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UK farmers may be given targets to reverse soil damage and restore soil health by 2030, as part of an agricultural bill to be brought before parliament later this year.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have sequenced the genomes of 913 types of microbes found inside cows’ digestive systems, hoping to discover more about the types of enzymes that the microbes use to break down the food.
A wireless soil probe that measures soil conditions every 15 minutes could help farmers to apply fertilisers more efficiently and prevent overwatering. Each probe has 23 sensors and sends data to a software interface that summarises the information for farmers. Factors measured include levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, pH, moisture, temperature and aeration.
Dutch shopping chain Ekoplaza has launched a plastic-free pop-up store in Amsterdam. Products sold include meat, rice, sauces, dairy, chocolate, cereals, fruit and vegetables. The aisle includes conventional packaging materials such as cardboard, glass and metal, but also introduces biodegradable replacements for plastic.
Greenpeace is calling for global meat and dairy consumption to be halved by 2050, citing climate change, the health benefits of plant-based foods and the association of animal farming with antimicrobial resistance.
Genetically modified salmon could potentially be on the US market by 2019.
Since 2016, French grocery stores have been banned from throwing away edible food. This story examines the effects of the new law. For example, donations to food banks have increased in quantity and quality.
This Buzzfeed story follows allegations that a Cornell researcher published studies obtained through the scientifically dubious method of ‘p-hacking’.
Using volcanic rock dust as a fertiliser on farms could offset around one tenth of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to preliminary estimates.
The French government has announced that half of all food procured by its public sector must be organic or locally produced by 2022. The media coverage does not offer a definition of ‘local’ food.
A former lobbyist for the Snack Food Association and the Corn Refiners Association (whose members make high-fructose corn syrup) has been granted a waiver of conflict of interest rules, enabling her to advise the US Department of Agriculture on dietary guidelines.
A trial of a school anti-obesity programme in the West Midlands, UK, showed no improvements in body mass index, energy expenditure, body fat measurements or activity levels.
A new technique has been devised to verify whether the cows producing ‘organic’ milk have actually spent the required 120 days a year grazing outdoors.