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Introduction to Geography - Food and Climate - Assignment Example

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This paper "Introduction to Geography - Food and Climate" focuses on one of the most basic needs of every human being which is food. Various scholars have studied food and culture since time immemorial that particular groups of people are sometimes particularly associated with distinct types of food. …
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Introduction to Geography - Food and Climate
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Introduction to Geography: Food and Climate One of the most basic needs of every human being is food. Various scholars have studied food and culturesince time immemorial that particular groups of people are sometimes particularly associated with distinct types of food. However, closer evaluation of the root causes for food production and consumption, as well as the interplay of the law of supply and demand, is highly accountable to climate and geography. In this regard, this essay aims to proffer a list of foods associated with certain places on the globe and to use these food types to make some generalizations about climates.
According to Moneo & Iglesias (2004, par. 2), “climate is one of the main factors which controls what natural resources we have and is an important element of sustainable development. Agriculture and water resources are intrinsically linked with climate”. In Asia for example, known for countries enjoying a tropical climate, the staple food is rice. This applies to countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, among others. Rice has been known to grow in tropical countries with lots of high temperature the whole year round concurrent with well defined rainy season, conducive to planting rice. Aside from rice, tropical countries are conducive to producing fruits such as pineapple, mango, banana; legumes; rootcrops like potatoes, cassava and yams, among a host of other foods. These crops like warm weather with intermittent rain.
In the United States, where geography and climate differ across various regions, food production likewise varies depending on climatic conditions. The CIA World Factbook (2010) described the climate in the USA as “mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains”. As such, the major crops produced are corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, and sorghum (EPA, 2009).
Foods in midlatitude climates such as those coming from Colombia are mostly coffee, banana, sugarcane, and other staple crops like “rice, beans, cassava, potatoes, barley, corn, and wheat” (US Library of Congress, n.d., par. 10). Corn is also considered a staple crop together with wheat and barely which is adaptable to climate in higher grounds.
High latitude climates in regions such as Canada, the crops produced from this cold climate are as follows: wheat, oats, barley, flaxseed and canola, among others (Alberta, 2005).
Moist continental climate in regions such as Japan have foods such as “rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit. In much of Japan vegetables can be grown year round. Among those that grow well in the winter are potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, taro, carrots, and a variety of turnips and radishes” (Hays, 2009, par. 1). Tea and shiitake mushrooms are also a known to be products of Japan due to the climatic conditions.
As averred by Mateo & Iglesias (2004), “agricultural success is dependent on climate because heat, light, and water are the main drivers of crop growth.  Plant diseases and pest infestations, as well as the water needed for irrigation, are also governed by climate”. As noted, since climate is based on the location of hot and cold air masses which differ according to region, the kind of crops grown differs depending on major climate types. Thus, major food crops are produced not out of choice but out of conditions of the climate which likewise affect the ability of the soil to retain moist and to capture the amount of sunlight needed for a good yield.
Works Cited
Alberta Agriculture Statistics Yearbook. Major Crop Production, Canada and Provinces, 1996 –
2005. 2005. Web. 15 September 2010. Read More
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