Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: North America

North America is the northern subcontinent of the Americas covering about 16.5% of the Earth's land area. This large continent has a range of climates spanning Greenland’s permanent ice sheet and the dry deserts of Arizona. Both Canada and the USA are major food producers and some of the largest food exporters in the world. Industrial farms are the norm in North America, with high yields relative to other regions and only 2% of the population involved in agriculture.

13 February 2018

Search data on food-related terms is visualised on The Rhythm of Food Website.

Image: Valcenteu, VertiCrop System, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
13 February 2018

Indoor and vertical farming might not replace traditional farms, but they bring their own unique benefits.​

Image: BTC Keychain, Bitcoin Chain IMG_9185, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

The blockchain could be used to make it easier to trace the source of food items and tackle food safety scares quickly, but the system still depends on the honesty of those making the data entries.

Image: Annie Nguyen, Cupcakes, Flicker, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

In this paper, the researchers evaluated the legal and administrative feasibility of enacting a US federal junk food tax to improve diets.

Image: US Department of Agriculture, k11662-1, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 February 2018

Tougher immigration laws, the rising cost of labour and cheap credit could encourage dairy farms to use more robots, according to this article in Bloomberg.

Photo: 20130712-AMS-LSC-0396, US Department of Agriculture, Flickr, Public Domain Mark 1.0
6 February 2018

This study by researchers in the US used a theoretical approach to work out how much beef could be produced in the US if the cows were raised solely on pasturelands and by-products, and what the environmental and nutritional ramifications of repurposing the freed up cropland would be.

Image: David J, Oats, Flickr, Creative Commons license 2.0 generic.
1 February 2018

In more non-dairy milk news, oat milk maker Oatly are marketing their product to coffee shops across the United States.

Image: USDA, 20150722-NRCS-LSC-0122, Flickr, Creative Commons Public Domain Mark 1.0
1 February 2018

The rising popularity of non-dairy milks has prompted calls from the dairy industry for the name “milk” to be restricted to the dairy version.

Image: Memphis Meats Press Kit, Meatball (February 2016)
1 February 2018

Tyson Foods, which sells billions of dollars of meat each year, has invested in the cultured meat startup Memphis Meats.

Image: TheAnimalDay.org, JALX12TFX01-6016, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
1 February 2018

Finless Foods hopes to make laboratory-cultured bluefin tuna the same price as the conventional product by the end of next year (bluefin tuna, threatened by overfishing, can sell for around $380/lb).

1 February 2018

This paper reviews the evidence on two widespread explanations for the importance of meat in Western history and culture: biophysical and political-economic. The first is the notion that meat eating is essential to both human nutrition and agricultural sustainability, whereas the second puts forward the argument that meat eating practices are largely determined by consumers’ relationships to the means of production and the power of government and corporations.

21 January 2018

This feature in the newly launched journal Nature Sustainability focuses on the growth of urban agriculture in the US due to increased availability of unused land and innovative development of urban farms and community gardens.

12 December 2017

The Food Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School, partnering with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, has released an update to the toolkit Good Laws, Good Food: Putting Local Food Policy to Work for Our Communities. The toolkit is intended as a guide for advocates who seek to influence food law and policy in their local communities in the US.

14 November 2017

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, schools chancellor Carmen Fariña and Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams announced that 15 Brooklyn schools will participate in Meatless Mondays in spring 2018. The program will provide participating schools with healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday. The NYC mayor, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Gracie Mansion will also go meatless for all Monday meals.

30 September 2017

Kwantlen’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems has created a food policy database for British Columbia, Canada with over 2000 entries, incorporating 40% of the municipalities in the province.

Figure 1: Photo Credit: Franchise Opportunities, a pet's food and water bowl, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
6 September 2017

In a paper in PLOS One, researcher Gregory Okin suggests that the diets of carnivorous pets, like cats and dogs, have a significant impact on climate change. He estimates that in the U.S. alone, cats and dogs are responsible for 25-30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the country. In the U.S. there are 163 million cats and dogs, which together eat as much food as all the people in France. Okin found that to feed these animals the US releases 64 million tons of CO2.

Photo: Mr Beans, Kenneth Leung, Flickr, Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 September 2017

This study by FCRN member Helen Harwatt and colleagues seeks to determine whether simple dietary changes can make a meaningful contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation efforts, by considering a very simple example of US consumers substituting beans for beef in their diets. The study uses available life cycle assessment (LCA; see Chapter 2 of foodsource) data to predict the change in GHG emissions that would be associated with a substitution of beans for beef (substitution on the basis of calories, and on the basis of protein content). They place these projected changes in the context of US 2020 GHG reduction targets.

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