Technology Lesson 5 Activities
Technology Lesson 5 Introductory Activity

Time: 5-7 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking
Objective 2
Related Resource: n/a

Instructor asks students “What did you have for lunch?” and “Where did the food/ingredients come from?”

 

 

Technology Lesson 5 Discussion on the Green Revoluion

Time: 15 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking
Objective 2
Related Resource:
- Anand, Geeta. (2010, February 22). Green Revolution in India Wilts as Subsidies Backfire. In The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703615904575052921612723844.html
- Easterbrook, Gregg. (1999 January).The Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity. In The Atlantic. Retrieved from: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199901/green-revolution
- Patel, Raj. (2009, November 2). Ending Africa’s Hunger. Retrieved from: http://rajpatel.org/2009/11/02/ending-africas-hunger-2/

Debate the benefits and detriments of the “Green Revolution” in agriculture. This activity can be done in a frontal style or in small group discussions. Students can read one of the readings and then contribute to the group discussion based on that reading.

Discussion Questions

What does Gregg Easterbrook praise as the achievements of agronomist Norman Borlaug and his so-called “Green Revolution?”  What positive role may new agricultural techniques play around the world?

What critiques does Raj Patel have of the “Green Revolution”? Has Africa learned from past mistakes, what is the continent doing differently in implementing its own “Green Revolution”?

According to Geeta Anand, what were its adverse effects of the “Green Revolution” on Indian society and agriculture?  Who stands to gain from the new revolution and what better alternative model of agriculture does he embrace?

Technology Lesson 5 Technology and Food Production in the U.S

Time: 15 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking
Objective 2
Related Resources:
- Hurst, Blake. (2009, July 30). The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals. In The American. Retrieved from: http://www.american.com/archive/2009/july/the-omnivore2019s-delusion-against-the-agri-intellectuals
- Pollan, Michael (2007, January 28). Unhappy Meals. In The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html?pagewanted=1

Students should examine Pollan’s perspective on agri-business and food production and Blake’s critique. This activity can be done in a frontal style or in small group discussions.

Discussion Questions

According Michael Pollan, what technologies and government policies account for the relatively low cost of food in much of the world, and what are their negative effects on small producers and on the natural environment across the globe? What does he recommend to solve the problem?

What are Blake’s critique of Pollan’s argument against agri-businesses and the current food system in the U.S.

Technology Lesson 5 Case Study Agribusiness in Brazil

Time: 45-60 minutes
Skills: Cross-Cultural CommunicationsHolistic Thinking, and Technology Skills  Objective 2
Related Resources:
- Case Study: Brazil and Agribusiness

Students examine agriculture/agri-business from different perspectives

Technology Lesson 5 Movies on Modern U.S. Agriculture

Time: 24 – 90 minutes
Skills: n/a
Objectives 2
Related Resources:
- Garcia, Deborah Koons (Producer). (2004). The Future of Food. United States: Lily Films Retrieved from: http://www.thefutureoffood.com/onlinevideo.html [90 min]
- Kenner, Robert (Producer). Food, Inc.. (2009). United States: PBS. http://www.foodincmovie.com/ [24 min]
-Richter, Robert (Producer). (1985). Hungry for Profit. United States: New Day Films. 1985 [90 min]

Watch one of the following documentary films and discuss its claims about the effects of modern agriculture in the United States and/or abroad.

Technology Lesson 5 Historical Films on Agriculture

Time: 15 – 27  minutes
Skills: n/a
Objective 2
Related Resources:
- iculture USA. (1962). United States: U.S.D.A. Video.  Retrieved from: http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger [27 min]
-Bryan, Julien. (1949). Fundo in Chile. United States: U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. Retrieved from: http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger [20 minutes]
- Democracy at Work in Rural Puerto Rico. (1940) United States: U.S.D.A. Video. Retrieved from: http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger [19 min]

Watch one of the following online historical videos and discuss how it promoted technology-intensive agriculture for development in the U.S. or abroad, and consider how indigenous farmers in the US and/or other countries would have regarded its message.

Technology Lesson 5 Reflection

Time: 10 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking
Objective 2
Related Resources: n/a
 
Compare and contrast how different players and policies contribute to the global food supply.