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patterns of food production

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You are a member of a panel that has been invited to Westmont College to discuss the causes of famine. Each member of the panel has been assigned to research one of the following famines so the panel can explore shared causes and discuss what can be done to prevent similar outbreaks in the future. As a small group, decide which members will take which topics.

The Irish "Potato Famine" of 1846-50
The Sahelian (Ethiopian) famine of 1984-85
The Sudanese famine (1998-2000)
The North Korean famine (ongoing)

Each individual presentation should include a discussion of the social, political and environmental conditions that contributed to the famine in whole or in part, a description of the extent of the famine, efforts that were made to alleviate human suffering and the extent to which they were successful.

Next, after all group members have read all small group papers, you will explore the topic as a panel on the small group discussion board. Each panel member should analyze/discuss on the board, the causes that many famines seem to share and systemic actions that can be taken by individual governments and international organizations to reduce the probability and/or severity of famines in the future.

Objective: Identify the major patterns of food production and their effect on crops and animals
Each of the topics for this assignment has a specific cause. Determine what the cause is, explain the cause, and explain what affects happen because of the cause

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The Irish Potato Famine was largely the result of horticultural practices that created an inbred potato crop. This strain of potatoes had no resistance to the blight which struck in 1846.
Complete dependence on a single inbred food supply invariably results in famine. Over one million people died in the three years from 1846 to 1849 as a result of hunger or disease.

Drought struck Ethiopia in 1984, as the government was in the midst of civil war. Relief supplies were hindered by fighting, and the government refused to allow relief shipments passage into rebel areas. About 1 million people died by the time the famine was over.

The 1998 famine in Sudan was almost entirely the result of human actions. The current government of Sudan is centered in Khartoum in the north of ...

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Under what circumstances do anthropologists think people started producing their own food rather than mainly gathering or hunting? What are some advantages and disadvantages of food producing subsistence patterns? What were the earliest plants and animals to be domisticated ?How do we recognize evidence of domestication and food production in the archaeological records of past societies? How did the lifestyles of people change with agriculture and cities?

Under what circumstances do anthropologists think people started producing their own food rather than mainly gathering or hunting?

There are several theories that have been postulated to explain the emergence of planting and the domestication of animals as opposed to hunting and gathering. One is that environmental and/or climate changes caused a decrease in the available wild food options for a specific people group. Due to this unforeseen change they were forced to choose between moving on to new hunting grounds or attempt to plant crops and domesticate animals. Some groups chose to abandon the hunter/gatherer lifestyle. Another theory states that as the human population of a clan or tribal group grew, eventually it would reach a point that could not be sustained by the food that could be hunted and gathered. In order to support a growing population people groups were forced to branch out and begin farming and domesticating animals in addition to continued hunting and gathering efforts.

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