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!

Posted on Posted in Future food, News, Useful Links

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. […]

Recycling entire homes

Posted on Posted in Future homes, Topics, Useful Links

Written by Emilie Vrain   Many buildings are being left abandoned in the countryside as people migrate to the bright lights of the city. Danish project ‘The Resource Rows’ has been on a mission to re-use materials from such derelict structures, giving them a new life elsewhere, helping to reduce the CO2-impact of the construction […]

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 […]

Disruptive trends for global sustainability

Posted on Posted in Low-carbon innovations, Topics, Useful Links

A new online platform is tracking potentially disruptive ‘mega-trends’ which can contribute to global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Launched by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), the ‘SDG Trend Scanner’ has data on trends ranging from ageing, automation, digitalisation to climate change, social instability, and vulnerable employment. As the […]

‘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 […]

The sharing economy: beyond Uber and AirBnB

Posted on Posted in Future homes, Topics, Useful Links

The sharing economy is transforming the ways in which people access and use goods and services, and challenges traditional, ownership-based, business models.  This short article from the World Economic Forum explores how people in 5 cities across the world are embracing the concept of sharing economy, and highlights the scale and scope of goods and services being ‘shared’ today.  If […]

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!