the grocery bill total is truly quite the opposite. Thinking about this issue in terms of systems theory brings a sense of organization to such complex ideas. On a local scale, “cheap food” effects the healthcare… Read more »

Our Impacts in the Anthropocene. Does the ball still have its chain?

The ecologic impact of land use regarding various parts of our lives is an important aspect of how we live on this planet. How the food we eat requires grazing land, and our usage of built up, energy, and forest land to provide ourselves housing makes a complex footprint that we create by living here. The supply chains and associated… Read more »

The Struggle for Small Farms

      1 Comment on The Struggle for Small Farms

Small farming communities in developing nations struggle to survive in a global system built around cheap food. Farmers are competing against large “corporate” farms who have the ability to spend more, can sell production at a lower cost, and have access to technological resources. Systems, such as the government, influence the production, marketing, and success of small farms. For instance,… Read more »

Virtual Water of an Apple

      5 Comments on Virtual Water of an Apple

The virtual water footprint of agriculture products is outstanding. What is virtual water? It is the total amount of water used to produce that product. Agricultural uses about 70% of the global water consumption and it takes 125 liters of water to produce just one apple. But did you know that water on crop farms is not just used for… Read more »

To whom do we shift the blame?

      2 Comments on To whom do we shift the blame?

  Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food is no doubt an interesting read that pulls back the curtain on the modern world’s obsession with nutritionism.  He illuminates where the food industry has seemingly herded the masses into a rabbit hole of misinformation and reductionist thinking.  Pollan presents a solid argument into seeing food as a holistic, synergistic process that ties… Read more »