Agriculture and overall human health

Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge. Not everyone is equally at risk.

Agriculture and overall human health

Produclivity of American agriculture has tripled since then, and today only 3 percent of our labor force produces enough food and fiber to meet domestic needs as well as supplying about 10 percent of total overseas consumption.

This huge increase in efficiency has been the result of many factors, including use of fertilizer, and pesticides, introduction of farm machinery, development of hybrid strains, and increased knowledge about farm management practices.

Agriculture and overall human health agriculture has become more intensive, farmers have become capable of producing higher yields using less labor and less land.

Intensification of agriculture has not, however, been an unmixed blessing. Environmental impacts have increased, including potential degradation of the soil and water resources vital to both farm productivity and human health.

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Such environmental problems can best be understood by tracing their evolution through the history of farming in this country. Historical Perspective Agriculture in the United States dates back to the food-raising activities of American Indians, and over half of the value of our current crops comes from plants such as corn, cotton, potatoes, and tobacco that were first domesticated by Indians in South and North America.

In the early s when the colonists were making their way to America, agricultural methods in England and other parts of the world were still primitive.

Fields were dug by oxen pulling wooden plows, seeds were broadcast by hand, and grains were harvested with scythes just as they had been for the previous 2, years. From the Indians the first American settlers learned how to clear land, till the fields, and grow the corn that was crucial to their initial survival.

Although Indians taught the colonists to plant fish with their corn, fertilization of other crops was not a common practice.

The native fertility of the relatively acid and nutrient-poor eastern soils was rapidly exhausted, and pioneering families commonly abandoned their farms and moved on to homestead the still fertile virgin lands to the west. By one traveller wrote, "Eastern Virginia appeared to have suffered the ravages of a great war or an attack by another horseman of the Apocalypse.

I traveled for 50 miles on horseback and could find nothing but abandoned farms and plantations with buildings in decay and fields overgrown with nettles and brush. Mother Nature is reclaiming that which for years has been giving food and clothing to man.

Sustainable agriculture - Wikipedia

The mids began an era of great change in American agriculture, influenced by the British agricultural revolution, which brought advances in cultivation methods, breeding of improved crop varieties, and use of fertilizers and crop rotations to maintain soil productivity. Crop fertilization was introduced to the American colonies in the s when ships were used to import guano, the droppings from seabirds living on islands off the coast of Peru.

Agriculture and overall human health

A vigorous market soon developed for soil amendments such as guano, manure, crushed bone, and lime; and by seven factories had been established in the United States to manufacture mixed chemical fertilizers. The use of pesticides also began in the mid s, when it was discovered that dusting of grape plants with sulfur provided a cure for powdery mildew.

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Soon afterwards, an arsenic-containing compound called Paris green was introduced for control of the Colorado potato beetle, an insect native to the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, which became a serious agricultural pest because of its appetite for domestic potatoes grown by pioneers.

Chemical control of agricultural pests expanded rapidly after these initial discoveries, and by there were 42 patented insecticides offered by several manufacturers.

The benefits of irrigation were discovered in the s, when Mormons in Utah softened their crusty soils by damming a creek, and prospectors in California discovered that water diverted to gold mining sluices produced lush plant growth in the desert.

Congress passed several laws in the next few decades to assist western states in developing extensive and costly irrigation systems. Farm labor requirements diminished with the introduction of mechanization.

Agriculture and overall human health

Invention of machines for tilling, planting, reaping, and threshing vastly increased farm efficiency in the mid s. The internal combustion engine was invented in Europe in the late s, and in the first successful gasoline-powered tractor was introduced in Iowa. By the early s tractors that were small enough and cheap enough to interest the average farmer and could do the work of 17 men and 50 horses were being produced.

Tractors gradually became popular, although it was not until that there were more tractors than horses on U. Ever since colonial days, agricultural leaders have been interested in increasing the productivity of American farming.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were leading agricultural reformers in the late eighteenth century, experimenting with crop rotation, manure applications, new crops, and improved livestock.Summary Report from the May Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) Malathion (49) Malathion is an insecticide used to control insects on .

View more Human Services to Support Rural Health Human services play a vital role in ensuring that rural families have the resources to support their own health. Sustainable agriculture can be understood as an ecosystem approach to agriculture.

Practices that can cause long-term damage to soil include excessive tilling of the soil (leading to erosion) and irrigation without adequate drainage (leading to salinization).

Long-term experiments have provided some of the best data on how various practices affect soil properties essential to sustainability. Remains from the Neolithic Period (the new stone age, beginning about 10, years ago) reveal that the adoption of agriculture among many societies did not have a positive effect on overall human health or the environment.

Agriculture and Overall Human Health - Sample Essays

EssayLib. com can write a Custom Argumentative Essay for You! As people switched over to the process of agriculture, [ ].

By the numbers: GHG emissions by livestock. Total emissions from global livestock: Gigatonnes of Co2-equiv per year, representing percent of all anthropogenic GHG emissions. This publication may be viewed and downloaded from the Internet at. Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human. Remains from the Neolithic Period (the new stone age, beginning about 10, years ago) reveal that the adoption of agriculture among many societies did not have a positive effect on overall human health or the environment. EssayLib. com can write a Custom Argumentative Essay for You! As people switched over to the process of agriculture, [ ].

The College of Health and Human Sciences is comprised of departments formerly housed within the Schools of Education, Nursing and the College of Arts and Sciences.

INTRODUCTION: While new studies on the negative effects of pesticides on human health are completed each year by major government and university research centers, the majority of these studies remain "silent" in medical journals and do not reach the public via major news reduction in public awareness appears to have worsened over the past several decades.

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