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

Paid internship at the FCRN – 12 weeks contract

The Food Climate Research Network is seeking a paid intern to work 2.5-3 days/week, initially for 12 weeks, starting ASAP.  You  will be responsible for writing content for our weekly newsletter, Fodder.

More specifically work will involve:

  • Writing between3-5 short summaries of relevant journal articles / reports per week
  • Searching for relevant jobs, conferences and other events, and news articles also for inclusion and summarising details appropriately
  • Managing our social media presence – including our twitter account and our Facebook page
  • Liaising with the website manager prior to upload, and with the FCRN director.

You will need to have: a demonstrable knowledge of and interest in food sustainability issues and. proven writing skills.  You will likely have completed or currently be undertaking a Masters in a relevant subject and you will be familiar with the work of the FCRN.  Work will be undertaken remotely.

For more information and to apply please contact taragarnett@fcrn.org.uk, attaching a CV.  The deadline for applications is 5pm Monday 21 January.

Research library

Journals and Journal Articles

Photo: David Stanley, Machu Picchu, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

This paper by researchers in Peru and Spain recognises the as yet uninvestigated potential for developing countries, such as Peru, to mitigate their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by changing dietary patterns, given that food represents a high proportion of household expenditure. The study employed Life Cycle Assessment to analyse the impacts of 47 Peruvian diet profiles.

Photo: MIKI Yoshihito, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0

This article in the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) journal examines NGOs’ opposition to agricultural biotechnologies. It finds that opposition to genome editing cannot be dismissed as being solely emotional or dogmatic, as is often asserted by the scientific molecular biology community (see for example this 2016 letter by 107 Nobel Laureates calling NGO action against GM a "crime against humanity”). Instead, opposition to genome editing among research participants was rooted in three areas of scepticism around the framing of food security problems and the proposed solutions.

Reports

In November 2017, in response to the FCRN’s report Grazed and Confused, the Eating Better Alliance brought together a range of researchers and civil society to discuss pasture farming and in particular its contribution to climate change. The meeting began with a presentation by Tara Garnett. It was organised because Eating Better was keen to have a discussion about the implications of this research for civil society messaging toward ‘less and better’ meat and dairy, and farming in pasture-based livestock systems.

This report by Dutch bank ING considers the potential for a protein shift away from animal to plant protein. It finds that a quarter of EU consumers expects to eat less meat in five years’ time, mainly because of the concerns about the associated negative health effects. In addition, it poses that a further shift in consumer preferences is likely as the level of innovation in alternative protein is high and governments are increasingly concerned about the carbon footprint of diets.

Resources

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has developed a new online tool. DOPA Explorer 2.0 provides allows users to explore and compare protected areas, with regard to their species and ecosystems, and the pressures they are exposed to through human development. 

Swiss company Eaternity has developed a set of tools to aid restaurants and chefs to get insights into the supply-chain of the produce they use and improve their nutritional and environmental impacts. The tools include a series of health and sustainability indicators and labels and a menu design app.

News

This article in Food Navigator discusses a start-up company which produces dairy proteins, from sugar and genetically modified yeast. The resulting proteins can be used in a wide range of products to replace animal-produced dairy protein, such as in chocolate, ice cream, protein shakes and yoghurt.

This special edition of ‘Duurzaam Bedrijfsleven’ (in Dutch) is dedicated to food issues.

Books

This book, edited by Bruce Frayne, Jonathan Crush and Cameron McCordic, argues that programmes aimed at reducing food poverty in Africa overemphasise small-scale farmers and ignore urban food security.

This book by Helmut Traitler, Michel Dubois, Keith Heikes, Vincent Petiard, David Zilberman provides an overview of current food systems and potential future directions for agriculture and food.

Opportunities

The Food Climate Research Network is seeking a paid intern to work 2.5-3 days/week, initially for 12 weeks, starting ASAP. You will be responsible for writing content for our weekly newsletter, Fodder.

More specifically work will involve:

  • Writing between 3-5 short summaries of relevant journal articles / reports per week
  • Searching for relevant jobs, conferences and other events, and news articles also for inclusion and summarising details appropriately
  • Managing our social media presence – including our twitter account and our Facebook page
  • Liaising with the website manager prior to upload, and with the FCRN director.

You will need to have: a demonstrable knowledge of and interest in food sustainability issues and. proven writing skills. You will likely have completed or currently be undertaking a Masters in a relevant subject and you will be familiar with the work of the FCRN. Work will be undertaken remotely.

For more information and to apply please contact taragarnett@fcrn.org.uk, attaching a CV.  The deadline for applications is 5pm Monday 21 January.

The PhD student will be part of a project that aims to develop a new set of models to assess the performance of policy instruments – such as various carbon pricing and information provision instruments – in terms of employment, equity and CO2 emissions. The position is suitable for economists with modelling skills, computer scientists or mathematicians.

See here for more details on the project and the position. For expression of interest or information, contact Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh via jeroen.bergh@uab.es

Allergic to Salad is seeking part-time children’s food educators to join their team. They will be responsible for leading and/or assisting kids cooking events (classes, parties and special events). Classes are in various locations around the city -- east Brooklyn, lower Manhattan, Western Queens, for example. Candidate should be a good, clear communicator, flexible and positive team player and outspoken and comfortable working with children.

For more information see here.

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is seeking applications from a climate-smart agriculture (CSA) specialist to implement the project: ‘’Projet d’Assistance Technique long-terme au Ministère de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable du Niger’’.

For more information and to apply, see here

Eating Better is looking for an executive director to lead the Eating Better alliance into its next stage of development. They will have experience of working with a wide range of stakeholders towards measurable outcomes for sustainable food futures in the UK, and of working with a small staff team and Board to develop and fund programmes of work to deliver on strategic objectives.

For more information on the position and to apply, see here.

Events

The International Convention of Environmental Laureates is the European Environment Foundation’s flagship event. Held annually, the Convention brings together some 100 winners of environmental awards and prizes from around the world to connect and collaborate. The theme of ICEL 2018 is “Food”. The aim is to provide a platform for discussing the many interconnections between food – from the ‘farm to the fork’ – and the natural environment.

Note also the Young Talents’ Day during which students and young activists can join round table discussions on the latest urgent environmental policy issues.

For more information or to sign up to attend or give a presentation, see the conference’s website here