Meal kits: less C02…or more plastic pollution?

Posted on Posted in Future food, Useful Links

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 […]

Environmental benefits of shared e-scooters brought into question

Posted on Posted in Future mobility, Useful Links

In cities across the world, dockless electric scooters are becoming an ever-more common sight.  These are often promoted as being an environmentally friendly way on travelling within a city, but this recent research paper by Joseph Hollingsworth and his colleagues finds that the truth behind these claims is more complicated.  When taking into account the materials and […]

Calculate the carbon footprint of your diet

Posted on Posted in Future food, Useful Links

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. 

Food waste on farms – new report by WRAP

Posted on Posted in Future food, Useful Links

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 […]

SILCI goes to the Pint of Science festival

Posted on Posted in Future food, Low-carbon innovations, News, Useful Links

Two SILCI team members, Charlie Wilson and Mark Wilson, recently gave a talk at the Pint of Science festival. The talk, entitled ‘Sustainable solutions – a greener, digital future’, was hosted at a pub in Norwich, giving members of the public an opportunity to learn about low carbon innovations and the SILCI team’s research. Pint of Science is an annual public engagement […]

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

Posted on Posted in Future food, Topics, Useful Links

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

Posted on Posted in Future food, Topics, Useful Links

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.