Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Food nutrients

Image: Bharathimohanr, Vellappallam Rice, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
11 June 2018

600 million people could be affected as climate change decreases the levels of several nutrients in rice, according to a new paper. The paper estimated changes in rice nutrient content using experiments where rice (of several different cultivars) was grown under conditions of enriched CO2. At the higher CO2 levels, the following average decreases in nutrient levels were found compared to rice grown under ambient CO2: 10% for protein; 8% for iron; 5% for zinc; 17% for vitamin B1; 17% for vitamin B2; 13% for vitamin B5; 30% for vitamin B9. In contrast, vitamin E levels were 14% higher under elevated CO2 levels.

4 June 2018

FCRN member Seth Cook of the International Institute for Environment and Development has written a discussion paper on the importance of agricultural biodiversity. The report notes that crop diversity is declining: today, just 30 crops supply 95% of food calories, with maize, rice, wheat and potatoes providing over 60%. For comparison, humans have domesticated or collected around 7000 species of food plants.

Image: Julie, Apples, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
26 May 2018

FCRN member Elinor Hallström of the Research Institute of Sweden has authored a systematic review paper on how dietary quality scores are used in environmental sustainability assessment of food. The paper identifies two broad types of dietary quality scores and four different approaches to integrating nutritional and environmental assessments. It finds that both the type of dietary quality score and the way it is combined with environmental assessments can make a difference to which foods appear more sustainable.

9 May 2018

Researchers at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland are developing edible plant cell cultures. They hope that cell cultures of plants such as cloudberry, lingonberry and strawberry could provide health benefits when the conventionally-grown berries are out-of-season or expensive to import. The researchers have experimented with blending the cells into a “jam” to release the flavour, and have designed a prototype of a bioreactor that could be used in the home.

Image: World’s Direction, Milk, Flickr, Public Domain
26 February 2018

A new paper compares four popular plant based milks to cow’s milk. It concludes that soy milk is the best replacement for cow’s milk from a nutritional standpoint.

Image: Bytemarks, Aquaculture, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
20 February 2018

Fish are generally seen as more efficient in converting feed into food than land-based species, but, according to a new paper, this conclusion does not hold if the retention of protein and calories is accounted for using a different measure.

Image: Aaron Leavy, Grass, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

Grass could be the next source of human-edible protein.

Photo: mundial perspectives, Mundial Perspectives, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
22 January 2018

In this brief communication paper published in the first volume of the new journal Nature Sustainability, researchers from the US and Belgium assess the impact of international trade on global food supply, at the level of individual nutrients, rather than total calories. Based on their hypothetical comparison of food supply in a world with and without trade, they argue that international food trade is essential for global food security.

14 November 2017

This new handbook, edited by Danny Hunter, Luigi Guarino, Charles Spillane and Peter C. McKeown, presents a comprehensive and multidisciplinary overview of the current knowledge of agricultural biodiversity.

14 November 2017

The new report by World Wildlife Fund, Appetite for Destruction, highlights the vast amount of land that is needed to grow the crops used for animal feed, including in some of the planet’s most vulnerable areas such as the Amazon, Congo Basin and the Himalayas.

30 October 2017

This new book by Bioversity International summarizes the most recent evidence on how to use agrobiodiversity to provide nutritious foods through harnessing natural processes.

Photo: Colin Crowley, NEkenyaFB21|Young boy with lack of hair pigment due to protein deficiency during nutrition survey in Wajir District, Flickr, CC by 2.0
30 October 2017

This study by US- and New Zealand-based researchers estimates the effect of elevated CO2 (eCO2) on the edible protein content of crop plants, and subsequently on protein intake and protein deficiency risk globally, by country. The basis for this study is that 76% of the world’s population derives most of their daily protein from plants, and that a meta-analysis by Myers, et al. (2014) revealed that plant nutrient content (of various types including protein, iron and zinc) changes under elevated CO2.

Photo: Flickr, Prelude 2000, Iron Kettle, Creative Commons License 2.0
11 October 2017

Certain cereal grains and other crop plants have been shown to have lower iron concentrations when grown under elevated CO2. This study by researchers from Massachusetts, USA, examined diets from 152 countries to investigate which groups of people might be most at risk of iron deficiency as a result of increasing CO2 emissions, on the basis of current dietary composition, the current global prevalence of iron deficiency, and projected CO2 emissions up to the year 2050.

6 September 2017

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) have developed an Excel spreadsheet that can assist in calculating the nutrient value of food that is wasted. 

Photo: Neil Palmer, CIAT Nicaragua, Flickr Creative commons licence 2.0  generic
1 June 2017

In this information note from the CGIAR programme on Climate change, Agriculture and Food security (CCAFS), researchers present a rough estimate of the proportion of global agricultural emissions that can be attributed to smallholder farmers in developing countries.

Pages