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.


Research library

Journals and Journal Articles

Photo: Matthias Ripp, Agriculture, Flickr, CC by 2.0

This paper, by researchers from the US and the Netherlands, presents the findings of a model analysis that estimates how much soil organic carbon (SOC) has been lost, and from where, as a result of land use and land cover change (LU-LCC) associated with human agricultural activities.

Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 20130712-AMS-LSC-0415, Flickr, CC by 2.0

This paper presents the findings of a food systems model that considers how specific agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture could be harnessed so as to enable it to play a greater role in sustainable food systems.

Photo: Stanze, Young male Charolais cattle, Flickr, CC by 2.0

A new paper titled Distributions of emissions intensity for individual beef cattle reared on pasture-production systems details a new method, developed at the North Wyke Farm Platform, of assessing grazing livestock impacts and benefits at the level of individual animals.

Reports

Public policy action tank Brighter Green has published a discussion paper on changing food environments and the effects on global public health. Author Judy Bankman examines the challenges created by the recent and swift adoption of a “Western”-style diet in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science and Unilever partnered to host a workshop on sustainable nutrition. Researchers (including the FCRN’s Tara Garnett) gathered at the LCIRAH center in London to translate current findings from research on sustainability, food systems, nutrition and diet into actions that can effectively be implemented by Unilever through its brands, products and services.

The new report by World Wildlife Fund, Appetite for Destruction, highlights the vast amount of land that is needed to grow the crops used for animal feed, including in some of the planet’s most vulnerable areas such as the Amazon, Congo Basin and the Himalayas.

Books

This new handbook, edited by Danny Hunter, Luigi Guarino, Charles Spillane and Peter C. McKeown, presents a comprehensive and multidisciplinary overview of the current knowledge of agricultural biodiversity.

This new book explores the current resistance to the corporate neoliberal agri-food regime. It theorizes and empirically assesses the strengths, limits and contradictions that characterize different forms of established and emerging resistance movements.

News

Photo: Sarah Meyer, Fridge, Flickr, CC by 2.0

One year after the global Kigali amendment to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), new survey findings from Emerson and international polling company ComRes examine how European retailers are navigating away from HFCs towards lower global warming alternatives.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, schools chancellor Carmen Fariña and Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams announced that 15 Brooklyn schools will participate in Meatless Mondays in spring 2018. The program will provide participating schools with healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday. The NYC mayor, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Gracie Mansion will also go meatless for all Monday meals.

Opportunities

Feedback is an environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste and to move towards a better use of food, resources and nutrients within the food system. They are looking for a project manager for a new project.

Feedback’s Regional Food Economy Pilot is a three-year project to create a socially desirable and politically feasible blueprint for a replicable low-carbon, resilient regional food economy as an alternative to the current destructive, growth-reliant system.

The overall objectives for this role are:

  • To establish a community-anchored pilot enterprise and regional networks for the exchange of saved food and food waste redistribution, for human and livestock consumption and soil enrichment
  • To boost the social acceptability of food waste revalorisation to feed humans and livestock, by engaging and educating the public in the North-West, and throughout the UK, on its role within a sustainable food system and a resilient food economy
  • To enable the shift to waste-free, low-impact, resilient regional food economies throughout the UK through sharing learnings from the pilot with policy makers and advocating for policy measures that would support the pilot enterprise’s replication

For full details of the role, click here.

Feedback is an environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste and to move towards a better use of food, resources and nutrients within the food system.  They are now recruiting for their Pig Idea campaign team.

The policy officer and stakeholder coordinator will support the Pig Idea campaign manager / Animal Feed specialist with the overall aim of campaign to lift the current ban on using meat-containing food waste as feed for non-ruminant livestock (featured before in a FCRN blog). While working towards the lifting of the ban, the policy officer will also help to encourage the uptake of currently permissible former foodstuffs in animal feed.

You can find more information on the position here.

This PhD studentship focuses on the consequential Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of managing agricultural and forestry systems including the use of biochar for greenhouse gas removal from the atmosphere (GGRA) through increased soil carbon.

