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    Reconnecting so-called alternative food geographies back to the mainstream food system - especially in light of the discursive and material 'transgressions' currently happening between alternative and conventional food networks, this... more
    Reconnecting so-called alternative food geographies back to the mainstream food system - especially in light of the discursive and material 'transgressions' currently happening between alternative and conventional food networks, this volume critically interrogates and evaluates what stands for 'food politics' in these spaces of transgression now and in the near future and addresses questions such as: What constitutes 'alternative' food politics specifically and food politics more generally when organic and other 'quality' foods have become mainstreamed? What has been the contribution so far of an 'alternative food movement' and its potential to leverage further progressive change and/or make further inroads into conventional systems? What are the empirical and theoretical bases for understanding the established and growing 'transgressions' between conventional and alternative food networks? Offering a better understanding of the evolving position of the corporate food system vis a vis alternative food networks, this book considers the prospects for economic, social, cultural and material transformations led by an increasingly powerful and legitimated alternative food network.
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    This timely book brings to our attention the multiplicity of linkages and interconnections between what we eat and how this impacts on the earth’s resources. It was written with the purpose that if we had a better idea of the consequences... more
    This timely book brings to our attention the multiplicity of linkages and interconnections between what we eat and how this impacts on the earth’s resources. It was written with the purpose that if we had a better idea of the consequences of our food choices, this might encourage us to develop more sustainable practices of production and consumption in the decades ahead.

    Although human societies have, over time, brought under control a large proportion of the earth’s resources for the purpose of food production, we remain subject to the effective functioning of global ecosystem services. The author highlights the vital importance of these services and explains why we should be concerned about the depletion of freshwater resources, soil fertility decline and loss of biological diversity. The book also tackles some of the enormous challenges of our era: climate change, to which the agri-food system is both a major contributor and a vulnerable sector; and the prospect of significantly higher energy prices, arising from the peaking of oil and gas supplies, which will reveal how dependent the food system has become upon cheap fossil fuels. Such challenges are likely to have significant implications for the long-term functioning of global supply chains and raise profound questions regarding the nutritional security of the world’s population. Taken together the book argues that a re-examination of the assumptions and practices underpinning the contemporary food system is urgently required.

    Environment and Food is a highly original, inter-disciplinary and accessible text that will be of interest to students and the wider public genuinely interested in and concerned by the state of the world’s food provisioning system. It is richly illustrated with figures and makes extensive use of boxes to highlight relevant examples.
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    Authorship: Mary O’Shaughnessy and Colin Sage
    To appear in: Byrne, E., Mullally, G, and Sage, C., (eds) Transdisciplinary perspectives on transitions to sustainability. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
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    Commercial livestock production is known to have significant impacts on the environment. Pig production is a complex system which involves the production of animal feed, transportation, animal rearing and waste management. One tool for... more
    Commercial livestock production is known to have significant impacts on the environment.  Pig production is a complex system which involves the production of animal feed, transportation, animal rearing and waste management.  One tool for assessing the environmental performance of such complex systems is life cycle assessment (LCA).  LCA has been applied to pig production considerably to date.  This paper provides a chronological review of state-of-the-art pig production LCAs under three themes: feed production; entire-system livestock rearing; and waste management.  The study considers how LCA applications have addressed technological improvements in animal husbandry, and highlights methodological limitations, particularly related to cross-study comparisons.  Recent research demonstrates crude protein reduction in feed and anaerobic treatment of pig excreta resulting in bioenergy production are the key targets for environmental performance improvements related to pig production.
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    Commercial livestock production is known to have significant impacts on the environment. Pig production is a complex system which involves the production of animal feed, transportation, animal rearing and waste management. One tool for... more
    Commercial livestock production is known to have significant impacts on the environment. Pig production is a complex system which involves the production of animal feed, transportation, animal rearing and waste management. One tool for assessing the environmental performance of such complex systems is life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA has been applied to pig production considerably to date. This paper provides a chronological review of state-of-the-art pig production LCAs under three themes: feed production; entire-system livestock rearing; andwaste management. The study considers how LCA applications have addressed technological improvements in animal husbandry, and highlights methodological limitations, particularly related to cross-study comparisons. Recent research demonstrates crude protein reduction in feed and anaerobic treatment of pig excreta resulting in bioenergy production are the key targets for environmental performance improvements related to pig production.
