Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Issues

Food is a nodal point for multiple interconnected issues and concerns. The categories below highlight a few of the most critical, including food security and nutrition, water, governance and policy, and health issues.

24 July 2013

This paper models the water footprint requirements of different diets. It concludes that vegetarian diets are less water intensive (both in terms of overall water use and ‘blue’ or irrigated water use) than current average EU diets.

24 July 2013

This paper finds that many of stocks in the northeast Atlantic are being fished sustainably today and that, given time, those populations should continue to recover. This is particularly positive news as there has long been widespread criticism that the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy is failing.

24 July 2013

A new study from International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIAS considers whether it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture by producing more food on less land. It specifically focuses on the effects of crop yield and livestock feed efficiency scenarios on GHG emissions from agriculture and land use change in developing countries.

16 July 2013

This book by Michael I. Brown presents a major critique of the aims and policies of REDD as currently structured, particularly in terms of their social feasibility. With deforestation being a key source of greenhouse gas emissions and of climate change, and forests representing major sinks for carbon initiatives such as REDD, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, have however been widely endorsed by policy-makers.

16 July 2013

This research was commissioned by Labelling Matters, a joint project of Compassion in World FarmingRSPCASoil Association and World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), formed to undertake comprehensive research regarding animal welfare-related food labelling in Europe.

16 July 2013

This evidence review, commissioned by DEFRA and undertaken by the consultancy Best Foot Forward, critically assesses and summarises data around two key objectives:

  • What are the ‘hotspots’ (i.e. points of greatest environmental impact) along the food consumer journey?
  • What mechanisms are available and most effective for influencing consumer behaviour at those hotspots?
16 July 2013

This report is part of a series of annual progress reports by the Adaptation Sub-Committee to assess how the UK is preparing for the major risks and opportunities from climate change. Together these reports will provide the baseline evidence for the Committee’s statutory report to Parliament on preparedness due in 2015.

8 July 2013

This report by Forum for the Future’s Stephanie Draper focuses on how the challenges within the food system can best be tackled and how to make it more sustainable. The report proposes looking at systems innovation to find solutions and it identifies challenges in the current food system ranging from feeding a growing population while coping with the impacts of climate change, to providing secure and affordable energy to all while reducing C02 emissions.

8 July 2013

This working paper from the World Resources Institute (WRI) prepared for the forthcoming World Resources Report discusses how the increased demand for food in the future should be met and the various overlapping crises that are impacting the planet's capacity to produce food.  It warns of an imminent global food crises unless changes are made in global industrial agriculture. 

2 July 2013

The FAO’s latest food and agriculture series report is on the theme of better nutrition. Focusing on malnutrition in all its forms – underweight, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight/obesity – the report argues that approaches to improving nutrition need to move beyond a traditional focus on agricultural alone as a source of food and incomes.  Instead, it is necessary to consider the larger contribution that the entire food system (from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption) can play in influencing malnutrition outcomes.

2 July 2013

The WHO Regional Office for Europe has produced a report calling for tighter controls on the marketing to children of foods high in saturated and trans fats, free sugars and salt, in order to fight childhood obesity. It says that while adults know when they are being targeted by advertising, children cannot distinguish, for example, between advertisements and cartoons. This makes them particularly receptive and vulnerable to messages that lead to unhealthy choices.

2 July 2013

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a report on technical options for the mitigation of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions livestock production. The report, titled 'Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Livestock Production: A Review of Technical Options for non-CO2 Emissions,' provides a review of over 900 publications focusing on feeding, manure management, breeding and animal husbandry strategies (including the use of rbST and animal genetics) to reduce emissions of methane and nitrous oxide nitrous oxide.

2 July 2013

This study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examines the approaches taken by NGOs in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden to encourage consumers to reduce their meat consumption in light of climate change.

 Flickr: Creative commons licence 2.0, littleyiye "workshop"
2 July 2013

Following the release last year of the report on ‘Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture’ by the FCRN and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, around 30 experts in this field, from academic, governmental, NGO and industrial organisations, were asked to give their comments on the report.

2 July 2013

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD PRESS RELEASE
A policy known as sustainable intensification could help meet the challenges of increasing demands for food from a growing global population, argues a team of scientists in an article in the journal Science.

24 June 2013

Two videos on food waste and recycling.

24 June 2013

This video from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), features ILRI director general Jimmy Smith talking on the role of livestock in the global development agenda.

The 13 minute film points out that 4 of the top 5 agricultural commodities by value are livestock, and that in Africa, 4 of the top 10 agricultural commodities are livestock which indicates the importance of livestock for the global food and poverty agenda.  The presentation also considers the challenges posed by rising demand for meat.

24 June 2013

Wise up on Waste is the name of a new mobile app from Unilever that was launched recently to assist professional restaurant and catering kitchens to monitor and track their food waste.

24 June 2013

The debate on land sharing versus land sparing is ongoing and we addressed the issue somewhat in our Agroforestry interview a while back. This blog post by journalist and author Fred Pearce highlights some of the recent years’ debate and presents evidence from various parts of the world, either in favor of sparing or sharing land.

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