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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

Here’s How Much Food Contributes to Climate Change

Scientific American: “As with most things related to people, the food we eat comes with a carbon cost. Soil tillage, crop and livestock transportation, manure management and all the other aspects of global food production generate greenhouse gas emissions to the tune of more than 17 billion metric tons per year, according to a new study published on Monday in Nature Food. Animal-based foods account for 57 percent of those emissions, and plant-based ones make up 29 percent. The researchers hope the paper’s detailed breakdown of how much each agricultural practice, animal product, crop and country contributes to carbon emissions can help focus and fine-tune reduction efforts. Though previous studies have estimated emissions from agriculture, the authors say this work is more detailed and comprehensive. It uses data on 171 crops and 16 animal products from more than 200 countries, along with computer modeling, to calculate the amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are contributed by individual elements of the global food system, including consumption and production. If we want to control those emissions, “we needed to calculate a good baseline,” says study co-author Atul Jain, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign…”

Study – Safety net helped prevent widespread hunger during the pandemic

Washington Post: “Despite a world-altering pandemic, the number of American households struggling with hunger remained nearly constant last year, buoyed by significant federal safety net programs, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Agriculture Department. However, food assistance programs may not have reached populations equally, according to the report, as food insecurity during… Continue Reading

UN Environment Program: “…One-third of all food produced in the world – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – is lost or wasted every year. Globally, if food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the United States. The resources needed to produce the food… Continue Reading

The farmers market is moving online

The Verge: “The pandemic brought rampant growth for local food distribution platforms…the pandemic came, and it hit farms hard. Supply chains, customer bases, and in some cases labor were upended. Small and medium-sized independent farms that relied on restaurant wholesale lost huge percentages of their business overnight. Some local CSAs folded. Some farming operations went… Continue Reading

From Syria to Lebanon, Saving the Seeds That Could Save Humanity

Newslines – “The story behind the seed genebank, or “doomsday vault,” and how it thrives despite war and displacement seeds that could save humanity were in a vault in Syria. Then the war came, and the seeds were relocated to Lebanon for safekeeping. The move was actually a return to Lebanon, where ICARDA was first… Continue Reading

Join NYT Today for Netting Zero Virtual Event Series on Climate Change

“Each episode of Netting Zero brings together New York Times journalists with climate experts from business, policy, government, and civil society. Join us on July 1 to discuss our built environment – The New York Times  Thursday, July 11:30 p.m. E.T. | 10:30 a.m. P.T. | 6:30 p.m. B.S.T.  In the past year, as cities… Continue Reading

“Labels Unwrapped” empowers consumers to make more informed food choices

“Today the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School launched a newly-revamped website that “unwraps” the laws behind food labels. Available at labelsunwrapped.org, the site provides an accessible resource for the public to explore the facts behind the many claims, stamps, and certifications commonly found on packaging. “Food labels are meant… Continue Reading

Why more public libraries are doubling as food distribution hubs

The Conversation: “In the summer of 2021, public libraries everywhere, from Idaho and Oklahoma to Tennessee and Arizona, will offer free meals to families with children in their local communities. What might look like a new role for libraries builds on their long tradition of serving as innovation spaces, community centers and sanctuaries for people… Continue Reading