This activity should take a total of 60 minutes for your students to complete. You can separate the activity into two 30-minute segments, or choose one of the two regions for a shorter experience. Your students will be able to freely obtain all tools necessary to complete the entire investigation independently should you so choose for them to complete this on their own for homework.
The student will be able to:
Have students watch the YouTube videos “EAT - STA Travel Australia” and “Hungry Planet” then read the “How will we sustainably feed in the coming decade and beyond?” paragraph to provide them with some background knowledge of urban population growth and U.N. projections of growth over the next forty years.
“The global population will likely peak at 8 billion to 12 billion in the latter half of this century, up from 6.7 billion in 2008 (Population Reference Bureau, 2008). When global food (and related resource) consumption will crest is unknown, because the quantity of food energy consumed globally and the amount of fossil fuel energy, water, land, and soil resources used to produce these kilocalories is only partially related to the size of the global population (Imhoff et al., 2004b). The critical challenge of sustainable food production and distribution not only depends on knowing how many people live where and how fast populations are growing, but also on the quantities and types of food consumed, the cost of food, and access to food (Bayliss-Smith, 1982; Meyer and Turner, 1992). In general, as incomes rise, people consume more meat and processed foods, demand fruits and vegetables with fewer blemishes, want fresh produce in all seasons, and import foodstuffs from increasingly distant locations (e.g., Leppman, 2005). These changing food consumption preferences are straining global food production and distribution systems, leading to growing concern that these systems will not be adequate to sustainably meet rising food demands in the coming decade (e.g., Tilman et al., 2002; von Braun, 2007).” (UCP, 59)
Ask students to think about what type of food they and their family eat? How does what and how much food they eat compare to the families in the video? They can write their answers on their Student Answer Sheet (on paper or digitally).
Instruct students that they will be investigating two regions in Latin America where they are implementing new types of agricultural practices in the past thirty to forty years. Tell them to continue filling out their answer sheets with their thoughts and conclusions and that they will be “collected” at the conclusion of the exercise. If you would like to minimize class time for this activity, you can assign it for homework where the students can review the interactive maps and image pairs to help them to answer the questions.
All data and maps in this lesson are to be used for educational purposes only. It is not to be used for research purposes.
Bolivia Soy Production Deforestation Image
NASA Earth Observatory - Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team, http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=16274
Honduras Shrimp Production Aquaculture Image
NASA Earth Observatory - NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained courtesy of the University of Maryland’s Global Land Cover Facility: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17204
Authors: B. Duke, A. Palmer & R. Palmer