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.

21 November 2013

IFPRI (the International Food Policy Research Institute) has released an issue brief on genetically modified crops in sub-Saharan Africa and their role in agricultural development. The report argues that many policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa lack information about GM crops’ potential, benefits, costs, and safety.

21 November 2013

This review article, Population, development, and climate change: links and effects on human health, discusses the results from a University College London & Leverhulme Trust Population Footprints Symposium on the linkages between population, development, climate change and health. The review, published in The Lancet, shows that while population growth is an important factor, consumers rather than people per se, drive climate change, and therefore reducing consumption represents the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions. It says that family planning (when implemented with other social and economic improvements) is one of the most effective ways of managing increases in population growth and of delivering extensive health benefits in both high and low-income countries. However when it comes to addressing climate change, demographic trends with respect to ageing, urbanisation and consumption are more significant than total population numbers. The authors conclude that reducing consumption and creating sustainable lifestyles in rich countries represent the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions and ultimately delivering health benefits.

21 November 2013

This article published in the Lancet, argues that coordinated action at the political level, both nationally and internationally is required to meet the challenge of antibiotic resistance. If such global coordinated actions are not immediately taken the authors argue that we will see major setbacks, medically, socially, and economically. The article focuses on antibiotic resistance from a global perspective and identifies key areas where action is needed.

13 November 2013

The European Commission has announced funding for three major research projects designed to promote innovation in the meat and livestock sector. The funding will come from EU’s outgoing Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

13 November 2013

Forest Peoples Programme, Sawit Watch and TUK Indonesia has produced this report on the large-scale expansion of oil palm plantations across Southeast Asia and Africa and their environmental and social impacts.  The report questions the effectiveness of RSPO standards (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). These standards in theory encourage oil palm expansion in ways that do not destroy high conservation values or cause social conflict. They also require member companies to respect the collective right of indigenous peoples and other local communities to give or withhold their consent prior to the development of oil palm on the lands they own, inhabit and use.

13 November 2013

The Swiss Federal Research Station Agroscope and the consulting firm Quantis, have launched the World Food LCA Database (WFLDB).  Launched in 2012, it aims to provide reliable and up-to-date data for more accurate food and beverage life cycle assessments (LCA), decisions and communication. The overarching goal is to bring together experts from all stages in the food chain to develop a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory database for accurate life cycle assessments (LCA).

13 November 2013

This report updates WRAP’s 2007 report The Food We Waste which exposed the full scale of the food waste problem for the first time. It identifies how much food is wasted in UK homes, which foods are wasted most and why, and how much that waste costs. The WRAP research reveals a substantial reduction in the amount of household food and drink waste arising between 2007 and 2012, while also highlighting the scale of the opportunity remaining.

6 November 2013

This dissertation looks at the sustainability of the current food system and analyzes how environmental impacts could be reduced and health impacts could be increased through dietary change. The results from this work suggest that dietary change, in areas with unrestricted diets, could play an important role in reaching environmental and health goals, potentially reducing GHG emissions and land use requirements by up to 50%.

6 November 2013

A video recording of Al Gore's public lecture for the Oxford Martin School is now available on the Oxford Martin School website here.

In his lecture Gore outlined the challenges presented in his latest book, ‘The Future’, ranging from climate change and wealth inequality to biotechnology and the loss of jobs to automation.

Additional events arranges by the Oxford Martin School can be found here

6 November 2013

This report from IGD highlights consumers' attitudes towards adopting a more environmentally sustainable and healthy diet. Some of the report's main findings are:

  • Shoppers are feeling more empowered about sustainable diets, but still require industry to take the lead in this area and to inspire them
  • Nearly half of shoppers say healthy options are important compared to one in five that consider ethical factors
6 November 2013

The UK-based Eating Better alliance has published the findings of a survey which finds that :

• 25% of the British public say they are eating less meat than a year ago

• 34% are willing to consider eating less meat

• One in six (17%) young people say they don’t eat any meat

1 November 2013

This video features some of the young researchers who took part in the networking conference on interdisciplinary research into future food systems in April 2013. Behind the initiative was Future Earth a new global 10-year interdisciplinary research programme and the three partners ICSU, ISSC and the DFG.  

Pages