Knowledge for better food systems

2019 issues of Fodder

Fodder: 9 May 2019

In Fodder this week: The UK’s Committee on Climate Change has set out a plan for the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050, arguing that if the plan were replicated across the world we would have a greater than 50% chance of limiting climate change to 1.5°C. The plan would see reductions in both food waste and consumption of beef, lamb and dairy, which would allow one fifth of UK farmland to be converted to tree planting, energy crops and peatland restoration.

In other news, the UK’s parliament has declared a climate and environment emergency, although the motion is not legally binding - tackling the global crisis of antimicrobial resistance requires urgent action across many sectors - the socioeconomic impacts of palm oil plantations in Indonesia vary highly depending on context - and one in five adults in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland experienced some level of food insecurity in 2016.

Fodder: 1 May 2019

In Fodder this week: Over 600 scientists, together with Brazilian Indigenous organisations, call for the European Union to integrate environmental and social protections into its trade negotiations with Brazil - a paper reviews the possibility of using cultured insect cells as a food source - consumption of red meat and alcohol is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer - illegal dumping of European electronic wasteleads to unsafe levels of toxic chemicals in some free-range eggs in Ghana - and a study argues it is unlikely that global resource use can decline while economic growth continues.

Fodder: 25 April 2019

In Fodder this week: Feeding shrimp with plants instead of fishmeal could reduce pressure on marine resources, but the trade-off is greater consumption of freshwater, land and fertiliser - new European Union food labelling regulations could ban vegetarian foods from being described as burgers or steaks - a report calls for the right to food to be integrated into Scottish law - and researchers call for policymakers to support both organic agriculture and improvements in conventional agriculture.


Fodder: 17 April 2019

In Fodder this week: A review paper assesses the impacts on productivity and biodiversity of intensification of land use in different types of production systems - reducing meat consumption, shifting to diets rich in offal and reducing waste could all lower the emissions of the German meat supply chain - reforesting pasture land in the UK could contribute to climate mitigation - and a new collaboration on sustainable edible fats and oils is launched.

Fodder: 9 April 2019

In Fodder this week: International trade in agricultural commodities drives a significant proportion of emissions from tropical deforestation - the US-China trade war could lead to increased deforestation as other suppliers take on the role of supplying soybeans to China - voluntary agreements between food supply chain actors can be an effective way of reducing food waste - and former FCRN volunteer Milorad Plavsic provides information about funding available through the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Fodder: 3 April 2019

In Fodder this week: FCRN members Christian Reynolds, Sarah Bridle and Ximena Schmidt are among the guest editors of a special issue of the journal Sustainability on the topic “Healthy sustainable diets”. View the call for abstracts here.

In other news:

  • Few UK supermarket chains pay their workers a Living Wage
  • Strawberries, spinach and kale are sold with particularly high pesticide residue levels in the US
  • A new paper provides a life cycle assessment of protein products made from black soldier fly larvae
  • “Traffic light” labelling can encourage consumers to choose meals with lower carbon emissions and lower calorie content.

Fodder: 27 March 2019

We have the following items from FCRN members in Fodder this week:

  • Erasmus zu Ermgassen investigates the impact of Brazilian forest protection laws on agricultural intensification.
  • Christian Reynolds and Tom Quested review the effectiveness of different consumption-stage measures to reduce food waste.
  • Christian Reynolds calculates which diets are healthy, low carbon and affordable for different income groups in the UK.

Fodder: 20 March 2019

We have several items from FCRN members in Fodder this week:

  • Nicholas Bowles reports that improved efficiency alone is not enough to bring the livestock sector’s impacts within the planetary boundaries, and argues that dietary changes will be required as well
  • Alexandra Sexton of Oxford’s Livestock, Environment and People project outline the narratives and counter-narratives surrounding meat replacements
  • Samuel Smith of international non-profit Forum for the Future has created a three-part blog series exploring sustainability issues linked to animal feed
  • Pat Thomas of UK campaign group Beyond GM has helped to set up the website A Bigger Conversation, which explores the debate on genetic engineering in the food system

Fodder: 13 March 2019

This week in Fodder: Fish biomass could be 6.5% higher if the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement is reached, compared to if climate change reaches 3.5°C, finds a modelling paper. Growing economies and populations have driven an increase in negative impacts to bird biodiversity and net carbon sequestration, finds another paper, despite a reduction in land use impacts per unit of GDP. Kale, seaweed and amaranth are among ‘50 future foods’ that conservation organisation WWF recommends should be eaten more often.

Readers from the UK food industry may be particularly interested in the government’s assessment of the business implications of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

Fodder: 6 March 2019

In Fodder this week: Delays in implementing land-based mitigation policies could put the Paris climate goals out of reach - in the UK, the poorest 10% of UK households would need to spend 74% of their disposable income on food to meet government healthy eating guidelines - and the FAO finds that much of the biodiversity that supports food production is at risk.