Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumer stage

Consumer preferences, demands, needs and ultimately consumption patterns influence global and local patterns of agricultural production and affect all other stages of the food chain. However the consumption practice of individuals is itself shaped by a huge host of influences including national and international regulations and legislation, market prices and food’s affordability, food industry advertising and marketing, technological innovations, and societal norms, mores and taboos.

3 December 2014

This study aims to assess the effect of five dietary scenarios – designed to promote healthier and more sustainable eating – on the blue water scarcity footprint of UK food consumption. The objectives are to estimate the total blue water consumed in producing food commodities consumed in the UK; the contribution, and geographical concentration, to global blue water scarcity; and the potential impact of alternative healthy eating scenarios on global blue water scarcity.

3 December 2014

Dietary deficiencies of zinc and iron are a substantial global public health problem. An estimated two billion people suffer these deficiencies, causing a loss of 63 million life-years annually.

3 December 2014

The consumption of milk is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Archaeologists and geneticists have been puzzling about where and why people have been drinking milk since it was revealed that the mutations which enable adults to drink milk are under the strongest selection of any in the human genome. Co-author Dr Christina Warinner, from the Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, said: "The study has far-reaching implications for understanding the relationship between human diet and evolution.

26 November 2014

A decline in meat production combined with further increase in demand could spur businesses to look for alternative food protein sources, said Media Eghbal, head of countries analysis at Euromonitor International when being interviewed by the Food navigator.

 
26 November 2014

This website, curated by Geoff Tansey, provides a series of open access online talks, for use by those teaching some aspect of food and farming – but open to anyone to watch. The aim is to provide an overview of the complex and multidisciplinary nature of food systems.

Read more about the initiative on their website

26 November 2014

In recent years, food waste has risen to the top of the political and public agenda, yet until now there has been no scholarly analysis applied to the topic as a complement and counter-balance to campaigning and activist approaches.

26 November 2014

Animal products are vital components of the diets and livelihoods of people across sub-Saharan Africa. They are frequently traded in local, unregulated markets and this can pose significant health risks.

26 November 2014

The report Deforestation-free supply chains: From commitments to action, published by CDP, highlights ways in which industry can be part of tackling the deforestation crisis while still securing and maintaining access to their sources of profit.

26 November 2014

This study reveals that consumers tend to underestimate calorie counts for companies with positive corporate responsibility programs, and then consume more of the foods produced by them. The study suggests that consumers may infer (often incorrectly), that if the company is engaged in doing ‘good deeds’, their products are healthy. For the research, they split participant groups between two fictional product launches, one company with a positive CSR profile, and the other with neutral CSR, and determined that participants consuming products from the positive CSR profile, ate more. Furthermore, these participants also underestimated the consumed calories for the company with the positive CSR.

26 November 2014

A study led by University of Minnesota's David Tilman finds that shifting modern diets towards healthier, Mediterranean diets could improve quality of life and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The team synthesized data on the environmental costs of food production, diet trends and population growth, and showed the health and environment costs of continuing our current health trends as compared to shifting to a healthier diet.

23 October 2014

British families throw away about seven million tonnes of food and drink every year, enough to fill Wembley stadium to the brim. While most of this food has gone past its sell-by date, in this article Michael Mosley talks to a food safety expert to find how much of it could still safely be eaten.  There is some useful information on when it is ok to scrap mould off food and eat it, and where it is not.

Read the full article here.

23 October 2014

In the 'Carnivore's Dilemma', part of National Geographic’s special series on The Future of Food, Robert Kunzick (National Geographic’s senior environmental editor) contributes to the current meat debate by discussing his visit to 'Cactus Feeders', the company that operates 9 feed yards in Kansas, USA. He explores the role of pharmaceuticals and hormones for the health and productivity of the animals and also discusses environmental issues including water supply, beef’s carbon footprint and feedlots. 

For the complete article with infographics and photographs, see here.

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