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Underpinning Research & Useful Resources

We are interdisciplinary researchers examining environmental impacts of global food systems. We benefit from the support of STFC Food Network+ and N8 Agrifood Steering Committees, and draw on these to connect with major UK programmes such as Global Food Security Programme, Met Office,Scottish Climate Change Centre of Expertise (ClimateXChange), Society for the Environment,  industry, and Universities across the UK.

We are working on innovation in primary food production, food supply chains, and consumer health and decision making, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food. Examples of research covered by our team include:

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The development of crop imaging and herbicide spraying at sub-1m resolution and smart mats for monitoring the condition of individual animals

There is a food knowledge disconnect between the food research community, and general population. Academic experts know detailed
information about foods, but do not know, (and cannot measure easily) what citizens understand or perceive to know about food. This project asked citizens to provide their perceptions about images of specific food serving sizes. For each image, one of a range of questions was asked ncluding perceptions of greenhouse gas emissions and energy (calorie content).

Gas Laboratory Automated Dynamic Isotope Survey System

GLADISS is a mobile gas laboratory which has isotope tracer technology to analyse greenhouse gas fluxes such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from soil. The vans mobility and off road ability enables deployment to remote locations which makes it an effective tool for sustainable argifood systems.

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This project explored capabilities and potential of STFC Cryogenic and Thermal Modelling for reducing food and energy losses in the supply chain, in places where infrastructure is not well developed (India in this case).

This team are pioneering a food sustainability revolution using consumer research to integrate the sustainability of food and drink. 

The Global Food Security programme aims to understand what a future food system might look like that tackles climate change whilst also improving nutrition, exploring interventions in the food system that would help meet the Paris Climate Agreement and deliver against the SDGs.

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N8 AgriFood combines crop and livestock research with expertise in social sciences in a single research initiative focused on ensuring the stability and integrity of national and global agri-food supply chains in the face of environmental and socioeconomic challenges.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Food Network+ (SFN) brings together STFC researchers and facilities with research and industry in the agri-food sector.

The global average consumption of meat and dairy is rising, driven by increasing incomes and population growth. The growing demand for meat matters as its consumption has significant effects on people’s health and livestock production can have major environmental impacts.
The LEAP programme aims to understand the health, environmental, social and economic effects of meat and dairy consumption to provide evidence and tools for decision makers to promote healthy and sustainable diets. 

Useful Resources

Interested to find out more? Here are a collection of resources that our Expert Communicators & Advisory Board recommend for further reading....

Sustainable Shopping Companion

A mobile app that informs you about the products you buy and the companies you buy them from, helping you find products that fit your own values and beliefs.

Join the food sharing revolution!

OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local shops & cafes so surplus food and other items can be shared, not thrown away. If you love food, hate waste, care about the environment or want to connect with your community, OLIO is for you.

An organic farming game

Grow Garden is the fun place to learn about organic gardening and sustainable farming. Kids get to learn and understand environmental issues in a simple and entertaining way

For The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO)

This application lets you calculate the greenhouse gas footprint of your menu options!

What's your diet's carbon footprint?

Find out the climate impact of what you eat and drink by choosing from one of 34 items in a calculator and picking how often you have it

A peer reviewed comprehensive and open source collection of environmental impacts

Find interesting articles in this compilation put together by Joseph Poore

See the difference your meat-free days make

The Darwin Challenge app has been created for those of you who have one or more meatfree days a week. This life-giving app rewards you, by showing you how your meat-free days are improving your health and your world. Small acts, big impacts

The carbon footprint of nearly everything

From its modest initial entry, a text message (which creates .014 CO2e [carbon dioxide equivalent emissions]), to its grand finale: burning all the world's fossil fuel reserves (2.5 trillion CO2e, or 50 years of current global emissions), this compendium of the specific costs to the climate (in carbon emissions) of our everyday behaviors deftly blends intelligence with entertainment, perhaps creating a unique genre: a page-turner for the climate conscious by Mike Berners-Lee

A handbook for the make or break years

We have the chance to live better than ever. But, as humans become ever more powerful, can we avoid blundering into disaster? Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is practical and even enjoyable....

A diet optimisation tool from the Rowett Institute

The program uses mathematical methodology to create a ‘weekly shopping list’, offering a selection of food items that satisfies a combination of criteria based on data input in the form of published nutritional guidelines, costs, environmental impact, and personal food preferences.

A diet assessment website with a free demo

Intake24 is an open-source self-completed computerised dietary recall system based on multiple-pass 24-hour recall. The online system offers similar data quality to interviewer-led recalls at a significantly lower cost.

The social network rewarding sustainable actions and ideas

A jungle populated with inspiring stories, a great community and real life rewards for your positive impact.

Does what I eat have an effect on climate change?

Find out how to shop, cook and eat in a warming world in this article from the New York Times

A handy table showing the foods that are in season for each month

See what's in season year-round, and plan your shopping to suit using this web-tool

Blog Post from LettUsGrow

The rotation of the earth around the sun brings with it changes to the environment: cycles of light and dark, warm and cold - not only across a daily period but also seasonally. Circadian rhythms are biological cycles with a period of around 24 hours, which can be thought of as an internal clock. They are seen throughout a wide range of life; humans, animals, plants, fungi and even types of bacteria. The prolificacy of this biological process highlights its importance to successful survival

Blog Post from LettUsGrow

What is aeroponics and why is it so important? This blog explains the biological basis of aeroponics, alongside a comparison of its benefits versus hydroponics.

The University of Minnesota Institute on Environments excellent 'Food Matters' series:

Briefings on the most pressing environmental challenges facing the world today. Published by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, Environment Reports is a collaboration between an international group of scientists, writers, and designers to combine incisive narratives about environmental challenges, backed up by cutting-edge data.

An online greenhouse gas, water and biodiversity calculator for farmers

The Cool Farm Tool is an online greenhouse gas calculator that is free for growers to help them measure the carbon footprint of crop and livestock products.

The role of the land sector in ambitious climate change action

This report provides an alternate response to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s request to the IPCC to analyse impacts of warming to 1.5°C and related greenhouse gas emission pathways. Prepared by representatives of the Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance (CLARA), a consortium of advocates, faith-based organizations and scientists concerned with climate mitigation and adaptation, the report responds specifically to the concern that many IPCC pathways rely heavily on untested mitigation approaches such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). CLARA supports the IPCC’s objective of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change while meeting sustainable development goals and reducing poverty

The Waste and Resources Action Programme

WRAP is working with organisations in the food and drink industry to create economic and environmental value from reducing food waste and tackling issues around water scarcity across the supply chain.

How do we provide up to 10 billion people with enough protein in a way that is healthy, affordable and good for the planet?

The Protein Challenge 2040 is the first global coalition of its kind, aiming to tackle this question