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The positive and negative effects of the food chain on human and environmental health. Free essay! Download now

Home > GCSE > Biology > The positive and negative effects of the food chain on human and environmental health.

The positive and negative effects of the food chain on human and environmental health.

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The positive and negative effects of the food chain on human and environmental health. essay previewThe positive and negative effects of the food chain on human and environmental health. essay previewThe positive and negative effects of the food chain on human and environmental health. essay preview

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The positive and negative effects of the food chain on human and environmental health.

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The positive and negative effects of the food chain on human and environmental health.
Impacts of the transport and distribution of food
Human Health
Transport is an important part of modern life, especially for the distribution of food around the world. It allows us a wide and varied diet, making it easier to get nutrients needed for survival. As well as providing a ‘greater variety of foodstuffs we also have increased security of food supply’ (Morris and Carr 2006a) providing quality fresh foods out of season. However transport also affects human health through accidents, noise pollution and the release of pollutants into the atmosphere. Table 1 (Crompton, Sanderson, King 2006) shows the susceptibility to pollutants in the biosphere.

Table 1 Susceptibility to pollutants

Carbon monoxide
Lead
Nitrogen dioxide
Ozone
Particulate matter
Sulphur dioxide
Children


¯
¯
¯
¯
Children under five

¯
¯
¯
¯
¯
Coronary disease sufferers
¯





Elderly people



¯
¯
¯
Exercises
(e.g. joggers)



¯


Pregnant women
¯
¯




Respiratory disease sufferers


¯
¯
¯
¯
Responders (those naturally susceptible



¯


¯ = higher susceptibility to this pollutant
Particulate matter is associated with asthma, reduced lung efficiency and increased risk of heart diseases. Nitrogen dioxide causes damage to blood capillaries, immune system cells and increases the risk of respiratory diseases, especially in children.

Environmental Health
Pollution also effects the environment, particularly CO2 emissions. Amounts of CO2 released, varies with mode of transport but it’s estimated that transporting food by air ‘contributes 10% of the total CO2 emissions associated with UK food transport’. (Everett and Morris 2006a) CO2 is a major greenhouse gas, causing global warming, which has already produced a rise in sea temperature and changing the distribution of many fish species. Higher sea levels have the potential to destroy vast tracts of land in the future. Transport also helps bring in exotic species that can affect native organisms through competition for resources and introduction of diseases. One benefit of being able to transport foods around the world is that for some foods it is less environmentally damaging (through CO2 release etc) than growing them in heated greenhouses.

Impacts of food processing
Human Health
Processing food allows us to extend its shelf life allowing storage for long periods, ensuring we can maintain a healthy diet. It also helps retain the nutritional value and quality of the food. As food is processed, by heating, cooling, packaging etc it ensures its safety by ensuring foods are free from bacteria, enzymes and other organisms, (for example E. coli only needs small ineffective numbers) that can cause illness or death in ...

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