Launch of globally unique farm research platform
A new ‘Farm Platform’ has been launched at Rothamsted Research North Wyke in Devon, aims to help farmers to optimise productivity in ways that are sustainable, whilst at the same time understanding the impact of farming methods on the environment. Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the North Wyke Farm Platform is comprised of three beef and sheep farmlets. Each of these will be managed differently so that scientists can understand how best to optimise production whilst minimising environmental impact. One farmlet will be managed with inorganic fertilisers to try to maximise production from the existing permanent pasture. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council story.
EU food and drink industry publishes environmental sustainability vision
The EU food and drink industry has published its vision for 2030, setting out its commitments for the next two decades. As far as I can see there are no tangible targets as regards emission reduction and so forth. What it says instead is as follows: FoodDrinkEurope will continue to actively engage in the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table to promote the harmonisation of environmental assessment methodologies for food and drink products, facilitate the communication of environmental performance along the food chain, including to consumers, and identify priority research programmes and opportunities for technical innovation to support continuous environmental improvement along the supply chain. FoodDrinkEurope news release. Vision.
Food Hub Center
In 2011, USDA identified more than 170 food hubs operating around the country, and the list is periodically updated in the National Good Food Network’s Food Hub Center. National Good Food Network post.
Detroit ‘Urban Farming Symposium’ speaker videos now online
Several speakers from the legal side of urban farming and how it relates to governing a city Kathryn Colasanti, of the Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU (formerly the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems), gives her presentation, “Urban agriculture in Detroit: Possibilities & perspectives,” at the 2012 Urban Farming Symposium, sponsored by and held at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, May 18. City Farmer News story.
UVM to hold summit on food systems
The University of Vermont will play host to its first food systems summit this month with two events next week that are open to the public, on Wednesday and Thursday. The summit, subtitled “Leading the Necessary (r)Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems,” comes out of the 2009 selection of food systems as one of the three “spires” of transdisciplinary research focus at the university, said Cynthia Belliveau, dean of continuing education and a faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences. Burlington Free press (Vermont) story.
Farming returning to Prince George’s
Just eight years ago, developers were snatching up farmland for subdivisions. But when the housing boom went bust, an emerging generation of farmers bought the once-coveted land at cheap prices. They’ve rehabbed abandoned farms and tobacco barns and started to harvest new crops, fusing the county’s rural past with its trendy future. Washington Post story (includes slides of farm activity).
Carrot City: Creating Places for Urban Agriculture
This is the title of a new book written by US authors Mark Gorgolewski, June Komisar and Joe Nasr. It showcases the best examples of current design and strategies for reintroducing urban agriculture to our cities. Over forty innovative projects explore creative approaches to making space for urban food production, ranging from ambitious urban plans to simple measures for growing food at home. Carrot City demonstrates how the production of food can lead to visually striking and artistically interesting solutions that create community and provide residents with immediate access to fresh, healthful ingredients. Website.
The Accidental Locavore’s Top 3 Food Magazines
In the interest of “research,” the Accidental Locavore was looking at some postings on Food 52 and one that caught my eye was a discussion about food magazines. It’s a hot topic and not without controversy. So let me chime in about what the Locavore reads and why. Anne Maxfield blog.
Call for greater nutrient use efficiency
The Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) and the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) have published a ‘key messages’ statement for Rio +20 entitled Our Nutrient World. The challenge to produce more food & energy with less pollution. Key Messages for Rio+20. The document highlights the problems caused by excessive nutrient use on the one hand, and insufficient use on the other, and identifies nine key action as being central to improving nutrient use efficiency, thereby improving food and energy production while reducing N and P losses that pollute our environment. List of Actions. Statement.
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform
The Technology Strategy Board, in partnership with Defra, BBSRC and the Scottish Government, have launched a £15 million competition as part of the Sustainable AgriFood Innovation Platform (SAF-IP), to fund collaborative R&D projects in the area of Food Processing and Manufacturing Efficiency. The competition is aimed at collaborative research and development projects which will receive up to 50% public funding. Competition details.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Butter, portion control, tart cherries and stevia. Welcome to 2012
Forget goji berries and noni juice. Tart cherries, blueberries and other more familiar fruits are likely to trump their exotic cousins in 2012 as shoppers tire of Orac-tastic superfruits, according to trend watcher Hartman Group. Hartman Group report.