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.

29 February 2012

The UK dairy sector has published its first report which looks at the carbon footprints of a selection of British dairy farms with a view to establishing a baseline against which progress can be measured.   The study reveals very substantial differences in the GHG footprints expressed as CO2 eq/kg fat corrected milk, of different farms, and also finds that there is more variation between farms, than between production systems.  It also concludes that there is no one variable (eg milk yield, fertiliser use or energy consumption) that accounts for most of the variation between farms.

29 February 2012

The Danish EPA has compiled guidance for policy-makers aiming to promote SCP in the food retailing sector. It states that  “Government has an important enabling role to play in using policy levers to support the development of a business case for manufacturers and retailers to produce and deliver more sustainable products. 

29 February 2012

An interesting paper confirming what intuition might suggest – that men’s diets have a higher GHG burden than women’s because, (even allowing for the fact that men generally need to eat more) they tend to eat more meat; women’s diets are more water demanding due to their greater consumption of fruit and vegetables (the study looks at irrigation water rather than overall water).

29 February 2012

PBL, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, has published a new report arguing that the impact of the proposed greening measures of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on the sustainable development of agriculture appears to be relatively small. 

29 February 2012

Through its commitments in the Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP), the UK government has made a commitment to identify how the UK can increase food production in ways that improve the environment. Defra is doing this through the Green Food Project, an initiative that involves stakeholders from the farming and food sectors, the service industry and the environmental sector.

17 February 2012

A study by Sonnino and McWillliam investigates food waste in hospitals in Wales. The researchers look at three hospitals and find that up to 60% of the food was thrown away, with levels particularly high in elderly rehabilitation wards.  

17 February 2012

A couple of papers by FCRN mailing-list members on soil carbon sequestration: these conclude that the benefits of soil carbon sequestration activites (through the incorporation of organic matter and/or reduced tillage) have been overstated and may distract attention from other priorities, including halting deforestation and improving N use efficiency. 

9 February 2012

This report, published by Brighter Green, documents the effects of the expansion and intensification of the livestock sector for India's food security, resource utilization, and issues of equity and sustainability. 

9 February 2012

A paper about international trade, consumption-based carbon emissions, and human development

9 February 2012

This paper, by FCRN mailing list member Mike Berners-Lee and others, examines the GHG implications of different dietary choices.

9 February 2012

A review and a consumer survey which look at promotions used by the UK grocery sector and what effect they might have on food waste. The tentative results from the in-home part of this research suggest that food bought on promotion is not more likely to be wasted, at least for the products investigated.

9 February 2012

Poorer families in Britain have cut the amount of fruit and vegetables they buy by almost a third to consume little over half the recommended five portions per day. Households in the lowest income bracket consistently bought smaller and smaller quantities of fruit and vegetables between 2006 and 2010, the most recent year for figures released by DEFRA.

9 February 2012

New research shows that annual UK household food waste has fallen by 13% / 1.1 million tonnes (mt) over a three year period from 8.3mt to an estimated 7.2mt. Avoidable household food waste (i.e. food that could have been eaten) has reduced by 950,000 tonnes, or 18%, from 5.3 to 4.4 million tonnes annually.

24 January 2012

Edited by Bruce Frayne, Caroline Moser and Gina Ziervogel, this new book is published by Earthscan (now part of Routledge). 

24 January 2012

This paper looks at both production and consumption side resource efficiency measures focusing on a range of measures.

24 January 2012

This paper runs a series of future trade liberalisation scenarios using the MAGPIE model and finds that while trade liberalisation lowers food costs it does so at the expense of higher GHG emissions.

24 January 2012

This article argues that actions by big business to improve their sustainability while useful, will not be sufficient since they are fundamentally part of a growth based economic model.

24 January 2012

This report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation asks whether changes towards ‘greener’ forms of consumption are compatible with preserving a minimum acceptable standard of living. 

24 January 2012

This study finds that measures to tackle methane and black carbon emissions could reduce global warming by about 0.5°C by 2050.  It would also lower the burden of premature deaths and increase crop yields. 

24 January 2012

This study, commissioned by the Australian Egg Corporation, investigates the egg industry’s impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water use. It looks at both caged and free range egg production.

16 January 2012

The European Environment Agency has published a study on environmental tax reform (ETR).  ETR is defined as 'reform of the national tax system where there is a shift of the burden of taxes, for example on labour, to environmentally damaging activities, such as resource use or pollution'. 

16 January 2012

A paper in Science reports on a study which finds a correlation betweeen species diversity and multifunctionality – ie the number of ecosystem services it performs.  The study focuses on drylands on all continents except Antarctica. It concludes that plant biodiversity is crucial to buffering the negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

16 January 2012

This report was commissioned by the Oxford Farming Conference and undertaken by the Scottish Agricultural College’s Rural Policy Centre. The study examines where the economic, political and natural resource power currently lies in world agriculture, how that might change in future and what it means to British farmers.

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