002 - Contemporary Approaches to Food Production

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Advantages and disadvantages of contemporary approaches to food production, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), vertical farming and in vitro meat.


The process of contemporary  food production can create wide ranging possibilities at different scales.


Key Terminology

Define the key terms above by using the 'Useful Links' below.

Useful Links

Activity One - GMOs

Genetically Modified Foods have been the subject of debate for decades. Whether it is to with the amount of water that is need to produce wheat or rice or the perceptions around safety for human consumption. So how do we sift through the fiction to find out what is fact? 

Activity Two - Vertical Farming

Vertical farming is exactly what it says on the tin, the production of food in stacked layers. The layers can go inside old warehouses or even old shipping containers which utilises spaces that would have become derelict. It means that farming can actually take place in cities and therefore this reduces the distance from crop to shop. 

Activity Three - In Vitro Meat

In vitro meat is cultured meat. Meat that has been tissue engineered within a lab. While the thought quite frankly sounds a little Frankensteinesque there are a number of positives for this concept. As the meat is created in the lab it is clean, animal welfare doesn't have to be a consideration because a live animal has not been killed. it also doesn't need feed to grow. Countries such as the USA, the Netherlands and Israel are leaders in in vitro meat exploration and it is currently on sale to the public in California. It all sounds so good...

Useful Resources

Exam Style Question

Explain ONE advantage and ONE disadvantage of using GMOs to increase food production. [3 + 3 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com