Please give me some examples of how humans have increased their food supply and what effects these methods have on the environment overall. What are some concerns about the overall safety of the food we eat? Additional resources would also be helpful to further examine this question.
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The first major burst in human population occurred around 7000BC when hunter/gatherers and nomadic herders decided to "hunker down" and live in place - the invention of agriculture itself. Little changed from that point for centuries. In fact, Roman plows were basically superior to those used by most in the early 18th century.
We find two time-wise overlapping waves of activity that both are referred to as the Agricultural Revolution. From the 1500s onward minor technological advances occurred that did improve agriculture - and thus the food supply. Mendel and the genetics of peas was a part of the human endeavor that was attempting to uncover the science of genetics - initially a food-related focus. Selective breeding of plants and animals was practiced routinely and fertilization with manures increased the outputs of croplands.
However in the late 1700s and on throughout the 1800s came the Industrial Revolution and with it the mechanization that advanced agriculture. The age on invention; the moldboard plow, the seed drill, and steam engines to power thrashers and other harvest equipment. Also in the mid to late 1800s Louis Pasteur and the pasteurization process - making it safer to store food (which hadn't much advanced in many, many years - drying, jerking, curing, pickling and ...
Answer examines the rise in technologies over time and how it has affected the ability of humans to fed their ever increasing numbers. includes HTML version with live links