A key aspect of emissions reduction pathways is substitution – replacing high carbon goods and services with lower carbon alternatives. Within the food domain, two focus areas are: a) dietary change and b) sourcing food which has less emissions embodied in its production and transportation. To explore these themes, SILCI researcher Mark Wilson analysed the shopping baskets of 94 anonymised users of digital hubs for local food over 4 non-consecutive months. The above graph indicates that hub users are buying more of their weekly food shopping, as well as a broader range of items, from their local hub. Moreover, they are buying more fresh […]
One of the findings from Mark Wilson’s research is that consumers believe online farmers’ markets provide multiple public benefits, such as protecting the environment or supporting the local economy. With the onset of the pandemic, another co-benefit emerged…the resilience of short supply chains to an external shock. Food hubs using the Open Food Network platform experienced a 900% increase in demand, literally overnight. They fulfilled this demand by contacting the producers who normally supply the hospitality sector, which was now locked down, and […]
SILCI researcher Mark Wilson gave a presentation at the CEEDA online symposium in June. The CEEDA symposium is an annual event where doctoral candidates from various universities present their research to an academic audience and receive critical feedback. Mark discussed the results of his questionnaire survey, focusing on the appeal of online food hubs and how adoption of the innovation could be scaled up in the future.
Mark Wilson presented results from his survey of online food hub users at this event, which was attended by people directly involved in the provision of sustainably produced food and building alternative food networks. His talk focused on two themes: i) the relative appeal of online food hubs, comparing the perceptions of users and non-users, and ii) how buying from food hubs fits within broader food shopping behaviours. More information about the event can be found here.
Three themes were especially salient at the ORFC 2020: the criteria for allocating subsidies to farmers/land managers for providing public services such as flood prevention or enhancing biodiversity the land sharing vs land sparing debate and the implications of these approaches for how we produce our food a recognition of the climate crisis and the urgent need to reduce the carbon footprint of food and farming systems Much of the discussion centred on how to support farmers, on already narrow profit […]
The ‘food miles’ debate has been going for over a decade. Most studies agree that the CO2 emissions related to food production are greater than those associated with transporting food. However, reducing transportation emissions remains an important element in decarbonising the food and agriculture sector. Two recent articles find very different results; Pérez-Neira and Grollmus-Venegas (2018) suggest that using peri-urban horticulture to produce food can reduce emissions by 24 to 66%, whereas Peano et al. (2018) find no significant difference between alternative food networks […]
Meal kits are becoming ever more popular. Companies such as HelloFresh or Mindful Chef offer consumers easy to cook, freshly prepared food without the fuss of planning meals or going to the shops. Two articles, Heard et al. (2019) and Fenton (2017), investigate the carbon intensity of meal kits and find they produce less CO2 emissions compared to the same meal bought from supermarkets. This is because the pre-portioned ingredients of meal kits reduce domestic food waste. However, Gee et al. (2019) suggest that meal kits may actually increase emissions because they use significantly more […]
One of the SILCI team, Mark Wilson, recently gave a talk at the Royal Geographical Society annual conference in London. The talk was entitled ‘Who uses food apps and why? An exploration of their disruptive potential’. It focused on how food apps can help people to reduce their carbon emissions, as well as presenting some preliminary findings of Mark’s ongoing research into the consumer appeal of online food hubs.
Ever wondered about the carbon footprint of the food you eat? Now you can easily find out with this informative BBC carbon footprint calculator. Give it a try! The calculator is based on this study by Poore and Nemececk which looks at how to reduce food’s environmental impact through the actions of producers and consumers.
Efforts to reduce food waste, and the associated GHG emissions, are ongoing across the food supply chain. In this report, WRAP provide an updated estimate for food waste in UK primary production; 1.6 million tonnes per annum, or 3.3% of all food harvested, is wasted (this excludes ‘surplus food’ which is used as animal feed or to produce bio-materials). For comparison, 7.1 million tonnes are wasted […]