Geography Assignment Paper on Food Systems

Food Systems

 

Name

Institutional Affiliation

Mobile Application

Introduction

The technological developments necessitated by the availability of the internet and smartphone technologies have made mobile applications effective ways of bringing customers to products. Through mobile applications, product owners can offer varieties of services to their customers in form of discounts, coupons, engage in promotion of products as, and services, send out surveys, and receive feedback from customers. The objective of this essay is to assess the tools necessary in the development of a mobile application compatible with the iPhone and Android phones for finding food that is naturally grown in Ottawa Canada.

Operating System and Device Platform Support

The process of developing a mobile application that is focused on finding food that is naturally grown in Canada requires an application that is supported by a range of operating systems, target devices, and peripherals. This is because such an approach to app development is all-inclusive and increases the possibility that the application will attract more natural food growers in the city. Furthermore, by developing an application that is supported by varieties of devices and operating systems it will be possible to ensure that the application offers support through multiple platforms while also supporting multiple application types (Iversen & Eierman, 2014). The process of developing the mobile application begins with a consideration of the target audience with the objective of perceiving the platform that will generate the most reward. The app will be used for finding naturally grown food in Ottawa. At the initial stages of app development, this may be a time-consuming process because it will require an in-depth research initiative on the demographics of the target audience. This is because natural food growers are relatively rare because of the popularity of fertilizer and greenhouse technologies in the food industry. Successful app development will require a determination of an areas preference for an operating system. The choice of creating a mobile application that integrates varieties of operating systems and devices with require research on the monetizing processes and the app stores of the systems (Maumbe et al, 2013).

            Development Tools

This will assess the ease of using the app development environment. It will require a consideration of the possibility of developing an integrated development environment that features a graphical UI/application designer (Cheng, 2017). A successful and effective application in the food industry should allow for source code control while permitting the inclusion of testing and quality tools. The naturally grown food industry is defined by seasonal foods such as fruits and the ability to integrate graphic text elements in an application will serve the purpose of improving on the efficiency of the app. This is because it will be possible to find farmers whose fruits of food are in season, the types of food that is available, the market price and additional information that can be uploaded on the app in the form of photo, video, or comment in the form of text (McWherter & Gowell, 2013). Furthermore, through an integrated development environment it will be possible to find farmers growing varieties of foodstuff. This means that the app can be in form of menus that detail the categories of naturally grown food available and the exact location of the farmers. This approach could also be effective in grouping farmers according to the availability of their farm products, perishability, and the sales. For a customer seeking naturally grown food it will be possible to make choices on the foodstuff that meets their needs according to the available categories (Cheng, 2017).

Application Sophistication

This focusses on the level of functionality and flexibility of the mobile application. It is considered an essential component of the app because it targets varieties of users, farmers producing naturally grown foods in Ottawa, Canada. The effectiveness of an application is in its ability to attract customer traffic (Maumbe et al, 2013). This means that the application must be highly flexible and functional enough to make it intuitive. Such an app is simple and use friendly because while incorporating such features and tools, it will be important to make the application easy for the target audience of farmers to use. The effectiveness of the application will be witnessed when farmers will be able to find essential information such as menu, price of farm produce, types of products and customer feedback (Cheng, 2017). In the process of developing the app to make it intuitive and flexible, focus must be on how to make it responsive by design. The responsiveness of an application when introduced in the market will be experienced when farmers in the naturally grown farm produce embrace it (McWherter & Gowell, 2013). The process of developing the app that meets the needs of a customer should target general and specific aspects of the farm products. This because farmers in different parts of Ottawa grow varieties of farm products. An application that is inclusive in terms of the types of products that farmers can provide to that target market can be most effective. This is because it attracts more farmers in this field and increase the possibility that the client will acquire the naturally grown farm produce that he seeks in varieties hence making it easier to acquire high quality and fresh farm produce.

Application Integration

This is an effective tool in the development of an app targeting farmers producing naturally grown food. The process of integrating an application to enterprise backend systems will seek to address questions on the extent to which such an integration process will allow data integration form varieties of backend systems (Maumbe et al, 2013). Furthermore, it will also be facilitated with the process of determining the extent to which content transactions and transfer are supported. Successful application integration is also founded on the understanding that the target audience, for this device, the farmers use various technological devices and there is need to ensure that the application integrates to provide such services (Iversen & Eierman, 2014).

