The world id currently facing huge issues such as hunger and many people are starving and are dying because of the lack of food. There is not enough food to cater for everyone. Faster food production methods need to be considered but alternative methods may be dangerous to our health. The requirements of the project were to question 15 people. These people should be from different groups who are likely to have different opinions.
Sources of info
Who I surveyed
8. How do farming methods differ?
7. Why they think organic food is expensive?
6. What are the pros and cons of the two food production methods?
5. Is there a difference in taste between the two foods?
4. Do they buy organic foods?
3. Do they agree with the statement?
2. Do they understand what modern food production is?
1. Are people aware of the food shortage in the world?
Modern food production method vs. organic foods
What are organic foods? Pros and cons of organic production.
Organic foods are naturally grown crops that are grown at a small scale. They require good nutritional soils and special care. They cannot be grown everywhere as you need to consider important factors such as weather and the enrichment of the soils. The organic foods are pesticide free making them prone to bugs and animals. For food to be considered “organic” it needs to come from a farm and processing plants need to be organic. For processing plants to be qualified as “organic” they need to be examined by government officials to ensure that they are up to USDA standards. Packaging that has the name labeled “organic” must have at least 95% of organic ingredients. Organic foods have plenty of benefits such as:
Health benefits- create issues especially with growing children.
Environmental benefits- farming methods that use chemicals are killing wildlife such as birds and insects. Organic crops balance the ecosystem.
Human and animal benefits- workers and animals are not surrounded by toxins. The animals have good living conditions.
“Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved…”
-International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
- Less harmful to your body
- No chemicals
- Less damage to the environment
- Better quality
- Better taste
- Slowly grown
- More effort to grow
- More expensive
- Only grown during particular seasons
- Shelf life not too long
- No guarantee of safety as they are disease free
- Very dependant on weather and environment
- Some foods not available
- Less production
What is genetic modification? Is it the “baddie” that its reputation suggests?
The world’s population is increasing rapidly everyday resulting in food scarcity. There is not enough food available for everyone. Traditional farming methods are too slow. This method produces food slowly and requires special care. This speed of production only feeds the wealthier half of the population as it is costly. Alternative routes have had to be established in order to feed poor countries that are suffering from hunger.
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A new farming method which was introduced in the1990’s is faster and cheaper. Genetically modified foods are crops grown at a large scale usually in unnatural environments. These crops are not grown naturally. The method can be cost effective but is produced in bigger quantities making it more affordable. The foods have been nutritionally balanced and are not prone to diseases. Plant geneticists work with the genes found in the plants. For example a plant that has a gene that can withstand a drought is then inserted into a plant that cannot tolerate droughts. Genetically modified foods involve “crossing species which could not cross in nature.”
Genetically modified foods have been highly criticized but they are helpful and will decrease hunger.
- pest resistant
- herbicide resistant
- cold tolerance
- drought tolerance
- pharmaceuticals put in foods
- large amounts of production
- food can be cloned
- more resilient
- mass production
- more availability
- no diseases
- longer shelf life
- contain harmful chemicals
- chemicals used are not good for health
- long term affects are bad
- pesticides affect environment
- not healthy
- no genetic variation
- lower nutritional value
- full of preservatives
The world would not last on traditional grown foods as the production is slow and countries in poverty cannot afford organic foods unless they grow the foods themselves organically. In the cow industry there is such a demand for meat that farmers are not able to produce their cattle fast enough. Beef farmers in countries like Canada have been injecting their cattle with so many growth hormones that the average cow only survives for a maximum of three years.
Farmers are not only trying to supply enough food but have also become greedy because of the amount of money they receive from the meat which is often exported. Chickens that we buy in stores and are amazed at the size of the packaged meat have spent their whole live in a chicken shed. In this shed the chicken are packed and can hardly move. They are fad buckets of food everyday and at night time the lights inside the shed are not turned off so the animals think that it is still day time and therefore carry on eating. This situation is commonly known amongst chicken farms that supply meat to fast food industries like KFC. There is such a huge demand for chicken by consumers that those birds are unfairly treated. They are so full of hormones that some do not have legs or wings. Yet without this method of production KFC could never cater for all their consumers.
