Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumption and production trends

(Photo credit: Food Science and Nutrition journal)
9 June 2016

This article discusses the interplay of food requirements, food waste, food deficits, and associated GHG emissions. It estimates the agricultural GHG emissions associated with food waste, argues the importance of reducing food waste as a contribution to addressing GHG emissions and proposes a standardized method for estimating food waste for all countries.

31 March 2016

This paper analyses a questionnaire for measuring greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) from diets – the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) or Meal-Q.  The paper compares the Meal-Q questionnaire to a 7-day weighed food record and this is the first study validating diet-related GHGE from a FFQ.

Photo credit: (Bernard Spragg, NZ. Under creative commons licence, Flickr)
31 March 2016

This paper finds that the EU’s climate targets for 2050 for methane and nitrous oxide can be met by a combination of technological improvements in agriculture (found to have a potential to cut emissions by nearly 50% in optimistic scenarios) and through a reduction in beef consumption. The study authors argue that these targets can be met even with a continued high consumption of pork and poultry.

31 March 2016

This study, published in The Lancet, concludes that climate change will have a dampening effect on progress being made to reduce the number of people who are hungry and malnourished. It concludes that climate change will reduce the number of avoided deaths by 529,000 – or, put another way – will be responsible for 529,000 additional and avoidable deaths by 2050.

3 February 2016

This ScienceDaily article describes how researchers at Wageningen University and Research Centre have shown that insect oils – currently extracted from insects alongside the desired edible proteins but discarded as a waste product – contain omega-3 fatty acids.

3 February 2016

This report quantifies the losses of reactive nitrogen from EU agriculture and food systems by food type, and assesses the impact of alternative diets (especially reduced meat) on the environment (through nitrogen emissions, greenhouse gas emissions and land use) and human health. Reactive nitrogen losses associated with agriculture refer mainly to the release of ammonia and nitrous oxide into the air, and nitrates into the ground. Nitrous oxide is a powerful greenhouse gas, and nitrate excesses in soil can lead to water pollution.

3 February 2016

This very useful paper focuses on Brazilian beef production in the Cerrado grasslands region of Brazil makes an important contribution to the on-going debate about the merits of different livestock production systems, and of different consumption patterns.

3 February 2016

In this paper, researchers from universities in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, the UK and Germany investigate the potential for feeding livestock on less food-competitive feedstuffs (FCF – that is, animal feed derived from fewer human edible food sources) to reduce the negative environmental impacts of livestock farming.

17 December 2015

This FAO brief on food waste discusses the carbon footprint of global food waste and so called embedded emissions in avoidable food waste. In order to measure the avoidable emissions it is necessary to know how much of what kind of food is wasted and where.

17 December 2015

Nitrite is used by the food industry as a preservation agent for meat products. Nitrite has multiple functions, it prevents lipid oxidation, maintains microbial quality and preserves flavour and colour. One of the main concerns of consumers is the possible carcinogenic effect nitrite could have in some meat products after the curing process (as reported by the WHO recently: see FCRN coverage here).

17 December 2015

This paper entitled Creating When You Have Less: The Impact of Resource Scarcity on Product Use Creativity, argues that resource scarcity actually translates into enhanced consumer product-use creativity.

17 December 2015

This paper by FCRN member Corné van Dooren and colleague Harry Aiking has been published in the International Journal of LCA. The study quantifies the historical Dutch diet of 80 years ago, based on cultural history research. The researchers calculate the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and land use (LU) of this diet, using actual LCA data for the 206 most consumed products, and the health score, based on ten nutritional characteristics.

16 November 2015

This white paper, produced by the independent sustainability company The Carbon Trust and sponsored by Quorn Foods, argues that greater diversity of main ingredients would be better for Britain both from a health and climate perspective. Increasing the diversity of UK protein choices is described as a practical way to promote more sustainable diets with lower impacts on health and environment.

16 November 2015

This paper published in PLOS ONE, entitled Global Food Demand Scenarios for the 21st Century, describes a transparent method for constructing specific food demand scenarios for total and animal-based calories. It requires only population and income projections as input, with no information on the food supply side needed.

9 November 2015

The food and agriculture (F&A) industry must increase production, availability and access to food significantly over the next ten years if it is to meet the demands of a larger, increasingly urban global population according to a new report presented by Rabobank at Expo Milano 2015.

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