One of the application integration approaches that will be essential in the app development is push messaging. These alerts will enable users seeking naturally grown foods to send messages to all the subscribed users of the mobile app in the specific field that interest the client (Maumbe et al, 2013). This approach to integration is considered possible when the farmers subscribed as users of the app provide details of the types naturally grown food that they produce. Push messaging will allow for an easy communication process between the customer and the farmer because through a single message it will be possible for the customer to communicate with all the farmers offering the product. Furthermore, this approach to application integration is time saving because through the feedbacks provided by the farmers, it will be possible for the customer to make choices on the best dealing terms of product quality, price and other after sales services offered (Cheng, 2017). Furthermore, through push messaging it will be possible for the app to bring its users to a specific page once they have tapped on the notification. This page will expose the farmers to their competitors and help them in developing an understanding of the level of competition in the market. Sending push messages to app users within Ottawa in real time, and the ability to direct these users to a specific content item, will provide the customer seeking naturally grown foods with the flexibility and engagement in assessing the products and services available. Furthermore, it alerts the customers of new happenings with one message (Cheng, 2017).

Application integration will also be considered effective when it can develop varieties of interfaces that will help a customer seeking naturally grown foods in Canada. The app will map out market places and farms. The process of realizing this objective will be through developing an interface that allows customers to give details about their farm locations, the products they sell and their nearest markets. The ability of the application to integrate the data generated and identifies common features by grouping farmers and their products will provide a platform for mapping these farmers in term do their products and markets hence making it relatively easier for the client to identify the best products in term of proximity, quality, and price (Iversen & Eierman, 2014). Furthermore, it would be important for the integration process to provide a platform for farmers to list their local in-season products. Such listing process will provide details of the period of product availability in different part of Ottawa. When the application also allows users to share comments and post picture or videos of the products available or those they intend to purchase, it will be possible to develop a community of users on the social networking sites who are focused on the sale of high quality products to their customers at friendly prices. Application integration is an essential element in ensuring app effectiveness because it improves on the design of the app making it easy to use hence improving on its functionality and user experience (Cheng, 2017).

Management and Security

The main objective of developing an application especially in marketing or seeking a product is to ensure that it is readily available to the target users. However, users will only be attracted to an application that guarantees the security of personal or sensitive information that they provide (Maumbe et al, 2013). This means that the process of app development must be defined by its ability to be updated and provide security of user information. One of the ways of enhancing management and security is by ensuring that the application offers a facility of central management and updating (Iversen & Eierman, 2014). This will be through the development of a role based user authorization that will ensure that famers, who are majority of users are provided with complete authority of controlling over who can accesses app content. Through this approach, it will be possible for admin users to internal and general roles by assigning created roles to specific app content (Iversen & Eierman, 2014). Furthermore, the application will develop a platform that facilitates the possibility of accepting or declining users registering in the app. The registered users will be assigned specific roles as dictated by the admin users giving them authority of accessing authorized content in the app. This approach to management and security will be a technique of keeping confidential data away from unauthorized users (Maumbe et al, 2013). It will also enhance the possibility of creating exclusivity by unlocking creating content to certain users and improving on the ability of tracking the actions of individual users in the application. For the farmers, this will improve on their trust levels and increase the possibility that they will embrace the app in marketing their naturally grown farm products (Iversen & Eierman, 2014).

The ability of the application to update itself with limited involvement of the user is also integral in enhancing its effectiveness to the users. The app is aimed at attracting farers involved in the production of food that is naturally grown. This means that it must ensure that the updating process is easy to use as a technique of attracting more users. Integrating the app with an effective content management system will provide a platform that makes changes in content without coding. This will ensure that the users will be able to update their native Mobile app through the drag and drop technique of any new content such as images or videos into the app (Cheng, 2017).