Issues concerning human health:
- allergen city
- gene transfer
- out crossing
- effects on environment
Genetically modifying food is a faster and more effective production technique. The main focus of genetically modified farming is to create the biggest capital possible.
What chemicals are used to aid the production and supply of foods and what functions do they perform?
Chemicals put in food have become a huge concern worldwide and is affecting international trade. Contamination involves the existence of various chemicals in foods such as pesticides, animal drugs and other agricultural chemicals. Foods manufactured that contain all these additives are seriously dangerous for your health and can cause future problems we are not yet aware of.
What is radurisation, what foods are irradiated, pros and cons?
Another factor that concerns consumers is radurization. This is the application of chemicals to enhance the shelf life of food. This happens by minimizing the number of microorganisms that appear when food is mishandled. Foods that are irradiated are foods that are perishable such as fruit and frozen foods. Food suppliers rate radurisation highly and state that the foods are safe to eat.
Examples of Foods that are irradiated
- food is safer to eat
- longer life of food in stores
- kills insects
- delays ripening of fruits
- preserves nutrients
Analyses of questionnaire answers:
- Are you aware of the food shortage the world is currently facing?
- This result was surprising as there has been such a huge issue on the shortage of food. World hunger is spoken of world wide.
- Do you understand what modern food production is?
Only two people are unaware of what modern food production is. This could be that they are uneducated about the situation or take no interest in the situation.
- Do you agree with the statement “Without modern food production methods, the world food shortage would be in even more of a crisis today.”?
3 people out of 15 believed that people could make more of an effort to grow organic foods on their own and not depend to modern food production methods to end world hunger. They said that people are getting lazy and by this they are destroying the planet because if them.
- Do you buy organic foods?
Nearly half of the people interviewed do not buy organic foods because of the price and limited availability of it.
Is there a difference in taste between organic foods and genetically modified foods?
8 out of the 15 interviewed said that there was no taste. People do not usually pay so much attention to slight taste differences in foods.
- What are the pros and cons of these two food production methods?
This was an open ended question and everyone’s answers differentiated.
- Why do you think organic foods are more expensive than genetically modified foods?
Majority of the people interviewed had similar answers such as:
- Longer to grow
- Less quantity
- More care
- Less availability
How do you think the farming methods of organically produced foods and genetically modified foods differ?
This was an opinioned answer and people had similar views such as: organic farming does not use chemicals and genetically modified does.
- Did I get the results that I expected or not?
I expected to get the results from the questionnaires as many of the school pupils who answered this questionnaire have learnt about genetically modified foods. My father owns an agricultural business so other members of my survey who work for my father know about the food shortage and other things like chemicals and organic foods as they study them on courses. Another member of the 15 people questioned has a passion for the environment so I knew the answers would be accurate. All answers were accurate and similar to literature research. Majority of the people had an idea of what the questions were about. The survey results were reliable as I compared the answers to web search. I feel different however.
- How I could improve the project?
I should have interviewed more people and a variety of people. I should have asked better questions so it could have helped with me project answers. I should have started the project soon so that I had more time.
Looking at my information and the opinion of others I believe that the world is extremely dependant of modern food production methods. Although huge critism has been placed on genetically modified foods, the world could not go on without it. Organic food production is to slow and uses up to much effort to try and feed billions of people but there is, however, enough space and resources to grow our own food although it will take time and there will no availability in the stores or at home. Countries that have food issues are normal badly run and have big issues such as political issues. Some countries are not resourceful enough to grow their own food. The world is growing rapidly every day so an alternative route of food production needs to be taken. As people’s incomes increase so do the demand for better quality and more foods increase. In countries like China more people arte earning better salaries and are turning from vegetarian meals to meat. This is costly and food cannot be catered for the whole of china let alone the whole world. Only the richer population eats regular meal s as food is unavailable for countries like Africa.
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