• Reducing Food Loss and Waste – A New Working Paper

    By The Editors As we have seen in the previous post, this year the theme of World Environment Day (June 5) is ‘Think.Eat.Save’.  The theme connects to the “Think.Eat.Save – Reduce Your Foodprint’ campaign. Accordingly, a new working paper has been released yesterday (June 5).  The title of this working paper is ‘Reducing Food Loss and Waste”.  It was produced by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and draws on research from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The “Think.Eat.Save – Reduce Your Foodprint’ campaign harnesses the expertise of organizations such as FAO, WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), Feeding the…

  • World Environment Day 2013: Today, June 5

    By The Editors Today we go back to the foodprint:  The World Environment Day (WED) 2013 theme is Think.Eat.Save.  Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, concluded her WED 2013 message by saying: “From production, transport and storage to sales and consumption, we need to stop food waste at every step of the way. Each of us must rethink our eating habits to have an impact throughout the food chain. This is how we will lay the foundations for greater sustainability, and this is UNESCO’s message on this World Environment Day.” World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5 and it’s one of the main vehicles through which the UN…

  • Reducing the Foodprint by Eating Misfits

    By The Editors In a previous post, The Foodprint: Eyes on Methane, we talked about the enormous amount of wasted food that ends up in the landfills, where it is decomposed by bacteria under anaerobic conditions (i.e., in the absence of oxygen) and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas. We concluded the post by saying; “How can we decrease the foodprint?  Composting, composting, composting — However, composting works well for food waste that has already been generated. What about changing our mindset and finding ways to reduce the amount of food we waste on a daily basis?” In this new post, let’s talk about a possible…

  • Edible Insects: Raising Awareness

    By The Editors As mentioned in the previous post, a few days ago a publication released from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) started to raise awareness on the value of insects as food source. The publication is a book entitled “Edible insects – future prospects for food and feed security” and draws on a broad range of scientific research.  It’s the result of a collaboration with the Laboratory of Entomology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and part of a broad-based effort at FAO to examine the gathering and rearing of insects as a viable option for alleviating food insecurity. Although the majority of edible insects are gathered from forest habitats, there is increased interest…

  • Edible Insects – Will They Become a Global Diet Staple?

    By The Editors The human population keeps growing – by 2050, it’s likely there will be 9 billion people on our planet – or our village.  Food may become scarce.  What can we do to make sure there is enough of it for the growing population?  We need to think differently, and look across cultures to find ways for increasing food security. Edible insects have always been a part of human diets.  It is estimated that over 2 billion people normally eat them.  Insects are considered delicacies in many parts of the world, particularly in the tropics. However, in many cultures, there is a main barrier to eating insects — “consumer disgust”.…

  • Hungry Planet: What The World Eats

    By The Editors Hungry Planet: What The World Eats, has been around for a few years, but the photography is still very appealing, the descriptions insightful and the topic up to date.  Just looking at the pictures is a sure way to increase one’s awareness of different cultures.  The book also includes excerpts from leading  scientists, nutritionists and environmentalists. In true global spirit, Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio traveled to twenty-four countries and visited thirty families from all around the world to find out what people eat during the course of one week.  The result of their work is 30 family profiles.  Each family’s profile includes a detailed description of their weekly food purchases; photographs…

  • Global Shortage of Baby Formula

    By The Editors Chinese families — aware of the dangers posed by baby formula contaminated with melamine and other harmful substances — prefer to buy brands produced and sold in other countries.  That is, if they can afford it.  Many can. The increasing demand from Chinese families has resulted in the current global shortages and subsequent imposed limits on purchases.  In January, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority started to investigate the online trade in China of Kiwi-made baby formula.  At about the same time, Woolworths – a chain of Australian supermarkets – limited sales of all baby formula to four tins per transaction.  And, in February, the Hong Kong’s government set limits…

  • Global Decline of Insect Pollinators Threatens the Human Food Supply

    By The Editors An international team of 40 scientists (from 27 institutions involved in the UK’s Insect Pollinators Initiative) reports that pollinating insects, essential to the food supply, are threatened at a global level by a “cocktail” of multiple pressures that puts their survival at risk.  The findings were published April 22 in the journal “Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment” (Adam J Vanbergen, and the Insect Pollinators Initiative. 2013. Threats to an ecosystem service: pressures on pollinators). The multiple pressures within the “cocktail” combine and exacerbate the negative impacts on insect pollinators of crops and wild plants. What are these multiple pressures?  Intensification of land-use, climate change, the spread of species that…