Thursday, 27 July 2017
Increasing demand for nutritious, safe, and healthy food because of a growing population, and the pledge to maintain biodiversity and other resources, pose a major challenge to agriculture that is already threatened by a changing climate. Diverse and healthy diets, largely based on plant-derived food, may reduce diet-related illnesses. Investments in plant sciences will be necessary to design diverse cropping systems balancing productivity, sustainability, and nutritional quality. Cultivar diversity and nutritional quality are crucial. We call for better cooperation between food and medical scientists, food sector industries, breeders, and farmers to develop diversified and nutritious cultivars that reduce soil degradation and dependence on external inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, and to increase adaptation to climate change and resistance to emerging pests.
Click the link above to read the new Via Campesina Declaration.
Direct evidence for microbial-derived soil organic matter formation and its ecophysiological controls
Soil organic matter (SOM) and the carbon and nutrients therein drive fundamental submicron- to global-scale biogeochemical processes and influence carbon-climate feedbacks. Consensus is emerging that microbial materials are an important constituent of stable SOM. However, direct evidence demonstrating that microbial residues account for the chemistry, stability and abundance of SOM is still lacking. Here the authors provide the first direct evidence that soil microbes produce chemically diverse, stable SOM. We show that SOM accumulation is driven by distinct microbial communities more so than clay mineralogy, where microbial-derived SOM accumulation is greatest in soils with higher fungal abundances and more efficient microbial biomass production.
To boost the overall supply of horticultural produce to the world’s developing cities, FAO promotes the sustainable intensification of commercial market gardening on urban peripheries. In densely populated areas, it has a complementary strategy: to help low-income households improve their food and nutrition security by growing their own vegetables in micro-gardens.
A new special issue of Sociologia Ruralis is now online. The special issue provides theoretical insights and advancements into sustainability transitions through empirically grounded and informed investigations of food system practices. The papers conﬁrm, following Hinrichs (2014, p. 143), that ‘numerous opportunities exist to forge more productive links between work on food systems change and the broad and growing sustainability transitions ﬁeld’.The Special Issue brings together 8 articles grouped together around two themes:
- Examining relations between AFN practices and transition;
- Opening up measures and assessment practices for sustainability transitions.
The High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) is the science-policy interface of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). In October 2014, the CFS requested the HLPE to prepare a study on Sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition. The present document is the response to that request. The report identifies four main channels through which forests and trees contribute to food security and nutrition: direct provision of food; provision of energy, especially for cooking; income generation and employment; and provision of ecosystem services essential for food production in the long term such as water regulation, soil protection, biodiversity conservation and climate change and mitigation.
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Adult cooking classes, school gardens, university dining halls, farmers' markets, women's health, cooking in schools, gardening enjoyment and supermarkets in low income neighbourhoods all feature in this special collection of articles in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour. And all the articles are open access.
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
This brief provides an overview of the ecosystem service contributions of urban biodiversity and green infrastructure and the challenges for improving their provision. Strategic improvement of urban geen infrastructure has been proposed as a cost effective public health measure. Urban green infrastructure is not just open spaces such as parks and private gardens, but also green roofs and walls, street trees, ponds, rivers and canals. However, existing urban green infrastructure in the UK has not been strategically planned to deliver ecosystem services. This brief provides an overview of the ecosystem service contributions of urban green infrastructure and the challenges for improving the provision of these services.
Thursday, 6 July 2017
Environmentally sustainable agriculture seeks to reduce environmental damage and restore such processes. This POSTnote summarises associated land management options, agricultural policies and the constraints imposed by a new trading environment.