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.

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.

10 January 2012

Edited by Eva Wollenberg, Maja-Liisa Tapio-Bistrom, Maryanne Grieg-Gran and Alison Nihart, this book reviews the state of agricultural climate change mitigation globally, with a focus on identifying the feasibility, opportunities and challenges for achieving mitigation among smallholder farmers. 

10 January 2012

The Soil Association and the World Society for the Protection of Animals have published a report on anaerobic digestion (biogas) arguing the environmental  benefits of  large-scale AD units are questionable and may even be damaging.

10 January 2012

This is an interesting article about a farmer’s attempt to improve the sustainability of the farm by basing production on a dual purpose dairy/beef breed, based on grass-feeding, high welfare and zero waste.

10 January 2012

This study of large land acquisitions in developing countries published by the International Land Coalition (ILC) finds more evidence of harm than benefits.  More than 40 organisations collaborated on the Global Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project, which synthesised 27 case studies, thematic studies and regional overviews. The report also includes the latest data from the ongoing Land Matrix project to monitor large-scale land transactions, and covers a full decade of land deals from 2000-2010. Those deals amount to more than 200 million hectares of land – or eight times the size of the United Kingdom.

10 January 2012

A Perspectives piece in Science discusses some recent studies focusing on the increasing abundance of available nitrogen on Earth.

Pages