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The Routledge Handbook of Food as a Commons is now available in paperback. The book, edited by Jose Luis Vivero-Pol, Tomaso Ferrando, Olivier De Schutter and Ugo Mattei, engages with different schools of thought on how food can be treated as a commons rather than a privatised commodity. Chapters 1 and 24 are freely available to download.
This book tells the stories of 13 foods that are endangered by climate warming, discusses their origins and histories, and suggests how to protect them.
This discussion paper from the European ROBUST research project’s Sustainable Food Systems Community of Practice examines the benefits and drawbacks of implementing a local food policy for public food procurement in Monmouthshire, Wales. It assesses what “local” means, whether the evidence supports claims for local food’s environmental, health and economic outcomes, and how local food relates to public food procurement.
In this paper, FCRN member Gesa Biermann uses a survey of German consumers to explore the different meanings and expectations attached to eating at home and eating in restaurants. The study shows that meat-eating is more common in restaurants than at home, for example 59% of flexitarian respondents ate more meat at a restaurant than at home. This is attributed to perceptions of eating meat in restaurants being an opportunity to treat oneself and celebrate special occasions. The paper suggests that to encourage plant-based eating in restaurants, the meaning of plant-based foods must become more aligned with notions of “the good life” (for example, relating to ideas about hospitality, generosity and pleasure).
This paper uses evidence from 45 developing countries to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security. It finds that the least developed countries have primarily suffered from food inflation food inflation (i.e. higher food prices), whereas higher-income developing countries have been more affected by food trade restrictions and currency depreciation.
This paper finds that targeting ecosystem restoration efforts towards 15% of converted lands (i.e. areas that have been converted away from their natural state to cropland or pasture) could prevent 60% of expected extinctions in mammals, amphibians and birds and sequester 299 Gt CO2. It identifies differing priority areas depending on whether the outcomes are optimised for biodiversity, climate mitigation, cost minimisation or all three.
This commentary paper, co-authored by FCRN member Jeroen Candel, identifies four challenges that could determine whether the European Union’s Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy is successful. The F2F strategy aims to reform food supply chains in Europe and sets out specific targets on pesticides, fertilisers, organic farming and antimicrobial resistance to be achieved by 2030.
In this book (published 21 October 2020), farmer and social scientist Chris Smaje argues that a localised food system built around small-scale farming offers a sustainable, resilient solution to climate change and ecological crises.
This book (published 25 September 2020) explores the lives of people who grow, rear, hunt or gather their own food in the United States, with a focus on Chicago. It examines the implications of these activities for society and sustainability.
This short and highly readable paper argues that “creative imagination” and positive stories about the future are necessary for generating solutions, in contrast to “purely technocratic” approaches, which fail to motivate people. It sketches out three possible scenarios for biodiversity and food production in the year 2050, noting that none are inevitable.
This paper finds that a global shift to vegan diets by 2050 could allow sequestration of 332–547 GtCO2 - equivalent to or greater than the remaining emissions budget for having a 66% of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. Meat reductions in line with the EAT-Lancet Commission’s recommendations could also lead to significant carbon sequestration.
This paper argues that the COVID-19 pandemic requires a policy response that significantly reforms the structure of the food system. It examines how policy responses to past food crises have shaped the present system, how COVID-19 is different to past food crises and which policy responses could build a more resilient future food system.
In this blog post on the Oxford Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) website, FCRN member James Painter summarises his recent research on media coverage of animal agriculture and its links to climate change, and lab-grown (or cultured) meat as an alternative to meat eating. The research shows that media coverage of animal agriculture tends to focus on consumer responsibility as opposed to the role of governments or large farms.
This book (publication date 30 October 2020), presents interdisciplinary insights on the controlled release of fertilisers, including chapters from researchers in the fields of agriculture, polymer science, and nanotechnology.
This book (publication date 23 October 2020), takes an interdisciplinary look at groundwater management and sustainability. It covers some food-relevant topics, including the sustainability of groundwater used in agricultural production and trade and the political economy of groundwater irrigation in India.
This paper co-authored by FCRN member Emma Garnett finds that placing vegetarian options first on the counter of student cafeterias increases their sales by 5-6% when the different options are widely spaced (>1.5m), but not when the options are close together (<1.0m).
This paper examines how localised the US food system could become by calculating theoretical minimum foodshed sizes (i.e. average distance travelled by food) for 378 urban areas under seven different dietary scenarios. It finds that (on average) foodsheds can be smaller for the low-meat diets compared to high-meat diets.