The Total Ownership Cost of Platform

While it is important to develop an application that embraces varieties of features, it will be important to consider the cost implications in the development, deployment, management, and enhancing applications. A research process on the cost of the application to ensure that the total costs incurred in the choice of platform do not exceed the intended benefits will define this. This process will require a consideration of the type of infrastructure needed the nature, and the cost of professional services and time required from the conception to the deployment of the application (Iversen & Eierman, 2014). The application targets farmers with variance in their economic capabilities. This means that for the application to be effective in the market, it must be available at the most affordable price to the farmer and the developer. Centralizing the development process is considered as a cost reduction technique because it will facilitate pooling of resources necessary in app development and the conceptualization of the possible ideas that can be used in enhancing the app after its deployment in the target market (Cheng, 2017).

Conclusion

The process of developing a mobile application for finding naturally growing food items begins with a consideration of the target audience and their capabilities. At the initial stages, this may be a time-consuming process because it will require an in-depth research initiative on the demographics of the target audience. This will be followed by an integration of varieties of tools for app management and functionality. By developing an application supported by varieties of devices and operating systems it will be possible to ensure that the application integrates with other related aspects to ensure that it is flexible, easy to use and enhances the security and safety of information provided at a low cost. For the farmers offering naturally grown food, this will improve on their trust levels and increase the possibility that they will embrace the app in marketing their farm products. Through mobile applications, it is possible for customers to access product and varieties of available services in the form of discounts, coupons, engage in promotion of products as, and services, fill out surveys, and receive feedback from product owners

 

Indigenous Food Systems

Introduction

Food is considered as one of the most essential elements that necessitate human survival. This is because of the need for nutrients and strengths among humans. Prior to modernization societies embraced varieties of food production approaches to ensure that they established proper food security mechanisms through indigenous ways. The indigenous food systems embraced natural approaches to food production (Magdoff, 2007). However, with increase in population, increased demand for food and availability of business opportunities, the modern food system was introduced to the meet increasing demand. This involved the use of hybrid and scientifically generated methods of large-scale food production. However, with climate change and increased vulnerability of different populations to lifestyle disease emanating from processes of modem food systems, there is need to develop techniques of merging the tenets of indigenous and modem food system to promote food security and a health society (Grey & Patel, 2015). This essay will assess indigenous and modern food systems in terms of the general principle that can be borrowed from the former and applied to the latter system to increase their sustainability.

Indigenous and Modem Food Systems

Indigenous food systems include all the systems of farming, processing, storing, trading, and consuming that are applicable within a particular geographical region. The origin of the indigenous food system predates large-scale industrial farming. This means that the indigenous food system is inclusive of systems that are primarily dependent on endemic food crops such as underutilized or native species (Steffen et al, 2011). They also include farmer served varieties of staple food items such as corn, wheat, and rice. In indigenous food system the cultivation processing of food items, involve manual practices that are subject to change overtime. These changes can be attributed to evidence of setting indigenous agricultural systems that have incorporated novel and updated technological approaches or even engaged in large-scale production for industrial markets. However, when viewed from a broader perspective, indigenous food systems have qualitative and quantitative differences with modern food system that embrace mechanized industrial agricultural approaches which are highly dependent on hybrid germplasm of the major staple foods in the world (Steffen et al, 2011).

The terms indigenous food systems also connote the local practices used in trading, marketing and consumption that are often undertaken through approaches tare a reflection of contemporary or historical associations within ethic communities or among culturally specific patterns of meaning making, symbolism and identity. The terms indignity of the food system does not refer to the ethnicity of the people participating in the process but it can be understood from the cultural and historical origin of the food products that they include and the methodologies used in planting, growing, harvesting, processing, and storing of such food items (Corvalan et al, 2005). Unlike the indigenous food system, modern food systems are defined by the desire to embrace technology in the production of food. This has resulted in the hybridization of food items in ways that ensure faster and effective food production processes. The modern food system is also defined by the increasing need for food and the unfavorable climatic condition, which affect the natural processes of food production (Steffen et al, 2011). Through mechanized and technologically generated foods, the public has been able to enjoy the benefits emanating from such food supply in terms of the value, convenience, and consistency. Through the modern food system, agriculture has become mechanized by irrigation of dry land and reclamation to facilitate food production process. Other approaches include the scientific innovations in genetically modified foods that have facilitated the development of drought and pest’s resistant crops to enhance food security. Additional approaches that define modern food system include greenhouse technology and the introduction of pesticides to curb pest and diseases in the agricultural sector (Steffen et al, 2011).