The PhD is part of the NERC-funded Soils-R-GGREAT project. The PhD student will be based with the GGRA team at the Cranfield Institute for Resilient Futures. The candidate must be confident with computer models and have some experience with LCA.

For more information on the PhD studentship, see here.

The Warren Wilson College, an independent liberal arts college in Asheville, North Carolina, seeks applicants for a full-time faculty position with joint appointment in the Departments of Biology and Environmental Studies.

The successful applicant must be able to teach animal anatomy and/or physiology, introductory biology, and animal-related courses in their specialty that will support Warren Wilson College’ Sustainable Agriculture program. Specialties of particular interest include animal nutrition, animal science, and coursework that would support students pursuing careers in veterinary science and/or livestock management.

For more information, please look here.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia is seeking applicants for two senior research scientist positions in the area of mitigation, life cycle assessment and value chains in their Climate Smart Agriculture programme.

The first position focuses on agriculture greenhouse emissions & sustainability. The role includes developing and applying life cycle assessment and natural capital accounting and providing environmental benchmarking metrics and advice to agribusinesses and other institutions involved in agriculture with the intention of reducing climate risk, maintaining social licence and creating capacity for agriculture to progress sustainable development goals and underpin corporate social responsibility aspirations particularly relating to climate performance. See more here.

The second position focuses on climate change, agri-business & agricultural systems. This role includes developing and applying foresighting, analysis and solutions to help agribusiness and financial institutions meet market, social licence and business growth in the face of climate, climate policy impacts and stakeholder/shareholder/consumer concerns and pressures. The role will span the value chain (and analyse vulnerability across the value chain), take an innovation systems approach to technology adoption, evaluate multi-criteria risk and benefits sufficient to realistic assess natural capital values and integrated progress to millennium sustainability goals. For more details, see here.

Mia McDonald, executive director at the public policy action tank Brighter Green, will teach a 5-week course at Columbia University’s Earth Institute for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) on food, equity and sustainability.

This course will provide an overview of the multiple and varied intersections among environmental and social factors involved in food production and consumption. The broad challenge and opportunity of sustainability requires such a multifaceted approach and deviates sharply from conventional, unsustainable approaches focused on single factors, such as yield. The course is about policy—its development as well as implementation. It will, however, also explore the roles of public understanding and collective and individual action in informing policies and changing practices.

If you are not in New York City, you can participate via distance learning. You can find the course syllabus and additional information here.

Events

City University London and their Centre for Food Policy will host the event ‘Addressing hunger in America: cheap food or food with values?’ on 16 November. The guest speaker will be Andy Fisher, US expert in community food security and author of ‘Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups’.

Andy Fisher's talk will discuss the politics of the US nutrition programmes, which are integrally linked through the work of government, food industry, and anti–hunger groups in what he terms the “hunger industrial complex".

He will also provide examples of programs that seek to modify federal nutrition programs to promote a more integrated vision of food sovereignty, health, and sustainability. The discussion will then be opened to the audience for Q&A.

The seminar is free to attend and tickets are allocated on a first come first served basis so please do register here to secure your place.

This seminar will consider priorities for UK policy on high fat, sugar and salt foods.

With targets set out in the Childhood obesity plan for a 20% reduction in sugar in food by 2020 and continued commitments to reducing salt and calorie content, this conference will bring together policymakers with stakeholders across the food and drink sector to discuss priorities in reducing consumption of HFSS products. This will also be an opportunity to review the wider food environment following new restrictions by the Committee of Advertising Practice on HFSS foods advertising in children’s non-broadcast media which have recently come into effect.

Sessions focus on:

  • Policy priorities reducing HFSS foods - including the role of reformulation, innovation and how best to engage consumers;
  • The broader health picture - tackling obesity and poor oral health;
  • Reducing consumption - policy initiatives in Scotland;
  • The wider food environment - including regulating HFSS foods advertising, nutritional information and labelling and reducing consumption of HFSS products in an increasing out-of-home sector; and
  • Lessons learnt from local initiatives to reduce HFSS consumption and obesity levels.

For more information, see here.