People have depended on agriculture for years as the primary source of getting food. We have developed all kinds of ways to manipulate nature so what we can produce higher yield crops, more nutritious crops, bigger crops, crops that withstand cold, and farming equipment that allows us to manufacture these crops with relative ease. Why then are there five billion people being malnourished and forty thousand children dying each day from hunger? It seems as though world hunger is more a result of the lack of distributing the food properly than the lack of quantity. agriculture has turned into a high profit business and biotech companies like Monsanto are constantly trying to come up with better and more efficient ways of farming. Are they doing this to try to solve the world hunger crisis, or merely to make a profit?
Background In Agriculture
The first people that started to depend on farming for food were in Israel and Jordan in about 80000 B.C.. Farming became popular because people no longer had to rely on just searching for food to get their food. In about 3000 B.C. Countries such as Egypt and Mesopotamia started to develop large scale irrigation systems and oxen drawn plows. In about 500 B.C. the Romans started to realize that the soil needed certain nutrients in order to bare plants. They also realized that if they left the soil for a year with no plants, these important nutrients would replenish. So they started to leave half of a field fallow (unplanted). They then discovered that they could use legumes, or pulses to restore these vital nutrients, such as nitrogen, to the soil and this started the process known as rotating crops. They would plant half the field one year with a legume...
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...ural land to produce soybeans, and manioc for export to feed cattle. As you can see the real cause of hunger is the lack of access to food, not the lack of food itself. Hopefully some day we will be able to distribute the food that we have to all of the hungry people across the world. This would be the real fix to the problem, not genetically altered foods.
Thompson, Paul B. Agricultural Ethics. Iowas State University Press: Ames, Iowa, 1998
Barbour, Ian Ethics in An Age Of Technology. Harper Collins Publishers Inc: New York, 1993
Altieri, Miguel A. Genetic Engineering In Agriculture. Food First Books: California, 2001
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The World Book Encyclopedia.World Book, Inc.: Chicago 1993