Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Agricultural innovation

15 October 2020

The Livestock, Climate and Environment Community of Action is a forum for discussing sustainable feed and livestock production systems. It is hosted by the Animal Production and Health Division of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and is open to all stakeholders.

15 October 2020

This report from Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, a UK alliance of livestock researchers, quantifies emissions from UK livestock production and assesses what it would take for the sector to align with the UK’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

15 October 2020

This short and highly readable paper argues that “creative imagination” and positive stories about the future are necessary for generating solutions, in contrast to “purely technocratic” approaches, which fail to motivate people. It sketches out three possible scenarios for biodiversity and food production in the year 2050, noting that none are inevitable.

6 October 2020

In this blog post on the Oxford Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) website, FCRN member James Painter summarises his recent research on media coverage of animal agriculture and its links to climate change, and lab-grown (or cultured) meat as an alternative to meat eating. The research shows that media coverage of animal agriculture tends to focus on consumer responsibility as opposed to the role of governments or large farms.

6 October 2020

This book (publication date 30 October 2020), presents interdisciplinary insights on the controlled release of fertilisers, including chapters from researchers in the fields of agriculture, polymer science, and nanotechnology.

6 October 2020

In this report, international non-profit Forum for the Future calls for “a just transition to a regenerative agriculture system” in the United States. The report, funded by the Walmart Foundation, identifies opportunities and barriers to scaling regenerative agriculture in the US.

6 October 2020

This report from the non-profit Good Food Institute reviews the current status of fermentation technologies in the alternative protein industry. It covers traditional fermentation (e.g. tempeh, cheese, yoghurt), biomass fermentation (where microbial biomass is used as an ingredient, e.g. the filamentous fungi in Quorn) and precision fermentation (where a specific component is extracted from the biomass, e.g. Perfect Day’s dairy proteins and Impossible Foods’ heme protein).

23 September 2020

US retailer Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, has announced a goal to become a “regenerative company”. Specific targets include protecting, managing or restoring at least 50 million acres of land (which is equivalent to around 2% of the United States’ land area) and one million square miles of ocean (<1% of the global ocean area) by 2030, and achieving net zero emissions by 2040. The net zero target appears to cover only Walmart’s direct emissions, not food and product supply chain emissions.

9 September 2020

In this paper, FCRN member Raychel Santo reviews evidence on the potential benefits and risks of the production and consumption of plant-based and cell-based meat alternatives. The paper covers implications for health, environmental performance, animal welfare, economy and policy.

27 August 2020

UK cultured meat startup Higher Steaks has created one of the world’s first lab-grown pork products (Mission Barns claims to have created, but not publicised, a lab-grown bacon prototype in May 2020). The Higher Steaks pork belly is made of 50% cultivated cells, and the bacon product contains 70% cultivated cells, with the remaining material being plant-based.

21 July 2020

FCRN member Allison Gacad has written this article on how epigenetic modification of plants could enhance food security by enabling crops to activate or deactivate certain genes depending on environmental conditions.

21 July 2020

This book looks at how fungi can be used in sustainable agriculture, for example as a fertiliser, for management of drought and as a growth promoter.

21 July 2020

This paper by FCRN member Eric Toensmeier argues that perennial vegetables (those grown on plants that live for more than two years) are underappreciated as a source of nutrients, as a means of sequestering carbon and as beneficial to biodiversity.

14 July 2020

This article by FoodPrint discusses the tension between the purported environmental benefits of kelp farming and consumers’ lack of familiarity with kelp as a food, and describes “regenerative” kelp farming systems that also produce oysters, clams and mussels. It sets out several ways in which kelp can be used, including in foods such as pesto or lasagne, as well as other uses such as bioplastics, fertiliser, biofuel and animal feed.

14 July 2020

The Good Food Institute, a US alternative protein nonprofit, has released a collaborative research directory listing researchers who are active in the alternative protein space and those who want to work in the field. The directory lists location, research interests and whether institutions are hiring staff.

8 July 2020

This BBC story looks at a new initiative to heat greenhouses in East Anglia using waste heat from nearby water treatment plants. According to the story, the technology could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heating greenhouses as well as reduce reliance on imported produce.

8 July 2020

US think tank The Breakthrough Institute has published a policy brief on how new federal funding for agricultural research and development in the United States could protect and generate tens of thousands of jobs while also helping roughly halve US agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

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