Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Theory, methods and tools

There are different ways to analyse and evaluate impacts from food production and consumption. This section highlights papers that introduce specific methodologies, tools and theories that can be used as a guide or reference when developing a research or policy approach.

11 March 2013

A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) describes methods for quantifying environmental pressures caused by European consumption patterns and economic production sectors, and shows the results from this approach.

4 March 2013

Another study highlighting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. This one reports on the findings of a randomised controlled trial finding that a Mediterranean diet high in fruit and vegetables, seafood, whole grains, mono-unsaturated fats and very low in meat and dairy delivers better health outcomes as regards prevention of cardiovascular heart disease and strokes than a low fat diet.

6 February 2013

Fairtrade International (FLO) has published ‘Monitoring the Scope and Benefits of Fairtrade 2012’, a compendium of data and summaries of key research exploring the impacts of Fairtrade. The report highlights the importance of small farmer organisations in the Fairtrade system. This year’s report also provides the results of recent research studies containing evidence about the longer-term impacts of Fairtrade. Some key findings include:

29 January 2013

A study in Psychological Science examined the effect certain communication strategies have on pressing social issues. The study found that public campaigns that call upon people to think and act interdependently (as opposed to independently) may be counterproductive for many Americans. The experiments demonstrated that a person’s way of thinking and motivation to act are deeply tied to the cultural frameworks that shape their social worlds, findings that have important implications for those working to promote social and behavioral change.

24 January 2013

GLOBE International, a group of international legislators, has released the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, a review of climate change legislation in 33 countries.

24 January 2013

A report by Low Carbon Oxford and LandShare entitled “Foodprinting Oxford” calculates the resources and risks involved with Oxford’s food supply, and explores how best to make the city’s food system more reliable. As part of LandShare’s “How to feed a city” programme, the report aims to help people understand where their food is coming from and how to make it more secure.
The FoodPrinting Oxford project takes a systematic look at two aspects of the city’s food system:

18 December 2012

A lifecycle assessment study, carried out by PE International, measured the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from the production of a number of dairy products in Australia to identify the industry’s overall carbon footprint.  An industry cross section of primary data has been analysed from 140 farms across Australia.

18 December 2012

The UK consumer group Which? has released a report, “A taste for change,” which questions the effectiveness of voluntary industry-led initiatives such as the Responsibility Deal. 

11 December 2012

Researchers at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) and the University of Leeds have published a new working paper in the NRI series on sustainable standards entitled “A Review of the Literature and Knowledge of Standards and Certification Systems in Agricultural Production and Farming Systems.” The paper outlines the rise of private standards in agriculture and explores their social, economic and environmental impacts. 

26 November 2012

A new book by Dr. Adam Corner, entitled Promoting Sustainable Behavior: A Practical Guide To What Works, explores individual and societal behaviors linked to climate change and offers recommendations on how to achieve a sustainable campaign that creates a lasting change in behaviour.

19 November 2012

This paper, produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), explores the opportunities for climate change mitigation in the agricultural sector through the use of carbon markets. Carbon markets have not yet brought the technical potential for agricultural mitigation to fruition due to constraints on both the demand and supply side in terms of limited market opportunities and constraints to project implementation.

19 November 2012

This study by CE DELFT, a Dutch independent research and consultancy  organisation , examines how food consumption patterns might be influenced in order to reduce food related GHG emissions. Its stated objective is to identify and  analyse  policy options which offer potential for achieving this goal.

2 July 2012

A paper published in the International Journal of Critical Accounting looks at the effects of the EU’s emission trading scheme and Scandinavia’s carbon tax scheme.  It finds that neither of these schemes have made any significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

2 July 2012

These are two interesting papers on the topic of ecological economics.

 

19 June 2012

This is a useful and readable opinion piece highlighting some fundamental errors in thinking about biofuels.

31 May 2012

This paper, co written by FCRN mailing list member Kurt Schmidinger argues that the ‘missed potential carbon sink’ - - the carbon sequestering opportunity cost of using land for livestock (and presumably for other agricultural commodities as well as for other activities) needs to be taken into account in calculating the CO2eq emissions arising from any activity. 

21 May 2012

The findings of this study are unlikely to surprise anyone – the research is based on experiments carried out in the US and the UK and finds that there is a strong connection in people’s minds between eating meat—especially muscle meat, like steak—and masculinity.

21 May 2012

This report examines what part market governance mechanisms (regulatory, fiscal, voluntary and information-related) can or could play in addressing GHG emissions from the food system, focusing on the two extreme ends of the supply chain – the process of  agricultural production, and patterns of consumption.

9 May 2012

Mexico is the second country in the world to have to have instituted legally binding targets on GHG emission reductions.  The law mandates a reduction in CO2 emissions by 30% below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 50% below 2000 levels by 2050 (note that this is a relative target – the UK’s target is an absolute one)

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