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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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food distribution

Iqaluit’s population turns to Amazon Prime

Sky-high food prices in the North have led many residents of Iqaluit to turn to Amazon Prime to save on necessities. But is that a sustainable solution?

Source: globalnews.ca

Nunavut is remote…far more remote than most of our students can imagine.  They live over 1,000 miles from any city with half a million people.  The entire territory is enormous, but sparsely populated with only 36,000 people.  Try to image getting commercial goods to such a remote location.  The Canadian government has invested heavily to subsidize systems to get food products and other necessities to Nunavut.  Still, the transportation costs are so high, and the numbers are so few that economies of scale can’t help this situation. 

Enter Amazon Prime in 2005, and the online retail giant began offering free shipping for “Prime” customers for a flat yearly subscription fee (today $99 in the U.S.).  This was simply too good to be true for many customers in far-flung settlements in Nunavut.  Amazon, probably not anticipating the overwhelming transportation costs associated with a place like Nunavut, in 2015 stopped offering Prime membership for Nunavut customers that do not live in the capital city of Iqaluit.  Still, the capital city looks to Amazon Prime more so than the Canadian or territorial government as their lifeline to the global economy.  Some even argue that Amazon Prime has done more to improve the standard of living  and providing food security for Nunavut residents than the government.            

Scoop.it TagsCanada, distanceindigenous, poverty, development, economicfood, food distribution, density.

WordPress TAGS: Canada, distance, indigenous, poverty, development, economic, food distribution, density.

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Here’s What Your Part Of America Eats On Thanksgiving

"Every region enjoys pumpkin pie. But beyond that, there are three Americas: The America that disproportionately has apple pie (New England and the Middle Atlantic), the America that has pecan pie and sweet potato pie (the assorted South), and the America that consumes cherry pie (the Midwest and West)."

Source: fivethirtyeight.com

In addition to this list of distinctive Thanksgiving recipes from each state (I’d love to try so many on this list), the NY Times has also produced this list of the most ‘Googled’ Thanksgiving recipes in each state.  This StoryMap from ESRI is my favorite map of food production, showing where the food on the thanksgiving dinner plate actually came from.  These are very late additions to my favorite Thanksgiving day resources. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and may yours reflect some some regional distinctiveness and cultural context that you appreciate.   

GeoEd Tags: food, food distribution, food production, agriculture.

Scoop.it Tags: foodfood production, agriculture.

Here’s How America Uses Its Land

The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures.

Source: www.bloomberg.com

This set of 15 maps on how land is used in the 48 contiguous U.S. states is a phenomenal resource to visualize how we use our land (admittedly this does exclude Alaska and Hawaii, but given that Alaska’s land use patterns can skew the patterns considerably).  This is especially useful in agricultural units, but has many other applications. 

Scoop.it Tags: agriculture, food production, land userural, USA.

WordPress TAGS: agriculture, food production, land use, rural, USA.

The real reason Amazon buying Whole Foods terrifies the competition

Amazon’s zero-profit strategy is a disaster for anyone who goes up against it.

Source: www.vox.com

I have more questions than definitive answers, so let’s get right to it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: How have technological and logistical shifts in various industries made this once unthinkable union workable?  How will a retailer like Amazon change the food industry on the production side of the equation? What are the advantages and disadvantages of creative destruction (eliminating old jobs by creating new ones)?  Who stands to benefit the most, and who are the most negatively impacted?    

 

Tagsindustry, economic, scale, agriculture, food production, agribusiness, food

Drought and Famine

In which John Green teaches you a little bit about drought, which is a natural weather phenomenon, and famine, which is almost always the result of human activity. Throughout human history, when food shortages strike humanity, there was food around. There was just a failure to connect those people with the food that would keep them alive. There are a lot of reasons that food distribution breaks down, and John is going to teach you about them in the context of the late-19th century famines that struck British India.

Source: www.youtube.com

Famine is exacerbated by natural factors such as drought, but those only stress the system, they rarely cause the actual starvation.  The real failure is that the political/economic systems created by governments and how they handle stains in the food production/distribution systems.  Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes.  Many of the recent examples have come from collectivation strategies that governments have implemented (currently Venezuela, but historically the Soviet Union and China).  The Choices program has some good resources about teaching current events with the famines today.

 

Tags: food, povertyhistoricalcolonialism, economic, political, governance, agriculture, crash course

 

Creamed, Canned And Frozen: How The Great Depression Revamped U.S. Diets

During the Depression, cheap, nutritious and filling food was prioritized — often at the expense of taste. Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe, authors of A Square Meal, discuss food trends of the time.

Source: www.npr.org

Peanut butter and school lunches became fixtures of American culture during the Depression.  On the flip side, our modern preference for freshness is a reaction against the Depression’s obsession to find ways to preserve food for longer amounts of time.  

 

Tags: foodeconomicfood distribution, historical, podcast.

Where our food came from

“Explore the geographic origins of our food crops – where they were initially domesticated and evolved over time – and discover how important these ‘primary regions of diversity’ are to our current diets and agricultural production areas.”

Source: blog.ciat.cgiar.org

This is an incredibly rich website with great interactive maps, dynamic charts, and text with rich citations.  This is one of those resources that an entire class could use as a starting point to create 30+ distinct project.  This is definitely one of the most important and best resources that I’ve shared recently, one that I’m going to use in my class.  Where did a particular crop originally come from?  Where is it produced today?   How do these historic and current agricultural geographies change local diets and economies around the world?  All these issues can be explored with this interactive that includes, but goes beyond the Columbian Exchange

 

Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, agriculture, APHG, unit 5 agriculture, globalizationbiogeography, ecology, diffusion.

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