Human uses of the ocean are growing rapidly and interacting with each other; guidance from WRAP on when to use compostable plastic packaging; Oxford’s Livestock, Environment and People project has published a new series of blog posts exploring controversies in the food system; and Veg Power estimates that its “Eat them to defeat them” advertising campaign persuaded 650,000 children to eat more vegetables.
A report calls for a revival of “county farms” in the UK - farms owned by local authorities - to promote social and environmental benefits; a new online toolkit, SHARE IT, allows food sharing initiatives to document and communicate the impact of their activities; soil erosion rates can be highly discontinuous between neighbouring countries.
New Foodsource Building Block: What is feed-food competition?
Should grains and other edible crops ever be fed to livestock, rather than directly to people?
This is the question at the heart of the debate on feed-food competition - the tensions and trade-offs between using resources to feed people or livestock - which we explore in our new explainer piece published last week:
A paper compares the nutrient content of plant-based meat analogues and traditional meat products, finding that the nutritional composition varies by brand and no general comparative conclusions can be drawn; the top five most likely global risks all relate to the environment, according to the World Economic Forum; and the World Resources Institute gives tips to food service outlets on nudging customers towards plant-based dishes.
FCRN member Francesca Harris reviews the water use of dietary patterns around the world; a study assesses synergies and tradeoffs between human nutrition, environmental impact and animal welfare when switching from current diets to nationally recommended diets; replacing some rice production with sorghum and millet could improve nutrient supplies, reduce environmental impacts and improve climate resilience in India; the FCRN’s Tara Garnett was interviewed by ffinlo Costain of Farmwel on the Farm Gate podcast; and George Monbiot argues in a controversial documentary that much of today’s farming will be replaced by fermentation of microbes.
Feedback argues that sugar beet production in the UK is particularly damaging to soil; The Lancet has produced a series of papers on the double burden of malnutrition; and a paper by FCRN member Christian Reynolds finds that differences in household food carbon footprints in Japan are heavily influenced by consumption of restaurant food, confectionery, alcohol, fish and vegetables, rather than meat, as meat consumption is spread fairly evenly across households in Japan.