Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Plant/crop science

21 July 2020

This paper by FCRN member Eric Toensmeier argues that perennial vegetables (those grown on plants that live for more than two years) are underappreciated as a source of nutrients, as a means of sequestering carbon and as beneficial to biodiversity.

19 May 2020

This book explores how proteomics - the study of the set of proteins produced by an organism or system - can be used to verify claims about the origin of foods such as milk, meat, fish, wine and honey.

12 May 2020

This book discusses long-term experiments in agriculture, including their history, the insights they have produced, and the relationship of the experiments to agriculture’s environmental and social implications.

29 April 2020

This report from UK group Beyond GM (directed by FCRN member Pat Thomas) presents the results of a world café held in September 2019. The world café brought together people representing a wide variety of practices, beliefs and views on the subject of genome editing in plant breeding, and the conversation covered values, worldviews, ethics, regulation, citizen engagement and more.

28 January 2020

This book reviews research on the development of biopesticides, including those based on microbes, natural substances and pheromones.

29 May 2019

This paper, produced by the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge, outlines a system that could produce animal feed with lower environmental impacts than conventional soybean production. The system combines LED lighting, indoor photobioreactors, atmospheric carbon capture and geothermal energy to produce an algae-based feed product.

24 April 2019

This book by David McClements discusses scientific and technological advances (such as gene editing, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence) in the food system, and outlines both potential benefits to people and the environment and concerns over how the technologies might be used.

1 April 2019

This report from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies emerging scientific advances that could help to make the US food system more resilient to rapid changes and extreme conditions, as well as making agriculture more efficient and sustainable.

29 October 2018

This report from the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board reviews how the behaviour of farmers might be influenced so that the recommendations of researchers and policymakers can be implemented on farms.

2 October 2018

A traditional variety of corn grown by people from Sierra Mixe in southern Mexico can thrive in poor soils without needing much extra fertiliser. A group of researchers have shown that the plant is able to draw nitrogen from the air through mucus-laden aerial roots on its stems. It’s hoped that the trait can eventually be bred into commercial corn strains.

2 October 2018

This book, edited by Ramesh Namedo Pudake, Nidhi Chauhan, and Chittaranjan Kole, highlights ways in which nanomaterials can be used in agriculture. The book covers both social and environmental aspects.

25 September 2018

This book, by Sheldon Krimsky, will discuss the debate surrounding genetically modified organisms, include the health, safety, environmental, and scientific concerns.

24 July 2018

An article in Wired explains the implications for agriculture of the gene-editing tool Crispr, which can be used to edit the DNA of living cells at specific points in the genome. Potential applications include removing swollen joints from tomato stems, which can puncture the fruit.

30 April 2018

Several companies are using microbes to improve crop performance. One of them is Indigo, which uses machine learning to identify the microbes associated with healthy plants and then coats seedlings with these microbes. Indigo’s method has increased wheat yields by 15% and cotton yields by 14% in trials.

8 January 2018

The Food Ethics Council has published a free, special edition, online magazine – ‘For whom? Questioning the food and farming research agenda' – that brings together the thoughts and opinions of over 30 experts.