Tag Archives: food
Researchers at Virginia Tech, led by Associate Professor Percival Zhang, have developed a process by which approximately 30% of the cellulose from any plant material (including agricultural waste) can be converted into a starch known as amylose. Amylose can be used in food or as biodegradable packaging. Cellulose and starch have the same chemical composiition – the difference being their chemical linkages. Professor Percival Zhang's team used an enzyme cascade to break up the bonds in cellulose, enabling their reconfiguration as the starch, amylose. Amylose s a good source of dietay fibre and has been shown to decrease the risk … Continue Reading
Green walls and roof gardens have become extremely fashionable. One New York supermarket is taking the idea two steps further. Rather than just plant any greenery on the roof, Whole Foods is partnering with Gotham Greens to construct an 1,860 square metre greenhouse on its roof. As well as the usual benefits of a green roof and of providing food, the project will reduce foe food miles of the produce to mere "food footsteps".
Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, discusses the global struggle for food security, which is the subject of his latest book "Full Planet, Empty Plates".
The conventional wisdom is that it takes as much as 10 units of grain to produce one unit of meat with the equivalent nutritional value. George Monbiot has recently pointed out that we should be comparing the amount of land and water required to grow meat with the land and required to grow plant products of the same nutritional value. And that when you do that you come up with radically different results. Many of the world’s animals are fed on products which humans don’t eat and could not eat. These include residues and waste and straw and grass which … Continue Reading
Oxfam America is promoting a new approach, called "the System of Rice Intensification" or SRI, for small farmers which helps them produce more rice at lower cost without relying on harmful fertilizers and pesticides that can decrease soil fertility and threaten clean air, soil, and water. Farmers using the SRI method simply transplant younger seedlings into un-flooded soils and space them in a square pattern a bit wider than in traditional methods. Soils are kept moist rather than continuously flooded. The plants become more resistant to pests and less fertilizer is required. Farmers in Vietnam who adopted the method increased … Continue Reading
A policy paper on the eating of insects is being formally considered by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. Professor Arnold van Huis, an entomologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the author of the paper, says eating insects has advantages: "There is a meat crisis," he said. "The world population will grow from six billion now to nine billion by 2050 and we know people are consuming more meat. Twenty years ago the average was 20kg, it is now 50kg, and will be 80kg in 20 years. If we continue like this we will need another Earth…Most … Continue Reading
The Friends of the Earth have published a report on a study of various ways in which the world’s projected population of 9.16 billion in 2050 could be fed. The key finding was that feeding the world in 2050 is possible without the most intensive forms of animal and crop production and without a massive expansion of agricultural land. The study focused on four possible dietary scenarios: Western High Meat – assuming that there is a global adoption of the current Western diet with an average intake of 3,000 kcal per day per person and with 44% of protein from … Continue Reading
Two reports from world bodies have been published week saying that the world has ample capaicty to feed its projected increased population. The first report, from the OECD and the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, projects ten years from the food price increases of 2008. It concludes that "Some 1.6 billion hectares could be added to the current 1.4 billion hectares of crop land [in the world], and over half of the additionally available land is found in Africa and Latin America." The second report, from the UN Food & Agriculture Organization and the World Bank, concludes that 400 million … Continue Reading