Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems

Front Cover
Elsevier, Jul 29, 2014 - Technology & Engineering - 464 pages

Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, Second Edition addresses important issues by examining topics of global agriculture and food systems that are key to understanding the challenges we face. Questions it addresses include:

  • Will we be able to produce enough food to meet the increasing dietary needs and wants of the additional two billion people expected to inhabit our planet by 2050?
  • Will we be able to meet the need for so much more food while simultaneously reducing adverse environmental effects of today’s agriculture practices?
  • Will we be able to produce the additional food using less land and water than we use now?

These are among the most important challenges that face our planet in the coming decades. The broad themes of food systems and people, agriculture and the environment, the science of agriculture, agricultural products, and agricultural production systems are covered in more than 200 separate chapters of this work. The book provides information that serves as the foundation for discussion of the food and environment challenges of the world. An international group of highly respected authors addresses these issues from a global perspective and provides the background, references, and linkages for further exploration of each of topics of this comprehensive work.

  • Addresses important challenges of sustainability and efficiency from a global perspective.
  • Takes a detailed look at the important issues affecting the agricultural and food industries today.
  • Full colour throughout.

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About the author (2014)

Neal Van Alfen is professor of plant pathology at UC Davis. His research focuses on fungal molecular biology with the goal of controlling plant diseases using low-input, sustainable methods such as biological control using fungal viruses. He also has expertise on the effects of air pollution on environmental health, having served as a consultant to industry in this area for 15 years.

An elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Phytopathological Society, Van Alfen serves, or has served, on numerous national and international committees and boards, including the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Foundation, a foundation that supports about $ 8 million per year in research for Israeli and U.S. scientists. He is editor of the Annual Review of Phytopathology, the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, and on the editorial board of Journal of Integrative Agriculture, the leading agricultural journal of China.

He served as president of the American Phytopathological Society, was member-at-large of the Section on Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, chaired the National Agricultural Biotechnology Council, chaired the Administrative Heads Section of the American Public and Land Grant Universities.

Van Alfen served as dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis from 1999 – 2012 during which he led a three-fold increase of extramural research support per faculty member, created a number of research and outreach centers and institutes, including the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, and the Center for Produce Safety. He led fund raising efforts that resulted in creation of 14 new endowed chairs for faculty and resulted in the construction of a $ 100 million academic center for food and beverage research and education. The UC Davis agricultural, food and environmental science programs are routinely ranked among the best in the world. He previously served as head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Texas A&M University; professor of biology and molecular biology and biochemistry and Cooperative Extension Specialist, Utah State University; and plant pathology research scientist, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven. Prior to earning a doctoral degree in plant pathology from UC Davis, Van Alfen earned bachelor’s (chemistry) and master’s (botany) degrees from Brigham Young University.

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