Relu is a £24 million interdisciplinary research programme into the challenges facing rural areas today, funded by the UK research councils, with additional funding from Defra and the Scottish Government.
The report explores three main themes:
•Can the way we use land make our food healthier and safer?
•Can consumers help the environment?
•Is a healthy and environmentally friendly diet compatible with innovation and sustainable business?
“Land to Mouth” investigates the role of government and how policy could contribute to how we use our land to produce food and as an environmental asset. It draws on research carried out in the first wave of Relu projects, all concerned with aspects of the food chain.
Policy implications from the research include:
•Regional health and development agencies could work together to promote seasonal “five a day” choices which would benefit the environment as well as health and the VAT system could be linked directly with healthy eating.
•Improving production systems would have significant effects on the nutritional quality of foods – quality assurance schemes that take this into account could be beneficial.
•As food chains become more complex there is a need for more transparency about risks and the sources of ingredients.
•More support for food production and marketing that also enhances biodiversity, such as salt marsh lamb, and for novel systems such as farming warm water fish indoors, would have benefits for health and for the environment.
Professor Philip Lowe, Director of Relu, said: “Many people today feel out of touch with the land. But the link between rural land and the food we eat is, of course, fundamental to our very existence. There may be ways in which policy can key into that interdependence and benefit both our well being and our environment.
“For example, many people like to eat local food, but we are just beginning to understand the complexity of food miles and to see that local production cannot be the whole answer. Eating foods in season is equally important.
“We strive for a healthy diet, and are told to eat more fish, but how can that be balanced with conserving wild fish stocks? Fish farming hasn’t had a good press recently either, but could we do this differently?
“Would changes to the tax system encourage consumption of healthier foods? Or would it be more effective to manipulate the foods people do eat, to make them healthier? And what about food scares and the risks in the food chain? These are all issues that Relu is starting to explore in ‘Land to Mouth’.”
Anne Liddon | alfa
Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research