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.

26 June 2012

A new report led by researchers at Winrock International, a U.S. environmental nonprofit organization, has developed an estimate of gross carbon emissions from tropical deforestation for the early 2000s that is considerably lower than other recently published estimates.

26 June 2012

A new report published by UNEP argues that the world needs to focus on maintaining and boosting the underlying ecological foundations that support food production to help ensure food security for a growing population. 

26 June 2012

A study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies at the University of Manchester has looked at the effect of the recession on households’ food purchasing patterns.

19 June 2012

Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich, is inviting people to subscribe to its new e-newsletter - The Resource, to keep everyone informed of its latest activities. 

Keywords:
19 June 2012

WRAP, the Waste Resources Action Programme has published the findings of its Retailer Survey 2012, , which looks at the progress the food industry has made in reducing the amount of food that consumers waste.

The 2012 survey looked at 12,000 products across 20 different categories where food waste has traditionally been high, including bread, bacon, chicken, apples, carrots, potatoes, bagged salad, rice, pasta, yoghurt, eggs, cheese and milk.

The survey’s findings included:

19 June 2012

This is a useful and readable opinion piece highlighting some fundamental errors in thinking about biofuels.

19 June 2012

According to figures published by the European Environment Agency, greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2010, as a result of both economic recovery in many countries after the 2009 recession and a colder winter.

Nonetheless, emissions growth was somewhat contained by continued strong growth in renewable energy sources. For more information see here.

19 June 2012

The Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) and the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) have published a ‘key messages’ statement for Rio+20. The document highlights the problems caused by excessive nutrient use on the one hand, and insufficient use on the other, and identifies nine key actions as being central to improving nutrient use efficiency, thereby improving food and energy production while reducing N and P losses that pollute our environment. 

19 June 2012

This is a very interesting paper that reviews the literature on the relationship between consumption and GHG  emissions, between population and emissions, and the interactions among all three. It raises doubts that improvements in technology, or shifts in patterns of behaviour (consumption) will be sufficient in addressing GHG emissions unless combined with a greater focus on population growth (scale effects). 

31 May 2012

In 2009, Rockström et al published a paper in Nature which proposed the concept of nine planetary boundaries, which we must keep within if we are not to suffer potentially catastrophic consequences. More recently Nature has published an interesting opinion piece on the boundaries idea.  

31 May 2012

The UK’s Environmental Audit Committee has published its report on Sustainable Food.  Its member MPs conclude that “Government must develop a joined-up strategy to change the UK's unhealthy and environmentally damaging food system, as fears mount about global food security.”

31 May 2012

WWF has published its latest biennial report on the state of the planet in time for the Rio+20 summit in June. 

31 May 2012

A report published by the National Trust entitled What’s your beef? Compares the cradle-to-farm-gate emissions of ten tenanted National Trust farms, selected as representing a cross section of different beef production systems, including 4 organic, 4 conventional but extensive, and 2 semi intensive farms.

21 May 2012

The New Agriculturalist’s May 2012 issue focuses on ‘climate sustainable agriculture’ and features a number of smallholder projects focusing variously on soil carbon, rainwater harvesting, conservation agriculture and so forth.

21 May 2012

A new book written for the International Food Policy Research Institute about foreign aid allocation, governance, and economic growth.

21 May 2012

This article in the British Medical Journal argues that taxes on unhealthy foods could result in significant health gains. The article highlights a range of trials, studies and natural experiments (ie. observational studies) that examine the effect of price changes on behaviour. 

21 May 2012

The findings of this study are unlikely to surprise anyone – the research is based on experiments carried out in the US and the UK and finds that there is a strong connection in people’s minds between eating meat—especially muscle meat, like steak—and masculinity.

21 May 2012

This paper considers uncertainties in estimating global N2O emissions from agriculture and in projecting future emissions. As regards mitigation, it highlights the potential achievable through dietary change (away from meat and dairy consumption), and of food waste reductions.

21 May 2012

This report examines what part market governance mechanisms (regulatory, fiscal, voluntary and information-related) can or could play in addressing GHG emissions from the food system, focusing on the two extreme ends of the supply chain – the process of  agricultural production, and patterns of consumption.

21 May 2012

This report examines what part market governance mechanisms (regulatory, fiscal, voluntary and information-related) can or could play in addressing GHG emissions from the food system, focusing on the two extreme ends of the supply chain – the process of  agricultural production, and patterns of consumption.

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