food security and intensive farming (Food production is increased by...…
food security and intensive farming
Food production is increased by...
growing high-yield crops
removing other plants and pests
adding fertiliser to the soil
keeping animals indoors/ restricted places
Many of these practices (^) have unwelcome side effects.
Intensive farming practices.
Remove competing plants from the crop growing area.
Prevents energy being transferred from the crop to consumers.
May poison helpful organisms.
Remove animals that feed on the crop.
Reduces energy transferred to environment so more energy available for growth.
May have harmful effect on health.
Keep animals indoors
allows more energy to be transferred to the crop.
Increased risk of disease.
Lower quality product.
The effects of insecticides
secticides like DDT don't break down quickly.
It's been responsible for a large reduction in bird numbers since intensive farming became widespread.
DDT accumulates in food chains
as consumers eat large numbers of prey containing the insecticide.
High levels of DDT have been found in birds of prey.
Alternatives to pesticides
Biological control is an alternative to using pesticides.
By releasing a natural predator into the crop growing area, the number of pests can be reduced.
This can have unforeseen consequences as the numbers of different organisms in the food web are changed.
There have been examples of the predator becoming a more serious pest than the original problem.
Some food products have been grown in artificial environments to increase productivity.
Examples include growing tomatoes in glasshouses and salmon in fish farms.
The benefits of this method are that the growing conditions can be monitored and controlled to improve productivity.
An extreme form of growing crops in glasshouses is called hydroponics.
Soil is replaced by a mineral solution pumped around the plant roots.
Removing the soil means there's no risk of soil organisms causing disease but the plants have to be supported.
Monitoring and adjusting the concentrations of minerals in the solution enable the grower to control growth.
It allows crops to be grown in regions where there's no soil.
Due to the costs involved, hydroponics is used only for high-value crops.
An alternative way to produce food is to ban the use of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, and replace these with more ‘natural’ methods.
this produces higher quality food
It doesn't raise as many ethical concerns as there's less environmental impact.
Food produced organically tends to be more expensive as the yield is lower than intensively produced food.
Other Farming Techniques
Less environmental damage, or health risk .
Reduces disease and damage to soil composition .
Less productivity. Less efficient to grow different crops.
Improves soil structure and recycles waste
Difficult to apply and cannot control mineral content.
Cheaper, longer lasting .
Reduces area available for growing crops if part of a crop rotation.