Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Technology

The role of technology in food production and preparation dates back to the neolithic discovery of controlled fire. These days new technologies in, for example, agricultural production, processing and food preservation are key to achieving a sufficient supply of food for a growing population. Controversies and disagreements exist around many technologies and their enabling infrastructure, most notably genetic modification, confined animal feeding operations and chemical crop protection.

13 February 2018

Search data on food-related terms is visualised on The Rhythm of Food Website.

Image: Aaron Leavy, Grass, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

Grass could be the next source of human-edible protein.

Image: Valcenteu, VertiCrop System, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
13 February 2018

Indoor and vertical farming might not replace traditional farms, but they bring their own unique benefits.​

Photo: MIKI Yoshihito, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
13 January 2018

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.

Photo: IIP Campaigns and Initiatives, Vertical Farm, flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
28 November 2017

In this viewpoint piece, researchers from research institutions in Germany and Switzerland assess the validity of arguments used in debates regarding the best approach to sustainable farming. They focus in particular on the relevance of arguments concerning “naturalness” in determining the sustainability of the main proposed approaches.

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Photo: Sarah Meyer, Fridge, Flickr, CC by 2.0
14 November 2017

One year after the global Kigali amendment to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), new survey findings from Emerson and international polling company ComRes examine how European retailers are navigating away from HFCs towards lower global warming alternatives.

30 October 2017

In October 2016, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was adopted by the world’s nations, mandating the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by cutting their production and consumption. This new report from the University of Birmingham, published at the one year anniversary of the Kigali Amendment, highlights the significant challenge facing the European retail industry as it transitions from damaging HFCs to natural refrigerants.

Photo credit: Isaac Wedin, Salmon face, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
29 August 2017

After a 25 year wait for approval, approximately five tons of genetically modified (GM) salmon have been sold in Canada in the last few months. The fish, which contains genes from Chinook salmon and ocean pout, can grow twice as fast as an Atlantic salmon and requires 75% less feed to grow to the same size. These changes can ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of each genetically modified salmon by up to 25 times, the company claims.

Photo: William Warby, Scorched Earth, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence Attribution 2.0 Generic
29 August 2017

In this opinion piece, Edward Parson of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA, argues that Climate Engineering (CE) must urgently be given greater and more serious consideration within climate change research and policy, and calls upon the IPCC to take responsibility for this.

24 July 2017

A small amount of single-cell protein has been produced using electricity and carbon dioxide alone. The researchers working on this believe the protein produced in this way could be further developed for use as food and animal feed. The protein can be produced anywhere that renewable energy, such as solar energy, is available.

19 July 2017

The IFST, a UK-based body for food professionals in Europe, has commissioned a report aimed at identifying areas of future work which they feel would be of most use to their members. The report focuses on food sustainability,  technology and evidence-based practice. 

12 June 2017

This report provides an overarching framework document on Sustainable Food Systems which outlines the areas of sustainability that are relevant for IFST and where they want to engage. The report is written by IFST (Institute of Food Science and Technology) – an institute representing some of the UK’s food science and technology professionals and working to promote the advancement and application of food science and technology.

Photo: mrskyce, Nitrogen!, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
7 June 2017

This paper proposes a solution to the problems associated with the high inefficiencies and indirect detrimental environmental impacts caused by reactive nitrogen use in agriculture.The researchers suggest that land-based agriculture could be bypassed and that Haber Bosch derived nitrogen could be used directly for reactor based microbial protein production. The advantages of microbial protein production are summarised, as are the opportunities and technical challenges for large-scale production. The authors emphasise that, aside from the scientific innovation required, the main challenge to address is obtaining acceptability from regulators and consumers.

8 May 2017

What is the latest science on soil's ability to pull carbon pollution out of the atmosphere? Breakthrough Strategies hosted a webinar on April 24 on the Technical Potential of Soil Carbon Sequestration. It featured three of the world’s leading experts on strategies for drawing carbon pollution out of the atmosphere and storing it in soils: Keith Paustian, Jean-François Soussana, and Eric Toensmeier.

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