Modern Food System Flashcards

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?

Produce is a generalized term for a group of
farm-produced crops and goods, including fruits and vegetables �
meats, grains, oats, etc. are also sometimes considered produce.
More specifically, the term "produce" often implies that
the products are fresh and generally in the same state as where they
were harvested. In supermarkets, the term is also used to refer to
the section where fruit and vegetables are kept.

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?
There is NO single food that is uniformly consumed by people
around the world. Though the cuisine and taste greatly differs in
different parts of the world, many of the basic food ingredients
remain the same. Going by the demand-supply relationship, we can
consider wheat, rice, potatoes, maize (corn) and sugarcane as basic
food items and the top five commodities produced in the world when
measured in tons. Let's look at the top Producers

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?
CHINA: China has a huge agricultural sector (farming,
forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries) that contributes to 10% of
its gross domestic product (GDP). China is a spectacular
combination of an industrial and agricultural economy. On one hand,
it is called the �world�s factory� for the massive manufacturing
done in the country, and on the other hand, it is the largest
agricultural economy. The contribution of agriculture to
GDP has largely remained the same at 10 percent over the last
decade, though it has substantially decreased from what it was two
to three decades back.

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?
The agricultural sector employs about one-third of the
country�s total employed population. China is the world�s largest
producer of wheat, rice and potatoes. It is the second-largest
producer of maize and the third-largest producer of sugarcane.

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?

United States
The United States is the world�s largest and most powerful economy
with a GDP of $17 trillion. The agricultural sector in the US is
highly mechanized, which has resulted in it being among the top
producers despite the fact that just one percent of the total employed
population is employed in agriculture. And while agriculture
contributes only about one percent to the GDP, the US is the world�s
largest producer of maize (corn), the third-largest producer of wheat,
fifth-largest producer of potatoes, tenth-largest producer of
sugarcane and twelfth-largest producer of rice.

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?

India
Although the importance of agriculture for India�s economy has
substantially decreased over the years, it remains an important
sector, contributing around 18 percent to the country�s GDP and
providing employment to approximately 45 percent of its population.
While the share of the sector towards the GDP has reduced from more
than 30 percent in 1980�s, the overall modernization, productivity and
resources have increased.

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?

Russia
Russia�s economy has undergone a transformation since the collapse
of the Soviet Union in 1991, transforming into a market-based open
economy from an earlier centrally planned economy. The agricultural
sector, which employs 10 percent of the population, accounts for four
percent of the $2.05 trillion economies. It uses just about 13 percent
of Russia�s land area because of the country's climatic and
geographical limitations. Out of the total agricultural products
produced, about 40 percent is from crop farming and the remaining 60
percent from livestock, including wool, meat and dairy farming. Russia
is the third-largest producer of potatoes, fourth-largest wheat
producer and twelfth-largest producer of maize

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?

Brazil
Brazil is among the most prominent South American economies.
Brazil�s economy is primarily service sector-oriented, and agriculture
contributes just about six percent to its GDP of $2.24 trillion. The
agricultural sector employs 15 percent of the workforce and uses 30
percent of the land area. Brazil is the largest sugarcane producer,
third-largest producer of maize and ninth-largest producer of rice.

HOW DO WE GET OUR PRODUCE?

The Bottom Line
Some other countries specialize in one or two of the top
commodities. For example, Indonesia is the third-largest producer of
rice, Canada is the largest lentil producer, and Nigeria is the top
producer for cassava. But on the whole, China, the US, India, and
Russia contribute a major chunk to the world�s food basket.

HOW IS OUR FOOD PRODUCED?
Today, the majority of American farmland is dominated by
industrial agriculture�the system of chemically intensive food
production developed in the decades after World War II, featuring
enormous single-crop farms and animal production facilities. Like in
the video that our class watched at the beginning of the
semester. Back then, industrial agriculture was hailed as a
technological triumph that would enable a skyrocketing world
population to feed itself. Today, a growing chorus of agricultural
experts�including farmers as well as scientists and
policymakers�sees industrial agriculture as a dead end, a mistaken
application to living systems of approaches better suited for making
jet fighters and refrigerators. The impacts of industrial
agriculture on the environment, public health, and rural communities
make it an unsustainable way to grow our food over the long term.
And better, science-based methods are available.

