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3.2: Historical Development and Change in Food Systems

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    The environment-food systems characterized by agriculture have exerted transformative effects on environmental and social systems. This unit offers an overview by distinguishing four principal historical-geographic periods of environment-food systems that begin with early agriculture between 10,000 and 4,000 BC. It also introduces modern industrial agriculture and ecological-modernization-and-alternative-food-networks (such as organic and local environment-food systems) as a pair of generally distinct types that are currently predominant and actively evolving. The model of Coupled Natural-Human Systems (CNHS) is used to characterize each historical-geographic period. CNHS definitions of drivers, feedbacks, positive feedback, and negative feedback are utilized. To understand the spread of agriculture and its transformation of environments and societies basic concepts such as spatial diffusion and adaptation are used.

    This page titled 3.2: Historical Development and Change in Food Systems is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Heather Karsten & Steven Vanek (John A. Dutton: e-Education Institute) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.