Knowledge for better food systems

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1 April 2019

This blog post in Foodprint (part of US food advocacy group GRACE Communications) explores how food safety scares and recalls can cause food waste. In addition to the disposal of contaminated food items, other items of the same type are often disposed of to be sure of removing all affected items. New supply chain traceability technologies could reduce the amount of food disposed of during recalls.

1 April 2019

This feature in the UK’s Guardian newspaper examines the environmental implications of China’s promotion of milk consumption. Dairy consumption in China has grown from very little to around 30 kg per year within the last few decades, and government guidelines recommend that people triple their current dairy consumption.

26 March 2019

In this blog post for the UK Food Research Collaboration, researchers Tony Lewis and Erik Millstone note that the UK’s draft replacement regulations for governing food after the UK leaves the European Union (EU) allow the government to relax requirements on food traceability. The authors argue that the government may be preparing to accept lower food standards to minimise supply disruptions in the event of leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

20 March 2019

FCRN member Samuel Smith of international non-profit Forum for the Future has created a three-part blog series exploring sustainability issues linked to animal feed. The blog posts round up the findings of Forum for the Future’s project Feed Compass: acting on animal feed.

13 March 2019

Extreme weather events such as frosts, heavy rains and droughts are the main drivers of lower olive yields in Italy, according to Professor Riccardo Valentini of the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change. Italy has experienced a 57% drop in olive oil production in 2018.

4 March 2019

The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions will introduce a new measure of food insecurity, reports the Guardian. The new measure will be based on ten questions about food purchase and consumption patterns in the annual Family Resources Survey, which surveys around 20,000 households each year.

26 February 2019

This commentary from the US-based Breakthrough Institute argues that agroecology is not the best way of reforming agriculture in Africa, because most African agriculture already follows agroecological principles such as avoiding monocropping and not using much fertiliser or pesticide.

18 February 2019

This article on the environmental impacts of different types of animal feed (including fishmeal, soy, fava beans, algae and various forage crops) features commentary from FCRN member Sam Smith, who has contributed to the Feed Compass work by Forum for the Future.

18 February 2019

Students at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have created a machine learning algorithm to automatically count Varroa mites in beehives. The algorithm could help beekeepers monitor bee health more quickly and accurately.

11 February 2019

This piece from the New Food Economy interviews several researchers across the United States who have felt pressure from food industry bodies and funders.

11 February 2019

Bayer Crop Science writes about several case studies in vertical farming, including agrilution (hydroponics farming in Germany), Comcrop (Singapore’s first rooftop commercial farm) and Sky Greens (a vertical farm in Singapore).

11 February 2019

The World Resources Institute has published its early findings on research into language that appeals to British and US consumers when describing plant-based foods.

4 February 2019

These three audio reports from the Wall Street Journal explore the impact of climate change on commercial fisheries, cattle genetically engineered to tolerate higher temperatures, and how advances in artificial intelligence and genetics could help farmers to withstand crop disease and droughts.

29 January 2019

This feature in the Guardian discusses the reasons for the current popularity of high-protein foods, explores consumption patterns between countries, and questions whether protein shakes have the same nutritional benefits as relatively unprocessed options such as salmon.

22 January 2019

A new process, Seleggt, can determine the sex of a chick before it hatches from the egg, avoiding the culling of unwanted male chicks in the egg industry (which often happens by feeding live chicks into shredding machines). The first eggs produced using the process are on sale in Berlin.

22 January 2019

Last week’s EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems has received mixed coverage and reactions, some of which we outline here.

15 January 2019

Some businesses no longer accept cash and instead prefer card or other digital payments. This piece in The Spoon explores the ways in which cashless businesses might exclude some people, following legislation in New York City that could, if passed, force restaurants, coffee shops and stores to accept cash.

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