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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food?

Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local – “Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics. This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on the Environmental impacts of food and CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”People across the world are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change: 8-in-10 people see climate change as a major threat to their country. As I have shown before, food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.There is rightly a growing awareness that our diet and food choices have a significant impact on our carbon ‘footprint’. What can you do to really reduce the carbon footprint of your breakfast, lunches, and dinner? ‘Eating local’ is a recommendation you hear often – even from prominent sources, including the United Nations. While it might make sense intuitively – after all, transport does lead to emissions – it is one of the most misguided pieces of advice. Eating locally would only have a significant impact if transport was responsible for a large share of food’s final carbon footprint. For most foods, this is not the case. GHG emissions from transportation make up a very small amount of the emissions from food and what you eat is far more important than where your food traveled from…”

See also this related chartFood: greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain

Are plastic containers safe for our food?

The Guardian –  The industry says its containers are safe but some experts point to a lack of data and warn that plastic and heat aren’t a good mix: “Many of us have an overflowing kitchen cupboard of plastic containers to store our leftovers.But as awareness grows over the health and environmental pitfalls of plastic,… Continue Reading

Libraries address food poverty in school holidays with ‘Feed and Read’ sessions

UK Times and Star: “West Cumbrian libraries are set to address food poverty and keep young minds active across the half term break. When schools close for a week from February 17-21, nine Allerdale libraries are taking up Feed and Read sessions. This offers a free healthy lunch to children in libraries, whilst also giving… Continue Reading

All we owe to animals It is not enough to conserve species and ecosystems

Aeon – We have an ethical duty to care for each individual animal on earth: “…Australia [has been] on fire. The fires have killed at least 25 humans and more than a billion animals. Animals such as koalas are especially at risk, since their normal response to threats – climbing to the tops of trees… Continue Reading

These 3 supertrees can protect us from climate collapse

Vox – But can we protect them? “Dozens of countries have extraordinary tropical forests, but three stand out: Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These countries not only have the largest areas of tropical forest within their borders; they also have the highest rates of deforestation. We traveled to protected areas deep inside… Continue Reading

Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019

“One day soon an emerging technology highlighted in this report will allow you to virtually teleport to a distant site and actually feel the handshakes and hugs of fellow cyber travelers. Also close to becoming commonplace: humanoid (and animaloid) robots designed to socialize with people; a system for pinpointing the source of a food-poisoning outbreak… Continue Reading

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency

BioScience: “Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate… Continue Reading

Visualizing the Effects of Bad Weather and the Trade War on Farmers

Center for Data Visualization – “The Wall Street Journal has created a series of data visualizations showing how bad weather and the United States-China trade war have created significant challenges for U.S. farmers. The visualizations show that the months between July 2018 and June 2019 were the wettest in the United States since record-keeping began… Continue Reading

600 Years of Grape Harvests Document 20th Century Climate Change

Earth and Space Science News (EOS) – “Climate change isn’t just captured by thermometers—grapes can also do the trick. By mining archival records of grape harvest dates going back to 1354, scientists have reconstructed a 664-year record of temperature traced by fruit ripening. The records, from the Burgundy region of France, represent the longest series… Continue Reading