Fodder: The FCRN Newsletter

We send out a weekly newsletter which provides an essential round-up of food sustainability-relevant publications, articles, jobs and events. Sign up to receive it, or better still join as an FCRN member and connect with our diverse network of members.

Tell us your stories – contribute to the blog-series

The FCRN want to spark conversation around different topics related to food system sustainability. We have created the FCRN Blog-series to encourage more personal stories with a focus on new ideas, debates and collaborations. The blog-posts are written by people who wish to share something related to new research, reflections from conferences and events or just to highlight thoughts on new ideas and emerging topics of concern. We encourage all of you to contribute. Get in touch with Marie to pitch a topic.

Research library

Journals and Journal Articles

This article in Nature Scientific Reports details a new approach for generating skeletal muscle from pigs which can be used to make skeletal muscle – the main component of pork meat – in vitro. The techniques are potentially applicable to other types of muscle, such as heart muscle tissue, as well.

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0

This is a systematic review on consumer perception and behaviours in relation to meat, meat substitutes and the environment. It finds that both awareness of the environmental impact of meat consumption and a willingness to reduce meat consumption is low in the studied populations. The authors identify as a key research area the investigation of strategies that might help to motivate more moderate, sustainable meat consumption behaviour.

Photo credit: Migle, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0

This paper provides an overview of dietary guidance for pulses, discussing their nutritional composition and health benefits as well as the evolution of the way in which the USDA’s dietary guidelines categorise pulses. The paper was published in a special issue on The Potential of Pulses to Meet Today’s Health Challenges: Staple Foods in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Photo credit: Bruno Girin, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0

With global trade, UK consumption patterns are displacing cropland use to other countries. This paper by FCRN members Henri de Ruiter, Jennie Macdiarmid and Pete Smith looks at the environmental consequences of competition for global agricultural land and specifically at the total land footprint associated with the total livestock product supply in the UK.  


A newly revised edition of Tim Jackson’s important 2009 Prosperity without Growth has been published by Routledge. In it, Jackson aims to demonstrate that building a ‘post-growth’ economy is a precise, definable and meaningful task.

Photo credit: Leslie De Blasio, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0

This chapter by Elias Fereres and Francisco J. Villalobos in the book Principles of Agronomy for Sustainable Agriculture argues that sustainable intensification of production would be best achieved through continuous, small productivity improvements rather than through a few revolutionary discoveries, at least in the medium term.


The Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit (FCCT) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support UK farmers in adopting Carbon Farming techniques. This approach aims to minimise carbon emissions and maximise carbon sequestration on farms, particularly in soils.


As part of the 5-year anniversary celebration, the World Food Programmer, in partnership with the University Centre of Brasília, are pleased to announce the launch of the Research Papers Contest ”Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security: Building Bridges between Durable Agricultural Practices and School Feeding Programmes”.

The contest is open to students enrolled in graduate programmes in any part of the world, as well as professors and graduated researchers in social and political sciences, and nutrition. The three top winners will take part in international study trips organized by the WFP Centre of Excellence. Articles must be submitted in English.

More information can be found here.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has created a new post for a US-based fisheries officer. The applicant would be responsible for work to include research and analysis, value and supply chain mapping, understanding target fisheries and US and global commercial linkages within those fisheries, helping to formalise relationship and communication linkages, and feedback to U.S. fisheries and member companies certified to the MSC fishery standard.

You can find more details on the MSC website.

The University of Cambridge and NGO Elephants Alive are looking for a full-time research assistant for 6 months (with the possibility to extend for a further 6 months conditional on funding) to address the potential role of tusk size in sociality in African elephants. The post holder will analyse a large database photographs of elephants in order to assess tusk size and potentially develop a classification of tusk size. The post is primarily desk-based in Cambridge, although a short visit to the field site in South Africa may be possible.

The successful candidate will be a graduate with a good understanding of behavioural ecology, life history and demography.

You can find more details here.


This Nexus Network Conference will consider what recent political events such as the election of Donald Trump and Brexit might mean for sustainability policy.

The one-day conference will bring together researchers, policy makers, business and civil society leaders to take stock and consider ways ahead. It is organised by the Nexus Network; the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), and the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN). The conference will debate what interdisciplinary research can contribute to the future sustainability of a post-Brexit Britain and an uncertain world.

You are warmly invited to join us in exploring the future of environmental policy, the relationship between inequality and sustainability; the role of expertise and emotion in policy making; and practical approaches to navigating complexity.

To read more and to register for the event, see here.

The International Institute of Knowledge Management of Sri Lanka is hosting the 4th International Conference on Agriculture and Forestry (ICOAF 2017) with the theme “Current Challenges and Future Perspectives of Agriculture”. They are inviting abstracts until the 22nd of June 2017.

You can find the call for papers on the conference website.