Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eating at a Lower Trophic Level - Good or bad?

So, lower trophic levels. To sum it up, they are the lower positions on a food chain where organisms reside. An example could be a plant of some sort, or even a worm maybe. The question being, should people generally eat at a lower trophic level, I'd have to say yes and no. There are pros and cons to everything, especially this particular inquery.

An upside to eating at a lower trophic level more often is it could turn out to be healthier for humans in the long run. Plants, vegetables, various crops are always seen as healthy options to chow down on. I don't know about worms and insects..but smaller fish, animals, and whatnot may turn out to be better for our internal systems as well. The second pro would be that doing so in eating at a lower trophic level, humans may over time be able to help reduce the time that larger animals of higher levels are becoming extinct. I'm not exactly sure if polar bears are still hunted, but if they are, then that is really really bad right now. Seeing as they are quickly becoming extinct, just stopping to kill them altogether might help out with the issue. Pro three would have to be that it is easier to find lower trophic level foods. This being put out there, there may be more options and numbers in choices for humans to pick from, which would then guarantee that most of the human population could live off from eating lower trophic level species. Pretty much everyone wins if you think of it this way.

Now, cons are a little less positive and upbeat, sadly. Eating at lower trophic levels could be really healthy for humans, but also not so. Humans need protein. Meat has protein. Big, lean, chunks of meat from a cow and or pig. Humans crave for the stuff. So, canceling out the bigger meat altogether might make a few humans angry. Angry humans aren't that good for the earth. It also could lead to humans becoming weaker than before, which would hurt our strength in the army if we would need to go to war at some point. That's sort of a huge disadvantage if you look at it from such a drastic angle. Adding on to the negativity of lower trophic level feeding, with us eating so many smaller organisms and plants, we are taking away the foods that higher trophic level species rely on themselves. Whether we are eating the higher levels or not, extinction still could be possible. And even more so, extinction could happen to those lower level types over time if we become greedy. Also by tampering with the earth for plants and smaller organisms, humans may eventually dig up so much soil, we ruin the natural settings for growing crops. And here we are, then, with everyone losing at this certain point of view.

Reading over the fact that in less developed countries, soy is more commonly produced and digested than cows are, which are just as devoured frequently in the more developed countries, I sort of furrowed my eyebrows. America should be using more soy products over beef items, in my opinion, then. If soy can produce 200 kg of protein, while cows produce a measly 19 kg, what are we doing eating cows for? It does make sense, though. In less developed countries, soy would be easier to get a hold of than cows. Also, with such weakened bodies from the deprivation of real food in said areas, the soy would help nourish and keep the stability of residents high and healthy. Well, as high as is needed to live, of course. In America, we are meat loving, greedy little porkers. We want cow, and we want it now (not me personally). With that in mind, sometimes we don't take the time to analyze how much protein we could be getting instead of how much we are, just because something tastes good to our hungry tongues.

Alright, second half of my assignment here. Excited? You really should be. Not even kidding.
I need to list a few foods that I have eaten over the last five days. Well, seeing as I barely eat as much as some normal, seventeen-year-old might, this could be a little tough to think over. I'd have to say..
Water (does it count? I think so..)
Green beans

....And I'm doing this as in these are foods I've had over a seven day line up instead of a five day. I figured it would be better, since I eat smaller portions of each at random times in a week, and it's not every day. Again, I'm a weird eater. My friends would get that if they have gone out to eat somewhere with me before.. SO. Moving on.

What trophic level each food came from.. Water comes from the lower trophic level. Actually, you know what? I'm pretty positively sure that every single one of my foods comes from the lower trophic level. Mr. Schaedel, you can comment and tell me if I'm wrong or not. But I think I'm right. I hope. Maybe. I'm actually winging it on this one.

I'm going to estimate that about 86% or possibly 90% of the food in my diet comes from either the first or second trophic level. I'm a vegetarian, but not a vegan, so milk gets in there sometimes..and so can the occasional, very rarely consumed, egg.

The percentage of my diet that comes from the higher tophic levels?.. I'd say the last 10% then. I'm not sure what would go into that since I don't eat meat..but..I do eat fish sometimes......so...yeah.

Awesome blog. Done. Thanks.

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