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.

 United Nations Photo via Flickr
17 January 2011

Notes from a presentation given at an event organised by the Food Ethics Council in September 2009. The focus is on how and if agricultural GHG emissions would be discussed at the Copenhagen agreement and whether they would form part of any possible (and now increasingly precarious) agreement that might emerge from them.

17 January 2011

This paper considers what we know about the contribution that the fruit and vegetable sector makes to the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. It also looks at what we know about the options for achieving emissions reductions.

17 January 2011

This paper looks at the alcohol we consume here in the UK. It considers whether we can quantify in ‘good enough’ terms the contribution that our alcohol consumption makes to the UK’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

17 January 2011

This paper explores the contribution that our consumption of livestock products in the UK makes to greenhouse gases, the complexities associated with attempts at quantifying these impacts, the options for mitigation and the environmental and welfare challenges these options may present.

17 January 2011

This paper looks at what this means in terms of refrigeration’s contribution to UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, at how this reliance on refrigeration has come about and what the consequences might be as regards future trends and associated emissions. It looks at how we might be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with food refrigeration both by improving the greenhouse gas efficiency of the equipment itself and, as a culture, by reducing our dependence on the cold chain.

17 January 2011

This FCRN report sets out what we know about the food system’s contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

8 November 2010

Global environmental change (GEC) represents an immediate and unprecedented threat to the food security of hundreds of millions of people, especially those who depend on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods. At the same time, agriculture and related activities also contribute to climate change, by intensifying greenhouse gas emissions and altering the land surface.

3 July 2010

The Committee on Climate Change has published its second progress report to Parliament. It says that a step change in the pace of underlying emissions reductions is still required if the UK is to meet its legislated carbon budgets - which require at least a 34% cut in emissions by 2020 relative to 1990 levels. Emissions of greenhouse gases have declined over the past year (by 8.6%), but this is almost entirely due to a reduction in economic activity caused by the recession and increased fossil fuel/ energy prices, and is not the result of the implementation of measures to reduce emissions.

20 June 2010

Pelletier N, Pirog R, Rasmussen R (2010). "Comparative life cycle environmental impacts of three beef production strategies in the Upper Midwestern United States", Agricultural Systems 103 (2010) 380–389  This paper compares three US beef rearing systems. Cattle are finished either in: feedlot systems (having received hormone implants); backgrounding systems (also with hormone implants); or on pasture (no implants).

8 May 2010

The Terrestrial Carbon Group is an international group of specialists from science, economics, and public policy with expertise in land management, climate change and markets.

28 October 2009

A study published in September 2008 finds that organic agriculture in Africa can be equal or better for food security than most conventional systems and is more likely to be sustainable in the longer term, as it builds up levels of natural, human, social, financial and physical capital in farming communities. It also favours the use of low carbon footprint production methods and local resources.

14 August 2009

The Food Standards Agency has published a systematic review which it commissioned which sought to determine the size and relevance to health of any differences in content of nutrients and other substances in organically and conventionally produced crops and livestock products. The focus of the review was the nutritional content of foodstuffs. 

24 June 2009

At the end of 2008, the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) commissioned the Low Carbon Innovation Centre to produce a report investigating the potential of biochar as a soil improver and aid to regional agriculture.

18 June 2009

Published by Penguin and written by FCRN member Tristram Stuart. With shortages, volatile prices and nearly one billion people hungry, the world has a food problem - or thinks it does. Farmers, manufacturers, supermarkets and consumers in North America and Europe discard up to half of their food - enough to feed all the world's hungry at least three times over.

1 June 2009

L. Reijnders (2009): Are forestation, bio-char and landfilled biomass adequate offsets for the climate effects of burning fossil fuels?, Energy Policy Volume 37, Issue 8, Pages 2839-2841.

Forestation and landfilling purpose-grown biomass are not adequate offsets for the CO2 emission from burning fossil fuels. Their permanence is insufficiently guaranteed and landfilling purpose-grown biomass may even be counterproductive.

6 February 2009

This report shows, through analysis and a wide variety of case studies, that urban agriculture can, in a very practical way, yield a range of benefits.