55 terms

ES Chapter 15 Food and Agriculture

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Famine
Widespread starvation caused by a shortage of food.
Calorie
One calorie is equal to 1,000 kilocalories.
Malnutrition
When people do not consume enough calories. Major nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.
Carbohydrates
Sugars. Wheat, corn, and rice. 4 Cal/g. Main source of the body's energy.
Lipids
Oils and fats. Olives, nuts and animal fats. 9 Cal/g. Helps form membranes and hormones.
Proteins
Amino acids. Animal food and smaller amounts of plants. 4 Cal/g. Helps build and maintain all body structures.
Diet
The type and amount of food that he or she eats.
Efficiency
A measure of the quantity of food produced on a given area of land with inputs of energy and resources.
Yield
The amount of food that can be produced in a given area.
Subsistence farmers
Farmers who grow only enough food for local use.
The Green Revolution
Between 1950 and 1970 when Mexico increased its production of wheat eight-fold and India doubled its production of rice without increasing the area of farmland used. It reduced the price of food and improved the lives of millions of people.
Arable land
Land that can be used to grow crops.
Plowing
Helps crops grow by mixing soil nutrients, loosening soil particles, and uprooting weeds.
Fertilization
Organic fertilizers such as manure are used to enrich the soil so that plants grow strong and healthy.
Irrigation
Fields are irrigated by water flowing through ditches.
Pest control
Weeds are removed by hand or machine.
Fertile soil
Soil that can support the growth of healthy plants.
Topsoil
The surface layer of soil. Usually richer in organic matter than the subsoil.
Fertile topsoil
Composed of living organisms, rock particles, water, air, and organic matter such as dead and decomposing organisms.
Chemical weathering
When the minerals in the rock react chemically with substances such as water to form new materials. Temperature changes and moisture cause rock to crack and break apart, which creates smaller particles on which the seeds of pioneer plants fall and take root.
Surface litter
Fallen leaves and partially decomposed organic matter.
Topsoil layer
Organic matter, living organisms and rock particles.
Zone of leaching
Dissolved or suspended materials moving downward.
Subsoil
Larger rock particles with organic matter and inorganic compounds.
Rock particles
Rock that has undergone weathering.
Bedrock
Solid rock layer.
Erosion
The movement of rock and soil by wind and water. Most farming methods increase the rate of soil erosion.
Land degradation
When human activity or natural processes damage the land so that it can no longer support the local ecosystem.
Desertification
The process by which land in arid or semiarid areas becomes more desertlike.
Fallow
To remain unplanted for several years.
Contour plowing
Plowing across a slope of a hill instead of up an down the slope.
No-till farming
A crop harvested without turning over the soil in place while the new crop develops. Saves time.
Compost
Partially decomposed organic material.
Salinization
The accumulation of salts in the soil.
Pesticides
Chemicals used to kill insects, weeds, and other crop pests.
Resistance
The ability to survive exposure to a particular pesticide.
Persistent
Pesticides that do not break down rapidly into harmless chemicals when they enter the environment. As a result, they accumulate in the water and soil. Some have been banned in the U.S, but many of them remain in the environment for many years. EX: DDT.
Biological pest control
The use of living organisms to control pests.
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bt. Can kill caterpillars of moths and butterflies that we consider to be pests.
VNT
Label that means they are resistant to certain fungi, worms, and viruses.
Growth regulator
A chemical that interferes with some stage of a pest's life cycle. Stops the flea's eggs from developing into adult fleas.
Pheromones
Chemicals produced by one organisms that affect the behavior of another organisms, can also be used as pest control.
Integrated pest management
A modern method of controlling pests on crops. Steps:
1. Economic considerations or crop and pest ecology
2. Set action thresholds
3. Identify and monitor pests
4. Prevent pests
5. Control pests when necessary.
Genetic engineering
Technology in which genetic material in a living cell is modified for medical or industrial use. Involves isolating genes from one organism and implanting them into another.
GM
Genetically modified.
Sustainable agriculture
Farming that conserves natural resources and helps keep the land productive indefinitely. Minimizes the use of energy. water, pesticides, and fertilizers.
Low-input farming
Involves planting productive, pest-resistant crop varieties that require little energy, pesticides, fertilizers, and water.
Domesticated
They are bred and managed for human use. EX: Chicken, cheep, cattle, honey bees, silkworms, fish, and shellfish. Goats, pigs, and water buffalo may also be domesticated in other parts of the world.
Overharvesting
Catching or removing from a population more organisms than the population can replace.
Aquaculture
The raising of aquatic organisms for human use and consumption. Been around for 4,000 years.
Oyster farm/Fish farm
Consist of many individual ponds that each contain fish at a specific stage of development. Clean water is circulated through the ponds and brings in oxygen while sweeping away carbon dioxide and fecal wastes.
Livestock
Domesticated animals that have been raised to be used on a farm or ranch or to be sold for profit.
Ruminants
Cud-chewing mammals that have three-four chambered stomachs. EX: Cattle, sheep and goats. Have microorganisms in their intestines which allow the animals to digest plant materials that humans cannot digest.
Cud
The food that these animals regulate from the first chamber of their stomachs and chew again to aid digestion.
Rice paddies
Duck's droppings that are used as fertilizers.