Unlike the indigenous food system, modern food systems are defined by the desire to embrace technology in the production of food. This has resulted in the hybridization of food items in ways that ensure faster and effective food production processes. The modern food system is also defined by the increasing need for food and the unfavorable climatic condition, which affect the natural processes of food production (Steffen et al, 2011). Through mechanized and technologically generated foods, the public has been able to enjoy the benefits emanating from such food supply in terms of the value, convenience, and consistency. Through the modern food system, agriculture has become mechanized by irrigation of dry land and reclamation to facilitate food production process. Other approaches include the scientific innovations in genetically modified foods that have facilitated the development of drought and pest’s resistant crops to enhance food security. Additional approaches that define modern food system include greenhouse technology and the introduction of pesticides to curb pest and diseases in the agricultural sector (Steffen et al, 2011).

Despite these improvements modern food system has been criticized on its sustainability in terms of continued supply of healthy and abundant food items. Sustainability issues emanate from suggestions that through the modern food system, the society is obtaining food items at a high cost. This has resulted in the development of negative perceptions about the value and health of processed foods that have populated varieties of food outlets (Turner et al, 2000). Different factors have contributed to the development of these negative perceptions ad they include low levels of science literacy and the upsurge of lifestyle diseases. Furthermore, other factors such as uneasiness with technology and the use of chemicals in the production, processing and storage of food items continues to generate safety and sustainability issues regarding the modern food system (Corvalan et al, 2005).

Proponents of the indigenous food systems argue that there is need for the modern food system to embrace the former’s principles of food production as techniques of improving on its sustainability and ability to enhance the safety of the resulting food items. These assumptions can be attributed to perceived differences in the quality of life and the quality of food emanating from the indigoes food production system (Steffen et al, 2011). According to the proponent of the indigenous food system, this approach to food production not only enhances the production of healthy food items but also facilitate the development of techniques that enhance environmental sustainability, which is crucial in long-term food production. Furthermore, they assert that the value of the indigenous food system is associated to the historical association of the food system and the environment with reference to local and traditional practices that ensure responsible use of the local ecosystem. By embracing this food system, it will be possible to develop techniques of enhancing the preservation and recovery of the natural environment considering its essence in shaping the livelihood of cultures when they act as stewards of biodiversity (Magdoff, 2007).

Principles of indigenous food system to introduce to the modern food system

Nutritional Value of Food Items

            The quality of any food items is dependent on the nutritional value it provides to the consumers. This means that other than the quantity of food, it is important for food producers to understand and embrace its nutritional value as elements of food quality. This principle food production in the indigenous food system is considered crucial because it helps in understanding the nutrients composition of food, the underlying benefits, and the threats (Grey & Patel, 2015). Modern food system is characterized by the integration of technology in food production. This means that through mechanization and automation of systems it is possible to realize high production levels with a short period. While embracing the principal of nutritional value of food items, it will be important to assess the available indigenous food items through technological apparatus. This will enable the collection and documentation of data on varieties of naturally available micronutrients that are relevant in areas where growth of certain food products is constrained by ecological features (Bird et al, 2010).

            Indigenous food system is based on the understanding that food production is cultural and geographic specific. This means that different regions of the world have effective techniques that can ensure availability of healthy food items and sustainability of the food production process. This understanding is also based on the assumption that food production is central to the definition of cultural and nutritional identity (Steffen et al, 2011). By integrating the nutritional value of food items into the modern food system, it will be possible to identify and address the sternal factors that undermine the preservation of food production systems. This will enable the development of sustainable solutions on how to enhance large-scale production of indigenous food items through indigenous techniques to meet the growing demand for food items necessitated by globalization (Steffen et al, 2011). The use of varieties of preservation approaches of the indigenous food production systems while integrating it with the modern system is perceived as part of the sustainable solutions because it emphasizes on how varieties of approaches and intercropping can be embraced to facilitate high yield varieties. This is because mono cropping, which is characteristic of large-scale production in modern food system has led to high dependence on few major food items and resulted to the loss of biodiversity (Corvalan et al, 2005).

