Familiarizes students with important debates that are going on in the world of food production.
While high-tech agriculture is one of the hallmarks of Western society, a growing number of Americans and Europeans believe that our farming methods are harmful on a number of levels.
This program looks at the evolving debate over industrialized food production versus organic farming. Showing how and why farming techniques and policies have changed in the U.K. and similar countries over the last 50 years, the film then examines modern pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, polytunnels, and biodomes—and discusses how intensive farming stacks up against organic and free-range farming. Perspectives from growers, food retailers, consumers, and agriculture experts are featured. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. A part of the series Because Food Matters.
1. Why Have Farming Methods Changed? Britain was a successful agricultural nation, due in part to the "Corn Laws". New technology used during WWII revived farming, but wildlife habitats were damaged. Joining the EU meant Britain had to conform to common agricultural policy.
2. Farming of Crops Progressive farming is about greater productivity. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers make high food production cheaper. Climate controlled biodomes are used to grow year round. There are both advantages and disadvantages to these methods.
3. Farming of Animals Sheep, cows, pigs and chickens make up most of the meat consumed by humans. Conventional, free range and organic are the three types of farming animals. There is an ongoing debate about factory farmed chickens.
4. Organic and Conventional Farming Organic farming means producing food naturally, with no impact on the environment. Farmers aim to produce sufficient quantities of high quality food in a sustainable way. Both organic and conventional farming are heavily regulated.
5. Does It Matter How Our Food is Produced? Food grown locally will provide a higher nutritional value and support the local community. Where food is produced impacts sustainability, food security, carbon footprint, taste, nutritional value, and cost.
Grade: 6-8, 9-12
Because Food Matters: Does it Matter How Our Food is Produced? (DVD)
Time: 26 Minutes