Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: North America

North America is the northern subcontinent of the Americas covering about 16.5% of the Earth's land area. This large continent has a range of climates spanning Greenland’s permanent ice sheet and the dry deserts of Arizona. Both Canada and the USA are major food producers and some of the largest food exporters in the world. Industrial farms are the norm in North America, with high yields relative to other regions and only 2% of the population involved in agriculture.

Photo: Alpha, “Plate #1” Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
1 June 2017

This paper highlights the lack of inclusion of food consumption in the climate change policy debate. It presents an analysis of how changing from beef to beans could help achieve GHG reduction targets in the US. 

26 May 2017

This research from USDA’s Economic Research Service looks at trends in consumer demand for organic food since the 1990s and developments in organic production.

Photo: Eric Elnem, Food rescued from dumpster, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
26 May 2017

This paper shows that a huge amount of nutrients is wasted each day in the US food supply, and that much of this waste includes important nutrients that are currently under-consumed in the US. It is one of the first studies to calculate the nutritional value of food wasted in the US at the retail and consumer levels, shining a light on just how much protein, fibre and other important nutrients end up in the landfill in a single year.

19 April 2017

Based on a case study from Oakland California, a new report by Friends of the Earth US finds that schools can make lunches healthier and more climate-friendly while also saving money— by reformulating menus so that they are more plant centred, and contain less (and better) meat and fewer dairy products.

19 April 2017

This report, by the US based NRDC (The Natural Resources Defense Council) finds that the per capita diet related carbon footprint of the average US citizen decreased by 10% between 2005 and 2014, driven by a 19% decrease in beef consumption. 

29 March 2017

This is a commentary by Carbon Brief’s Leo Hickman on the latest executive order by US president Donald Trump that we copy below, for the original post -see here.

15 March 2017

A new study submitted to us by an FCRN member, highlights a final report from a four year, multi-disciplinary research project conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (located in Richmond, BC, Canada).

15 March 2017

Utilizing a model derived from literature on environmental justice overlaid with multiple scales of agriculture, Environmental Justice and Farm Labor provides key insights about laborers in agriculture in the United States. It addresses three main topics: (1) justice-related issues facing farmers and laborers on farms; (2) how history and policy have impacted them; and (3) the opportunities and leverage points for change in improving justice outcomes.

Image credit: with wind, 400kcal diet, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
15 March 2017

This paper looks at link between diets, health and climate and particularly the effects of adopting healthier diets in the US on the risk of disease, health care costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo credit: Migle, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
15 February 2017

This paper provides an overview of dietary guidance for pulses, discussing their nutritional composition and health benefits as well as the evolution of the way in which the USDA’s dietary guidelines categorise pulses. The paper was published in a special issue on The Potential of Pulses to Meet Today’s Health Challenges: Staple Foods in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

3 November 2016

With milk prices in the USA dropping due in part to a fall in demand from Chinese middle class customers, large stockpiles of cheese now lie waiting.

Credit: Dan zen, Golden soy, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0
11 October 2016

This paper by researchers in the US and Australia reports the findings of a long-term field-trial-based investigation into the effect of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations (CO2) on soy yield and drought tolerance. Their findings challenge the widely-held belief that crop yield will be increased by elevated CO2 (the so-called CO2 fertilisation effect) both because of increased photosynthetic rate, and because of lower susceptibility to drought: it has long been assumed that in higher CO2 conditions, stomatal conductance will be lower, leading to slower water loss from the leaves, slower water uptake from the roots, and consequently more moisture remaining in the soil for longer, thereby sustaining crops in limited rainfall.

16 September 2016

Researchers in California conducted a life cycle assessment to model the climate change mitigation potential of consuming produce grown in household vegetable gardens as opposed to those from stores.

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