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
Combination of Resistance Genes Offers Better Protection for Wheat against Powdery Mildew
22.01.2018 | Universität Zürich
New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences