Knowledge for better food systems

2019 issues of Fodder

Fodder: 9 April 2019

In Fodder this week: International trade in agricultural commodities drives a significant proportion of emissions from tropical deforestation - the US-China trade war could lead to increased deforestation as other suppliers take on the role of supplying soybeans to China - voluntary agreements between food supply chain actors can be an effective way of reducing food waste - and former FCRN volunteer Milorad Plavsic provides information about funding available through the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Fodder: 3 April 2019

In Fodder this week: FCRN members Christian Reynolds, Sarah Bridle and Ximena Schmidt are among the guest editors of a special issue of the journal Sustainability on the topic “Healthy sustainable diets”. View the call for abstracts here.

In other news:

  • Few UK supermarket chains pay their workers a Living Wage
  • Strawberries, spinach and kale are sold with particularly high pesticide residue levels in the US
  • A new paper provides a life cycle assessment of protein products made from black soldier fly larvae
  • “Traffic light” labelling can encourage consumers to choose meals with lower carbon emissions and lower calorie content.

Fodder: 27 March 2019

We have the following items from FCRN members in Fodder this week:

  • Erasmus zu Ermgassen investigates the impact of Brazilian forest protection laws on agricultural intensification.
  • Christian Reynolds and Tom Quested review the effectiveness of different consumption-stage measures to reduce food waste.
  • Christian Reynolds calculates which diets are healthy, low carbon and affordable for different income groups in the UK.

Fodder: 20 March 2019

We have several items from FCRN members in Fodder this week:

  • Nicholas Bowles reports that improved efficiency alone is not enough to bring the livestock sector’s impacts within the planetary boundaries, and argues that dietary changes will be required as well
  • Alexandra Sexton of Oxford’s Livestock, Environment and People project outline the narratives and counter-narratives surrounding meat replacements
  • Samuel Smith of international non-profit Forum for the Future has created a three-part blog series exploring sustainability issues linked to animal feed
  • Pat Thomas of UK campaign group Beyond GM has helped to set up the website A Bigger Conversation, which explores the debate on genetic engineering in the food system

Fodder: 13 March 2019

This week in Fodder: Fish biomass could be 6.5% higher if the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement is reached, compared to if climate change reaches 3.5°C, finds a modelling paper. Growing economies and populations have driven an increase in negative impacts to bird biodiversity and net carbon sequestration, finds another paper, despite a reduction in land use impacts per unit of GDP. Kale, seaweed and amaranth are among ‘50 future foods’ that conservation organisation WWF recommends should be eaten more often.

Readers from the UK food industry may be particularly interested in the government’s assessment of the business implications of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

Fodder: 6 March 2019

In Fodder this week: Delays in implementing land-based mitigation policies could put the Paris climate goals out of reach - in the UK, the poorest 10% of UK households would need to spend 74% of their disposable income on food to meet government healthy eating guidelines - and the FAO finds that much of the biodiversity that supports food production is at risk.

Fodder: 27 February 2019

In Fodder this week: Cultured meat is not necessarily better for the climate than beef cattle systems in the long term, finds a new paper, because it tends to produce long-lived carbon dioxide emissions rather than relatively short-lived methane. In many cases, beef carbon footprints do not report each greenhouse gas separately, making it difficult to assess the true climate impact.

Agroecological farming could feed Europe with lower emissions, according to a report - but a commentary piece argues that agroecology might not help to transform African agriculture, since much smallholder agriculture already uses agroecological principles.

Fodder: 13 February 2019

In Fodder this week: Palm oil, small-scale agriculture and timber are among the top drivers of deforestation in Indonesia - a Life Cycle Assessment for beef cattle production systems across the United States - language makes a difference to customers’ opinions of plant-based foods - and Brexit might not solve the British fishing industry’s problems.

Fodder: 6 February 2019

In Fodder this week: FCRN member Niki Rust is running a short survey on knowledge gaps in the transition to sustainable diets - FCRN member Diego Rose has calculated the carbon footprint and nutritional qualities of diets in the United States - The Lancet Commission finds that countering industry influence is key to tackling the linked crises of obesity, undernutrition and climate change - increasing soil organic carbon levels could increase maize and wheat outputs.

Fodder: 30 January 2019

In Fodder this week: FCRN member Marie Trydeman Knudsen highlights the importance of considering a range of environmental impact categories when assessing organic versus conventional dairy farming - Canada refers to environmental considerations in its dietary guidelines - a new open source license for plant material is introduced - could mushrooms and bacteria feed the world’s population through a nuclear winter?