HOW IS OUR FOOD PRODUCED?
At the core of industrial food production is monoculture�the
practice of growing single crops intensively on a very large scale.
Corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton and rice are all commonly grown this
way in the United States. Monoculture farming relies
heavily on chemical inputs such as synthetic fertilizers and
pesticides. The fertilizers are needed because growing the same
plant (and nothing else) in the same place year after year quickly
depletes the nutrients that the plant relies on, and these nutrients
have to be replenished somehow. The pesticides are needed because
monoculture fields are highly attractive to certain weeds and insect
pests.

HOW IS OUR FOOD PRODUCED?
Did you know that more than 6,000 additives and chemicals are
used by food manufacturers to process and produce our food? Today
our farmers and conventional food system is heavily dependent on
toxic chemicals and synthetic inputs that also pose threats to
people�s health.

HOW IS OUR FOOD PRODUCED?
Meat production: In the industrial system of meat production,
meat animals are "finished"�prepared for slaughter�at
large-scale facilities called CAFOs (confined animal feeding
operations), where their mobility is restricted and they are
fed a high-calorie, grain-based diet, often supplemented with
antibiotics and hormones, to maximize their weight gain. Their waste
is concentrated and becomes an environmental problem, not the
convenient source of fertilizer that manure can be for more diverse,
less massively scaled farms.

HOW IS OUR FOOD PRODUCED?
No matter what methods are used, agriculture always has some
impact on the environment. But industrial agriculture is a special
case: it damages the soil, water, and even the climate on an
unprecedented scale. Intensive monoculture depletes soil
and leaves it vulnerable to erosion. Chemical fertilizer runoff and
CAFO wastes add to global warming emissions and create
oxygen-deprived "dead zones" at the mouths of major
waterways. Herbicides and insecticides harm wildlife and can pose
human health risks as well. Biodiversity in and near monoculture
fields takes a hit, as populations of birds and beneficial insects
decline.

HOW IS OUR FOOD PRODUCED?
Antibiotics: Whenever we attack a population of unwanted
organisms (such as weeds or bacteria) repeatedly with the same
weapon, we give an evolutionary advantage to genes that make the
organism less vulnerable to that weapon. Over time, those genes
become more widespread, and the weapon becomes less useful�a
phenomenon called resistance. Industrial agriculture has accelerated
resistance problems on at least two fronts.

HOW IS OUR FOOD PRODUCED?
CONT.:
Overuse of antibiotics in meat production (in the U.S., more
antibiotics are consumed each year by healthy animals than by sick
humans) has contributed to a growing problem of antibiotic
resistance that is having a serious impact on the treatment of
infectious diseases.

WHAT IS THE FOOD CODE?
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes the
Food Code, a model that assists food control
jurisdictions at all levels of government by providing them with a
scientifically sound technical and legal basis for regulating the
retail and food service segment of the industry (restaurants and
grocery stores and institutions such as nursing homes). Local,
state, tribal, and federal regulators use the FDA Food Code
as a model to develop or update their own food safety rules and to
be consistent with national food regulatory policy.

WHAT IS THE FOOD CODE?
The FDA is the government agency responsible for reviewing,
approving and regulating medical products,
including pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. It also
regulates various other products, including food,
cosmetics, veterinary drugs, radiation-emitting
products, biological products and
tobacco.

WHAT IS THE FOOD CODE:
The FDA affects our food supply by regulating what people can
consume, how people consume the food. The FDA regulations are there
to keep us safe and be able inform people around the world about
food borne illnesses and other harmful factors that come with the
food we eat in our everyday lives. FDA is responsible for
protecting the public health by assuring the
safety, effectiveness, quality, and security of human and
veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products, and
medical devices. The FDA is also responsible for the safety and
security of most of our nation�s food supply, all cosmetics,
dietary supplements and products that give off radiation.

WHAT IS THE FOOD CODE?
In general, FDA regulates: Foods, including: dietary
supplements bottled water food additives
infant formulas other food products (although the
U.S. Department of Agriculture plays a lead role in regulating
aspects of some meat, poultry, and egg products)