Feeding 8 Billion People

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by jillianlor
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Ecosystems

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Feeding 8 Billion People

Feeding 8 Billion People

Did you know...1.) Plants grown using the hydroponic method of farming reach maturity 4-5 times faster than plants grown in traditional soil.2.) Ladybugs can consume up to 60 aphids per day and 5,000 aphids throughout their lifetime. This is why many farmers are utilizing the bugs for natural pest management.3.) Aquaponic gardening is 4-6 times more productive than soil-based gardening and produces two food sources concurrently. This method also uses 90% less water than traditional gardening.4.) A 25,000 sq. ft. vertical farm can yield up to 10,000 heads of lettuce per day. Vertical farming can be 100 times more efficient than traditional farming and uses 99% less water.5.) Free-range livestock have 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat, and 28% fewer calories than factory-farmed counterparts.6.) Pasture-based farming reduces fossil fuel use. Animals are able to ambulate and feed on the land as opposed to utilizing trucks to feed and transport animals. Additionally, livestock are able to spread their own manure and fertilize the soil.

Introduction & Background Information

Alternative Solutions

The Current SituationThe population of our earth is expected to reach 8 billion by the year 2025. In order to keep up with the growing population, we must explore alternative farming methods that produce high yield crops and high quality meat in an efficient manner. Much of the land across the world is failing and infertile. Desertification is occuring and fertile land is difficult to find. To complicate matters further, livestock is being fed a diet of grains which is placing further strain on our already instable land. There are many existing agricultural methods that produce high yield crops, minimize water usage, and produce high quality produce and meat supplies. A few such methods are: crop rotation and biodiversity, soil enrichment, and natural pest management. Alternative farming methods include: hydroponics, aquaponics, vertical gardening and urban farming, and the development of community gardens. Methods of livestock management that could be further explored are: free-range farming and reasearch of alternative protein sources. For a more in-depth look at these farming methods and more, click on the video in the upper right hand corner.

Fast Facts1.) Crop Rotation: Enhances soil quality; reduces pests and weeds; distributes nutrients in the soil profile equally; increases biologic activity; leads to better production overall2.) Natural Pest Management: An eco-firnedly solution; reduces surface runoff and groundwater contamination compared to chemical pesticides; prevents pesticide-resistant pests; protects health of livestock (or native animals) grazing nearby.3.) Hydroponics: Can be used in places where in-ground agriculture is not possible; higher yield and faster growth due to oxygen availability; no weeding needed; crop rotation not necessary; low water and nutrient costs due to water and nutrient recycling.4.) Aquaponics: 2-for-1 deal (fish plus crop can be harvested); Tilapia are most commonly used; time from initial growth to harvest is 50% less than traditional soil-based planting; many of the same benefits as hydroponics.5.) Vertical Gardening: Provides healthy farming alternative for persons in urban settings; minimal space needed; boasts many of the same benefits of hydroponics; growing upward is natural for plants and this setup provides for healthy plant growth.6.) Community Gardening: Provides healthy fruits and vegetables to persons wishing to have a garden but without adequate space; Allows individuals to share maintenence and products of the garden.7.) Free-Range Livestock: Reduces use of fossil fuels used in current meat production and mass farming; provides livestock with natural diet; no antibiotic use and disese spread is minimized; natural manure spread fertilizes land and prevents desertification.8.) Alternative Protein Sources: Beans and legumes; soy; hemp seed; almonds, sunflower seeds; eggs; kale; spinach.

Alternative Methodsfor Future Sustainability

By: Jillian Lorenz & Kevin Velandia


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