Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Food, Inc." book worksheet for Food Day

Happy Food Day!  I already started observing today with Health news for the week of Food Day, but I'm far from done with the event.  Today, I'm going to continue a project that began with Food Fight! Thoughts on liberalism and conservatism inspired by the Preface to Food, Inc. and resumed with On Thanksgiving eve, I present "Food, Inc."  Follow over the jump for the extra credit worksheet my students can complete in addition to the one for the film.  This one accompanies the first part of Chapter 4 of the Food, Inc. book, "Food, Science, and the Challenge of World Hunger--Who Will Control the Future?" by Peter Pringle, the author of the other book titled Food, Inc., Food, Inc., From Mendel to Monsanto.

Biotechnology is a new and swiftly growing field.  Scientists use living organisms to produce new or altered organisms.  In the agriculture industry, biotechnology involving transgenesis is big business.  Transgenesis involves the removal of specific genes from one living organism and transferring them into another.  In agriculture, this is often done to create bigger, better and more disease-resistant produce and livestock.   Today’s book excerpt will focus on some of the aspects of this process and the associated environmental implications.
Learn about relatively current laboratory work done with transgenesis.
Discuss the pros and cons of this form of biotechnology.
Read the chapter from Food Inc. and answer the questions below.  Your work will be graded in lab next week.
1.     What was produced when daffodil genes were inserted into rice?

2.    What are the advantages of golden rice?

3.    What are the disadvantages of golden rice?  Include the general objections to genetically modified (GM) food (see also pages 71-72).

4.    What was the effect of the global food crisis of 2008 and the response of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on adoption of golden rice?

5.     Define and distinguish tissue culture, anther culture, and gene marker selection.  Which one truly qualifies as transgenesis?

6.    Why are only governments, large charitable organizations, and large companies the only ones who can produce high-yielding hybrid seeds and how do large companies and corporations benefit from doing so?

7.    What problems have GM crops been bred to solve?

8.    Which crops have been genetically altered and had “real market impact?”  Which crops are listed in the chapter as being genetically altered, but which don’t have a major market?

9.    How can biotechnology help with relieving hunger in the developing world?

10.  How does the author resolve the issues involving GM foods and what do you think about his solution?

I'm not done yet with Food Day.  Stay tuned from Food Day news from campuses on the campaign trail, which I'll schedule to post at 8 PM EDT tonight.

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