Crop Resilience and Dietary Diversity

There is perceived inability of indigenous food system to feeding the global population due to increased demand for food on the global platform. However, by integrating varieties of elements of this system with the modern food system can enhance the development of sustainable ways of feeding the growing global population, the preservation of the ecosystem and the protection of biodiversity (Bird et al, 2010). This approach to sustainable production of food is dependent on the ability of governing bodies across the world to develop partnerships that facilitate access to technology and ensuring the existence of policy balance between the need to preserve indigenous food systems and the growing pressure of globalization. This will encourage the development of a holistic approach to sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches to food production considering they will embrace diversity that contributes to resilience in addressing food production issues. Such resilience is considered as a risk management technique (Steffen et al, 2011).

Other than mitigating the risks associated with food production, the process of improving the modern food system through the integration of indigenous food system will require an understanding of numerous methodologies that address both non-market and market values. Indigenous food system embraces regulations that limit environmental degradation (Magdoff, 2007). These regulations were inscribed in the traditional values and practices of the communities. However, in the modern food system, globalization has broken adherence to such regulations and this explains why governments must assess the policies that defined indigenous food system and develop regulations aligned to these norms with the objective of reining practices that are detrimental to the natural environment and the consumers of food items (Magdoff, 2007). Furthermore, through research and education on indigenous food systems, it will be possible for government in in the modern food system to identify and disseminate effective indigenous approaches that can be used in enhancing human health and food production systems. Furthermore, the market forces can embrace elements of indigenous food system through the provision of incentives for different practices that are aimed at benefiting the environment and the society (Grey & Patel, 2015).

Consumer Involvement and Value Orientation    

It is notable that if market forces are to play a role in integrating the beneficial elements of the indigenous food system with the modern food system, then the consumers must be involved. The involvement of consumers ensures that they understand the operations undertaken by the market to enhance food safety. Like in the indigenous food system, the consumers will invest their resources in food production practices that match the expected value. Through such information, consumers will be willing to pay more for their food items if it means that the production system will be informed by cleaner and healthier sources (Corvalan et al, 2005). Consumers who prefer low cost milk for instance, would be willing to pay more with the objective of facilitating the operation of dairy businesses operating with the objective of producing healthy food. Furthermore, through such levels of consumer involvement the modem food system will be driven by the utilitarian objective of supporting the vitality of agricultural initiatives embracing natural means of production (Steffen et al, 2011). A consumer involvement also entails consumer education. This is based on the expectation that the government will introduce as part of its curriculum varieties of factors related to indigenous food system. An informed population is critical for the success of the modern food system because they will make their purchasing and agricultural production decisions on the value and health of the food items they intend to produce or consume (Bird et al, 2010).

Indigenous food system is based on the understanding that values play a vital role in shaping every step of the food system. This includes farm practices, the marketing messages, waste management, and the food consumption patterns. Values are also responsible for shaping the perspectives and policies that affect the techniques embraced for environmental stewardship, economic decisions, ability to realize justice and fairness in the food system and the hunt for efficiency (Grey & Patel, 2015). Negative perceptions characterizing modern food systems due to the fusion of agriculture and science arises from the inability of these development of adhere to the value systems that promote human health and safe food. The protection and enhancement of human life and the environment are the underlying values that define indigenous food system. This is because the participants in this food system acknowledge the essence of food in enhancing human life and their role in engaging in practices that facilitate environment conservation to guarantee future production of safe food. By embracing such values, it will be easier for governments in the modern food system to use them as the framework of developing behavioral norms and policies that set limits on the exploitation of the environment and human capital (Grey & Patel, 2015). Through such values, the modern food system will demonstrate its dedication to the preservation and promotion of not only the economic but also the social and environmental wellbeing of the larger food system and agriculture. Part of tis approaches would be the introduction of land ethic polices which would direct the public on their responsibility in the protection of the natural environment in their exploitation attempts. This will be possible through the sensitization of members of the society to perceive land as part of the community in need of love and respect (Bird et al, 2010).

Conclusion

Indigenous food system is based on the understanding that community, environmental and nutritional value systems play a vital role in shaping every step of the food system. By integrating these elements with modern food system, it will be possible to streamline farm practices, the marketing messages, waste management, and the food consumption patterns. Consumer education and sensitization on their responsibility to the environment and human health through policies and regulations will shape their perspectives and activities that affect the techniques embraced for environmental stewardship and food production.

 

 

 

 

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