Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture

As an extension of a previous work (Chen and Han, 2015a), this study explored the arable land use of the world economy from source of exploitation to sink of final consumption via the global supply chain, by means of embodiment accounting that includes the indirect feedbacks associated with both intermediate and primary inputs. In magnitude, the global transfer of arable land use is estimated to be around 40% of the total direct exploitation. The connections as well as imbalances of major economies in intermediate and final trades of arable land use are discussed.
A John Deere tractor pulling a direct drill through a field of stubble
Direct drilling - where the ground is not ploughed before a new crop is established - helps conserve soil moisture and structure and prevents wind erosion. Switching to direct drilling, or "no-till", can therefore bring big savings in labour and machinery costs. However does this translate to better gross margins? A benchmarking study, which compared no-till with more conventional approach, suggest there are savings to be made despite dips in yield. This supports SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
Food waste is a matter intrinsically linked with the growing challenges of food security, resource and environmental sustainability, and climate change. In developed economies, the largest food waste stream occurs in the consumption stage at the end of the food chain. Current approaches for dealing with the wasted food have serious limitations. Historically, livestock animals had functioned as bio-processors, turning human-inedible or -undesirable food materials into meat, eggs, and milk.
Evaluations of food, energy and water (FEW) linkages are rapidly emerging in contemporary nexus studies. This paper demonstrates, from a food consumption perspective, the potential of life cycle thinking in understanding the complex and often “hidden” linkages between FEW systems. Our study evaluates the upstream virtual water and embodied energy in food consumption in the Tamar catchment, South West England, distinguishing between domestic production and imports origin.
Elsevier, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 133, June 2018
Sustainable use and management of nutrients is an important issue for food, energy and water systems. The close connections between the three systems, reflected by the “nexus” concept, warrant an integrated approach to nutrients management across the nexus. In this paper, dynamic modelling of nutrient flows in a local food-energy-water system is presented and applied to a simplified case study.
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The group of basic problems that determine the existence of mankind involves the surplus of food for some and the malnutrition of others. There is an opinion that ensuring food security is an integrated task of agriculture and political will, combined with the logistics of product delivery. Despite joint efforts and various UN programs to combat hunger, only short-term local results have been achieved. Food security, especially in the global sense, has not yet been implemented, and there are reasons for this.
In spite of the growing attention towards the overall quality of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), most empirical studies so far have narrowly focused their assessments on specific natural or social features and governing structures. In response, this study analyzed multi-use MPAs in the eelgrass restoration site in Hinase, Okayama, Japan in their environmental, economic and social dimensions. Considering changes in time and space as well as internal and external influences, the study faced many difficulties in dealing with the dynamics of MPA environments.
Deforestation worldwide could have important consequences for diet quality and human nutrition given the numerous ecosystem services that are provided by forests and biodiverse landscapes. Yet, empirical research assessing the links between deforestation and diets is lacking. In this study, we examined the association between deforestation and diet diversity among children using geolocated Demographic and Health Survey data for 33,777 children across 15 countries of sub-Saharan Africa coupled with remotely-sensed data on forest cover loss.