Lecture 11 - Sustainability II: The Impact of Modern Agriculture on Biodiversity, Genetic Modification and Animal Welfare

author: Kelly D. Brownell, Department of Psychology, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Sept. 27, 2010,   recorded: October 2008,   views: 4307
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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In this lecture, Professor Brownell asks whether modern agriculture is environmentally, culturally, and morally sustainable. First, he explores how genetically modified foods both benefit and hinder world sustainability, such as with the case study of BT corn, and contamination to different parts of the environment. Secondly, he discusses the issue of animal welfare and its relationship with sustainability by exploring how modern food conditions encourage the mass production of meat. Arguments for and against the way animals are raised and eaten are also reviewed. Finally, Professor Brownell identifies shrinking biodiversity as a result of the green revolution and highlights current efforts to combat it.

Reading assignment:

Hamm, Michael W. "Linking Sustainable Agriculture and Public Health: Opportunities for Realizing Multiple Goals." Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition

Horrigan, Leo, Robert S. Lawrence and Polly Walker. "How Sustainable Agriculture Can Address the Environmental and Human Health Harms of Industrial Agriculture." Environmental Health Perspectives, 110 (2002), pp. 445-456

Weber, Christopher L. and H. Scott Matthews. "Food Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States." Environmental Science and Technology, 42 (2008), pp. 3508-3513

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