Disruptive innovations still need regulatory approval

Posted on Posted in Future food, News

Of the start ups showcasing their ideas at the Technoport 2019 conference in Trondheim, the tech capital of Norway, one stood out as offering both a potentially disruptive innovation and potential emission reductions. Invertapro breeds black soldier flies and mealworm beetles for use as protein substitutes in both human and animal food chains. Although they […]

Cultured meat – is it low carbon?

Posted on Posted in Future food, Useful Links

‘Cultured meat’ is an emerging technology in which animal muscle cells are produced through tissue culture in a controlled laboratory environment. According to the FAO, livestock rearing (particularly cattle) is responsible for nearly two thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Cultured meat is regarded as a low carbon alternative way to produce meat if it can be manufactured on an industrial scale. However, researchers at the University of Oxford claim cultured meat could, […]

SILCI goes to Riga!

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SILCI researcher Mark Wilson recently attended the SISA 3 (Systems Innovation towards Sustainable Agriculture) workshop, which was held in Riga and organised by the European Society for Rural Sociology. He presented a poster on how consumers can use digital innovations to reduce their food-related greenhouse gas emissions. The SILCI project is exploring end-user innovations which aim to reduce food waste, encourage dietary change, or support local food networks, all of which have the potential to […]

Life on Mars

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Fancy a slap-up meal on Mars!? Solar Foods has built a bioreactor which can make protein from CO2, water and electricity. The European Space Agency is interested enough to support Solar Foods in developing a bioreactor which could be used on flights to Mars, as well as on the red planet itself. This has a potential application here on Earth. […]

Reducing plastic in food packaging

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Plastics used in food packaging are a significant contributor to plastic pollution, a serious problem which was documented recently in the Blue Planet II series. In this short clip, Guy Singh-Watson from Riverford explains what he sees as three interrelated causes of plastic pollution: unnecessary food packaging, the use of oxo–degradable bags which create micro–plastics, and the lack of a standardised recycling policy for local councils. Keeping food fresh is important for consumer appeal and avoiding food waste, so although paper packaging may entail higher carbon emissions than plastics, it is our best option. 

Food wasted on farms? Just call the gleaners…

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Gleaning unwanted produce from farms has been a practice for centuries and it is making a comeback in several European countries, according to the Gleaning Network. This BBC clip explains how volunteers help to avoid food waste by harvesting the unwanted produce and sending it to food redistribution charities. This benefits the farmers, by reducing the prevalence of pests, and reduces the environmental impacts […]

‘Pay as you feel’ cafes reduce food waste

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Cafes which use the ‘pay as you feel’ concept are springing up across the UK. These cafes collect surplus food from supermarkets and wholesalers and turn this food into meals. Customers can pay for their meal with money or with their time. This BBC clip explains how The Real Junk Food Project aims to tackle the environmental problem of food waste as well as create inclusive social meeting […]

Gaming apps to reduce your carbon footprint

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There are now apps and websites which encourage you to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet, such as Part-Time Carnivore and The Climatarian Challenge. They ‘gamify’ the challenge of reducing your “meaty days”. You can set monthly targets to reduce your meat consumption or form teams to compete against each other. It is a fun way to tackle a serious problem! 

Vertical Farms…still too expensive?

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This week’s Big Issue (issue 1303) has an interesting piece entitled ‘Vertical farms won’t save us…yet’. While several small-scale vertical farms are achieving modest success, larger scale production is still proving difficult despite significant technological advances in recent years. The problem for producers is the cost; set-up and production costs are high, but salad and vegetables are […]

Surplus food: energy, or food for those who need it?

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This interesting article in Fresh Produce Journal discusses the current situation regarding food waste in the UK. Despite a lot of media and public attention to this issue in recent years, the UK still only rescues less than 10% of its surplus food. A lot of food is sent to anaerobic digesters to produce energy, which is of course better than sending it to landfill. However, food […]