Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Environmental impact assessments

19 April 2017

The report Redefining Protein: Adjusting Diets to Protect Public Health and Conserve Resources distils current research looking at the social and environmental impacts of producing high-protein foods other than meat (legumes: pulses and soy, nuts and seeds, eggs and dairy). It aims to provide hospitals with key information to design healthier meals. 

Photo: ishpikawa ken, school lunch, Root, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
12 April 2017

This summary has been provided by FCRN member Alessandro Cerutti from the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Public administrations such as schools, hospitals and other sectors are well aware of the effort required to manage all the stages of the catering service, from menu selection through to waste management. Several strategies hold potential to reduce the environmental impacts throughout these stages, especially in the context of the Green Public Procurement (GPP). Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, budget constraints are constantly forcing managers to make difficult trade-offs.

Photo: Flickr, 16:9 Clue, Creative Commons License 2.0
16 September 2016

Various health agencies recommend dietary intake of the two fatty acids omega-3 Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) at a level between 250 and 500 mg/day.

Photo: Jeff Kubina, French cooking class, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
6 September 2016

Performing full life cycle assessment on foods and diets is a data- and resource-intensive undertaking and as a result many studies tend to adopt a simplified approach, for example by limiting the number of food studied (in the case of diets), using proxy data, or limiting the system boundaries (cradle to farm gate; cradle to retailer – ie. not the full cradle to the consumer’s mouth).

1 August 2016

This special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology takes a closer look at how consumption is increasingly met by global supply chains that often involve large geographical distances.

(Photo: Graeme Law, creative commons licence, Flickr)
28 June 2016

This report discusses how less protein in food and fewer phosphorus compounds added to food products could reduce the eutrophication of the sea. Below is a summary of the research by two of the report’s authors, Anders Grimvall and Eva-Lotta Sundblad from the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment.

9 June 2016

This report, Food Systems and Natural Resources”developed by the International Resource Panel (IRP) looks at the use and management of natural resources that go into the food system, the consequences of that management and the options to improve the efficiency with which they are managed. 

16 February 2016

In this paper, researchers from James Cook University, Australia, assess the impact on the environment and agriculture of 33 planned or existing “development corridors” in sub-Saharan Africa. Development corridors are tracts of land earmarked for large-scale infrastructure expansions (e.g. road access) with the aim of increasing agricultural production.

17 December 2015

This paper quantifies what the environmental impacts would be if the typical US diet were to shift in line with the USDA dietary recommendations. The paper has created a lot of interest and debate since it shows that shifting towards healthier diets in some cases can increase the energy, emission and water intensity of the diet. This is why we wanted to provide a more extensive summary and some commentary below. Please do read, share and add your own comments.

For a comment by the study's lead author Michelle Tom see here and for another comment by Professor Michael Hamm see here

17 December 2015

This article in Science Magazine discusses how a genetically modified (GM) salmon has become the first animal to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

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

This thesis by PhD student Esther Sanyé-Mengual (Autonomous University of Barcelona) discusses urban rooftop farming, its potential and its associated environmental impacts and economic costs.

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.

9 November 2015

This report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) aims to inform decision-making that focuses on reducing impacts on natural capital.

Pages