Hey everyone! I’m Michael Stachelski and I’m a sophomore Nutritional Sciences Major with a focus on Public Health. I’m from Brighton, Michigan so not too far from here at all. Hobbies/interests of mine are pretty much all sports, working out and academically I have a particular interest in healthcare. I’m really excited to go on this trip, and it’s my first study abroad experience. I hope to learn all about Australia’s sustainability programs and how they are dealing with the issue of becoming a “fat country”. Being a nutritional sciences major, I’m also excited to learn about different Australian diets and how they vary between states/subcultures within Australia. I really don’t know too much about Australia at all, so this program is going to be quite the learning experience for me.
While abroad in Australia, I’m interested in researching sustainable agriculture production and if it could “feed the world” in terms of calories and nutrients. According to the itinerary we will be visiting a number of sustainable farming locations and I plan on asking questions/gathering data from these places and applying what I gather in Australia to a global scale. Currently, there is a food shortage worldwide and there needs to be change. By 2050, our population will be 9 billion, and there needs to be changes in our current food system to prepare for the future. Many think sustainable agriculture could be the solution to this problem, and through my data collecting and research I hope to find the answer to this problem.
Haldwell, B. (2019, May 6). Can Organic Farming Feed Us All? Retrieved from http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4060
Bittman, M. (2011, March 09). Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World? Retrieved from https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/sustainable-farming/
Research Topic Upon Re-Entry
While in Australia I planned on researching different sustainable agriculture systems and whether or not they produced a sufficient amount of food. I was going to take the data I collected and see if it could be applied to the entire planet. Well, after many site visits, and a lot of secondary research, I’m happy to say thats exactly what I was able to do. The implementation of sustainable agriculture systems worldwide is essential in preserving the soil on this earth for future generations all while producing plentiful amounts of foods that are calorie and nutrient dense. Currently, 11% of the world is going hungry from lack of access to food, most of these places being rural. By 2050, the earths population is expected to reach 9.8 billion meaning that the demand for food will be 60% higher. We must solve this issue of food security, and we must do it in a sustainable manner.
While in Australia, I saw a number of sustainable agriculture systems that were producing vast quantities of food all in their own unique ways. Some locations, like Ravens Creek Farm, looked at sustainable agriculture from a more livestock based perspective. At “Mallyons on the Murray”, owner Nick was using sustainable agriculture techniques based more on the production of fruits and vegetables. Regardless of what was being cultivated, or the techniques being used, location after location that we visited was having success using sustainable agriculture techniques. So, could these techniques be applied to the rest of the world?
After reading secondary literature from numerous sources, the answer is yes. As much as I hate to mention this name and give them credit for anything, The University of Michigan, along with Niels Halberg, put together their own models showing that sustainable agriculture could in fact feed the world. The data is very interesting, however it is not easily explained. What these studies highlight are the fact that sustainable agriculture will greatly benefit the 11% of people who are going without food as of now. These rural areas have a great chance at being able to cultivate their land to grow crops as long as they are willing to do the work that comes with it.
So, in conclusion of my research both in Australia and upon re-entry, I believe sustainable agriculture can feed the world. Based on the data I uncovered on the trip, and the data I uncovered while doing secondary research, I truly believe sustainable agriculture is the answer to the food problems we face today.
Links to Sites:
Hincks, J. (2018, March 28). We Are Headed for a World Food Crisis. Here’s How to Stop It. Retrieved from https://time.com/5216532/global-food-security-richard-deverell/
Halwiel, B. (2006, June). Can Organic Farming Feed Us All? Retrieved from http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4060
Halberg, N. (2017, October 10). Niels Halberg Director of ICROFS. Retrieved from http://www.icrof.org/Pages/About_ICROFS/niels_halberg.html
Agriculture. (2018, July 02). Retrieved from https://greens.org.au/policies/agriculture
SAC. (n.d.). What is Sustainable Ag? Retrieved from http://sustainableagriculture.net/about-us/what-is-sustainable-ag/
IEASSA. (2013, July 03). Organic farming: Pros and cons. Retrieved from http://ieassa.org/en/organic-farming-pros-and-cons/