Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Grazing and grassland

28 June 2016

This report by Friends of the Earth discusses how ecological resources essential for producing food can be protected and how we can feed a growing population by focusing on creating a more sustainable, democratic and fair food system for all.

Photo credit: (Flickr: crustmania, creative commons 2.0)
9 June 2016

Taking as their starting point a hypothetical zero-deforestation for agricultural production, where people would refrain from clearing any further forests for agricultural purposes, the researchers behind this study look at both supply side and demand side measures to assess how changes in production and diet can assist in halting deforestation

31 March 2016

This new paper published in Nature Climate Change, assesses the mitigation potentials achievable through improved livestock management practices and moderating meat consumption. It estimates that livestock-oriented measures could account for up to half of the mitigation potential of the global agricultural, forestry and land-use sectors but emphasises that the gap between technical potential and social and economic feasibility is likely to be large.

Photo credit: USDA NRCS South Dakota (Flickr, Creative commons)
10 March 2016

In this study, researchers from the Netherlands and Italy investigate the long-term (past and future) changes in phosphorus (P) budgets in grasslands used for grazing and in connection with croplands. The authors recognise a lack in the literature of studies characterising the P cycle in relation to grasslands and croplands, and - as grass-dependent livestock demand is increasing – they seek to address this lack of understanding.

10 March 2016

Two recent systematic literature reviews conclude that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products. The team led by Newcastle University, reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.

3 February 2016

This commentary published in Science Letters, discusses new data recently released by FAO’s statistical division, and makes the case that the current large-scale reversion in pasture area is opening up a potential conservation opportunity. Author and FCRN member Joseph Poore argues that as grazing of land has become more intensive globally, we are seeing ruminant outputs increasing while large agricultural areas are being abandoned, and he argues that this offers a new opportunity for land-sparing conservation.

3 February 2016

This very useful paper focuses on Brazilian beef production in the Cerrado grasslands region of Brazil makes an important contribution to the on-going debate about the merits of different livestock production systems, and of different consumption patterns.

3 February 2016

In this paper, researchers from universities in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, the UK and Germany investigate the potential for feeding livestock on less food-competitive feedstuffs (FCF – that is, animal feed derived from fewer human edible food sources) to reduce the negative environmental impacts of livestock farming.

18 January 2016

In this paper, researchers from a number of UK and US research institutions explore the potential for land sparing as a greenhouse gas (GHG) offsetting strategy – that is, by increasing crop and livestock yields so as to enable agricultural land to be freed up and used for habitat restoration (for example) an enable carbon sequestration. 

19 April 2015

The Sustainable Food Trust recently held an event to discuss the question: ‘What role for grazing livestock in a world of climate change and diet-related disease?’

19 April 2015

This study argues that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings. It looks at three models used by U.S. and European agencies, and finds that all three estimate that some of the crops diverted from food to biofuels are not replaced by planting crops elsewhere. About 20 to 50 percent of the net calories diverted to make ethanol are not replaced through the planting of additional crops.

18 February 2015

An article from Science Daily reports on how scientists, advisors and communications specialists have come together to examine whether beef production can help restore ecosystems. They have started to examine the adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing management technique: this involves using small-sized fields to provide short periods of grazing for livestock and long recovery periods for fields.

5 September 2014

In a debate between George Monbiot and L hunter Lovins in The Guardian, the issue of impacts and evidence of livestock grazing is discussed. Monbiots article “Eat more meat and save the world: the latest implausible farming miracle” can be found here while L. Hunter Lovins’ article “Why George Monbiot is wrong: grazing livestock can save the world” can be read here.

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