Knowledge for better food systems

Fodder: The FCRN Newsletter

We send out a weekly newsletter which provides an essential round-up of food sustainability-relevant publications, articles, jobs and events. Sign up to receive it, or better still join as an FCRN member and connect with our diverse network of members.

Network updates

Foodsource news

Attentive visitors of FCRN’s sister website Foodsource may have noticed new features on this learning resource arriving in the last few months. For example, you can now download all Foodsource images in high resolution here. They include diagrams and explanatory mindmaps and can be used in presentations, on websites and teaching materials (with credit to the FCRN).

Foodsource consists of 10 informally peer-reviewed chapters providing a clear, accessible, balanced and scientifically robust overview of the many interlinked social and environmental issues related to our food system.

We are actively seeking feedback on how to improve Foodsource. If you have any ideas or suggestions for improvement, please contact Sam at

  • If you’re a student, what additional resources would you like to see included to help you with your studies?
  • If you’re a lecturer, how can we make these learning resources more useful to you in devising your curricula?
  • If you work at an NGO, food business or government, what topics or functions could we add so that you can use Foodsource in your work?

We are working hard on further improvements and look forward to sharing these with you over the coming months.
The FCRN team

Research library

Journals and Journal Articles

Photo: Areeb Anwer, Flickr, Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic

These two papers in the journal The Lancet report on the initial findings of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. This large population-based study found that a diet that includes a moderate intake of fat and fruits and vegetables, and in which less than 60% of energy comes from carbohydrates, is associated with lower risk of death. The authors call for a reconsideration of global dietary recommendations in light of their results.

Photo credit: Maryland GovPics, Buy Local, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0

This paper examines the common assumption that local foods are more sustainable than foods sourced from more distant locations. Using the multi-criteria decision aid method (MCDA), which allows for multi-dimensional criteria to be assessed, this paper answers the following research question: “how do selected local or global food products compare and which rank first in terms of sustainability performance?”. 


This is a baseline report by research consortium INHERIT funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The INHERIT project aims to identify effective inter-sectoral policies, interventions and innovations that enable a ‘triple win’ by reducing environmental impacts, improving health and wellbeing, and generating greater health equity.


This book by Nick Silver provides an in-depth critique of the current financial system.


Food environment plays an important role in shaping healthy and sustainable diet. Studies have found that residents who are living in unhealthy food environment are associated with higher risks of obesity and diabetes. It, however, remains unknown how food environment can be improved. This project aims to investigate one potential strategy in improving the food environment: online shopping. It seeks to understand whether online grocery shopping plays a role in constructing a healthy food environment.

As a part of the project, the researchers would like to conduct a survey to investigate grocery shopping habits of residents in the UK. Take part here.

This survey is limited to the UK at the moment. If you are interested in it but not living in the UK or would like to collaborate with the researchers, you can get in touch with them at

Oxfam Germany are looking for a coordinator to manage their 52 charity shops. The person would be responsible for the running of exisiting shops and oversee the opening of new Oxfam Shops. They would recruit volunteers, hold training sessions for managers of the shops and define sales targets. 

You can find more information here

The primary goal of the conference is to assess the state of academic and practice-based knowledge related to cities and climate change, and to establish a global research agenda involving the academic, practitioner and urban policy-making communities based on the joint identification of key knowledge gaps. Contributions need to relate to the conference themes below and can take several forms including scientific presentations, oral elaboration of lessons learned from case studies/best practices or posters. Posters may be shown through interactive electronic displays.

  1. Cities & climate change (Imperatives for action)
  2. Urban emissions, impacts and vulnerabilities (Science and practice of cities)
  3. Solutions for the transition to low carbon and climate resilient cities (Science and practice for cities)
  4. Enabling transformative climate action in cities (Advancing science and advancing cities)

The conference will be held 5 - 7 March 2018. The deadline for submissions is 6 October 2017. Full information can be found here.

A special issue of Sustainability will be devoted to the topic of governance for climate smart agriculture. FCRN member Professor Jonathan Verschuuren at Tilburg University, Netherlands is guest editor of this issue.  The special issue will focus on a wide range of governance issues related to these questions from a multidisciplinary perspective, including, but not limited to, law, economics, business administration, policy, public administration, sociology and psychology.

The editor writes: 'Despite the widespread endorsement of sustainable climate smart farming practices and technologies by the scientific community, it seems unlikely that the entire agricultural sector across the world will convert from conventional to climate smart agriculture anytime soon. Therefore, the broad adoption of climate smart agriculture now has primarily become a governance issue. What interventions are needed to stimulate farmers and agri-businesses to move to climate smart practices and technologies, and how can consumers be steered towards climate smart food consumption?'

Deadline for manuscript submissions is 30 May 2018. Further information can be found here

The UK's Committee on Climate Change provides independent advice to the UK government. They are tendering a piece of work entitled: Quantify the impact of future land use scenarios to 2050 and beyond. The aim of this project is to create a simple spreadsheet modelling tool based on bottom-up analysis of existing data and evidence to quantify the impact of a set of future land use scenarios. The scenarios should focus on pathways that deliver deep emissions reduction, increased bioenergy outputs and increased sequestration in the UK agriculture and other sectors.

You can find all the relevant information here.


The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is an annual point of assembly and an exchange of knowledge in the field of the food history. This year’s Symposium aims to address the notion of taste: its characteristics, its cultural evaluation, and its history.

From the organisers:

Making Sense of Taste
From which angle does a scholar approach the concept of taste? Is it primarily an objective, chemical quality, or should it be considered a product of culture? And are these perspectives wholly incompatible? The physical quality and flavour of food and drink preoccupy molecular biologists, gastronomic professionals, and bon vivants. Chemists, among others, construe classification systems, aspiring to help us understand the complexity and the possibilities of flavour. Mediators and their audiences may oftentimes embrace subjectivity, by detailing their intimate and embodied experience of taste. Neither approach is new: historically, classification systems have had major cultural and religious significance, whereas the conception of ‘good’ food – as opposed to ‘bad’ food – and its application in mechanisms of social distinction is at least as old as class-based societies themselves. Clearly, discussions about taste have always been informed by an array of physiological and psychological experiences, not just our palates.

Symposium fee is €60 (reduced fee €40). It runs from Friday, 17 November to Saturday 18 November 2017.

For more information and to register, see here.

This seminar held in London on the morning of the 21st of September will consider UK food security policy in the context of Brexit negotiations, wider international agreements and domestic policy.

It follows the announcement of an Agricultural Bill aimed at supporting UK farmers after the UK leaves the EU and the publication of FSA’s proposals for future food regulation, which include plans for an enhanced system of registration for all food businesses to better identify and manage risk across the food chain.

Places cost £210 (£80 concessions) plus VAT.

For more information, see here