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    Food security has become an increasingly important but contested term since the global food price spike of 2008. Ongoing price volatility linked to a range of causal drivers has raised the stakes in formulating solutions to feeding a... more
    Food security has become an increasingly important but contested term since the global food price spike of 2008. Ongoing price volatility linked to a range of causal drivers has raised the stakes in formulating solutions to feeding a world of nine billion by 2050. In contrast to those who favour treating food security as a scientific problem requiring technical solutions leading to greater output are those who promote food sovereignty and a rights based approach to food. With global food production facing a range of interlocking challenges there are strong grounds to believe that food security might be reframed to accommodate the principles of sustainability, social justice and dietary health encompassed by the food sovereignty approach.
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    Over the past six years the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, has vigorously defended the case for small-scale and sustainable farming and has helped to establish the political legitimacy of... more
    Over the past six years the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, has vigorously defended the case for small-scale and sustainable farming and has helped to establish the political legitimacy of food sovereignty in high level expert fora. This commentary offers brief reflections on De Schutter’s contribution focussing on the welcome shift of emphasis from food to nutritional security, as well as his strong support for agroecology. The paper argues that he has offered a powerful and coherent alternative to the prevailing paradigm of productivism that has helped reshape food policy discourse.
    This chapter explores a number of issues connecting food and sustainable development. It highlights some of the ways the dominant twentieth century paradigm, productivism, exerts particular pressure upon resources and squeezes the... more
    This chapter explores a number of issues connecting food and sustainable development. It highlights some of the ways the dominant twentieth century paradigm, productivism, exerts particular pressure upon resources and squeezes the entitlements of the poor. An alternative approach informed by sustainability not only works with nature but supports the claims of farmers and citizens to recover their rights to feed themselves. Nevertheless, meat remains a difficult issue to resolve given its enormous environmental impact yet with universal expectations around consumption.
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    Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century. To meet... more
    Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing
    society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century. To meet the
    expected demand for food without significant increases in prices, it has been estimated that we need to produce
    70–100 per cent more food, in light of the growing impacts of climate change, concerns over energy security,
    regional dietary shifts and the Millennium Development target of halving world poverty and hunger by 2015. The
    goal for the agricultural sector is no longer simply to maximize productivity, but to optimize across a far more
    complex landscape of production, rural development, environmental, social justice and food consumption
    outcomes. However, there remain significant challenges to developing national and international policies that
    support the wide emergence of more sustainable forms of land use and efficient agricultural production. The lack of
    information flow between scientists, practitioners and policy makers is known to exacerbate the difficulties, despite
    increased emphasis upon evidence-based policy. In this paper, we seek to improve dialogue and understanding
    between agricultural research and policy by identifying the 100 most important questions for global agriculture.
    These have been compiled using a horizon-scanning approach with leading experts and representatives of major
    agricultural organizations worldwide. The aim is to use sound scientific evidence to inform decision making and
    guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and policy support. If addressed, we
    anticipate that these questions will have a significant impact on global agricultural practices worldwide, while
    improving the synergy between agricultural policy, practice and research. This research forms part of the UK
    Government’s Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project.
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    Article offers a synthetic overview of two of the most pressing issues facing the global food system: increasingly resticted supplies of fossil energy and the global depletion of freshwater resources. The article demonstrates the... more
    Article offers a synthetic overview of two of the most pressing issues facing the global food system: increasingly resticted supplies of fossil energy and the global depletion of freshwater resources. The article demonstrates the non-sustainability of the current situation and the urgency of adopting new productive and distributive strategies for the global food system.
    Interview conducted by Professor Paolo Paolini, HOC-LAB (DEIB, Politecnico di Milano.
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