COP24: The Simplest Climate Action You Can Take Is in the Kitchen | Pacific Standard


Reducing waste—and food waste in particular—is something that Americans can tackle at the state, city, and even individual level.

Every year, Americans throw out 400 pounds of food per person, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

By weight, food waste is the No. 1 contributor to landfills, where it decomposes and starts emitting potent greenhouse gases like methane. Some 14 percent of U.S. methane emissions come from landfills, and, accounting for emissions all along the supply chain, wasted food accounts for 2.6 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: COP24: The Simplest Climate Action You Can Take Is in the Kitchen – Pacific Standard

A quiet agricultural revolution is happening in Southern Africa


Neira’s Investments is part of the MBI Group, a privately-owned group of companies that is active across three continents and for which I am proud to serve as Chairman and Director. Rooted in Zambia, it is focused on five core sectors: mining, energy, agriculture, fast-moving consumer goods and soft-drinks. But the MBI Group is not alone in this agri-revolution.

The number of agri-tech start-ups operating across African markets has grown by over 110 percent over the last two years alone, with nearly $20 million of investment. From drone technology to artificial intelligence and mobile apps, Africans are embracing tech to ensure a more profitable and food-secure future.

Super-crops are one area of innovation where Zambia is a trailblazer.

Imagine rice which can live submerged underwater for two weeks?

Or iron-rich beans that can withstand temperature changes of four degrees?

What about drought-resistant maize rich in vitamins and minerals?

Source: A quiet agricultural revolution is happening in Southern Africa

Are GM foods a health risk? Americans are divided | Pew Research Center


About half of U.S. adults (49%) say foods containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients are worse for one’s health than foods containing no GM ingredients, while a slightly smaller share (44%) thinks foods with GM ingredients are neither better nor worse for one’s health.

Only 5% say GM foods are better for one’s health.

Source: Are GM foods a health risk? Americans are divided | Pew Research Center

Public Perspectives on Food Risks | Pew Research Center


The American public is closely divided over the degree of health risk posed by additives present in the foods we regularly eat.

Majorities see at least some risk from eating food produced with common agricultural and processing practices, including meat from animals given hormones or antibiotics, produce grown with pesticides and foods with artificial ingredients.

Source: Public Perspectives on Food Risks | Pew Research Center

Harvesting in a trade war: U.S. crops rot as storage costs soar | Reuters


U.S. farmers finishing their harvests are facing a big problem – where to put the mountain of grain they cannot sell to Chinese buyers.

For Louisiana farmer Richard Fontenot and his neighbors, the solution was a costly one: Let the crops rot.

Source: Harvesting in a trade war: U.S. crops rot as storage costs soar | Reuters

More than 80,000 Yemeni children may have died from hunger | Reuters


Western countries are pressing for a ceasefire and renewed peace efforts to end the disastrous conflict, which has unleashed the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis with 8.4 million people believed to be on the verge of starvation.

Save the Children said that according to a conservative estimate based on United Nations data, approximately 84,700 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition may have died between April 2015 and October 2018 in the impoverished country, where a Western-backed Arab alliance is battling the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement that holds the capital Sanaa.

Source: More than 80,000 Yemeni children may have died from hunger: humanitarian body | Reuters

Fight Climate Change in Your Own Garden


During World War I, Americans were encouraged to do their part in the war effort by planting, fertilizing, harvesting and storing their own fruits and vegetables.

The food would go to allies in Europe, where there was a food crisis. These so-called “victory gardens” declined when WWI ended but resurged during World War II.

By 1944, nearly 20 million victory gardens produced about 8 million tons of food.

Today, the nonprofit Green America is trying to bring back victory gardens as a way to fight climate change.

Source: Fight Climate Change in Your Own Garden

Soon, the Average Human Will Be Taller, Heavier. That Will Lead to Increased Food Demand | Smithsonian


As Chase Purdy reports for Quartz, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology drew on decades of demographic data from 186 countries to determine trends in humans’ height and weight.

The team found that between 1975 and 2014, the average adult grew 1.3 percent taller and 14 percent heavier, triggering a 6.1 percent uptick in energy consumption.

Thanks to this increase in body mass, average daily calorie counts rose from 2,465 in 1975 to 2,615 in 2014.

Source: Soon, the Average Human Will Be Taller, Heavier. That Will Lead to Increased Food Demand | Smart News | Smithsonian

Simple, Scalable Wireless System Uses the RFID Tags on Billions of Products to Sense Contamination


Food safety incidents have made headlines around the globe for causing illness and death nearly every year for the past two decades.

The researchers’ system, called RFIQ, includes a reader that senses minute changes in wireless signals emitted from RFID tags when the signals interact with food. For this study they focused on baby formula and alcohol, but in the future, consumers might have their own reader and software to conduct food-safety sensing before buying virtually any product.

Systems could also be implemented in supermarket back rooms or in smart fridges to continuously ping an RFID tag to automatically detect food spoilage, the researchers say.

Source: Simple, Scalable Wireless System Uses the RFID Tags on Billions of Products to Sense Contamination

U.S. farmers scramble to contain trade-war damage, find new markets | Reuters


Inside a nearby seed barn, they made their pitch to eight Sri Lankan government officials: Please buy our soybeans.

The wooing of such a tiny market underscores the depth of U.S. farmers’ problems after losing their biggest customer, China, to a global trade war.

Sri Lanka bought about 3,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans last year. China bought about 32 million tons – but now buys almost none after Beijing slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. imports in July.

Source: U.S. farmers scramble to contain trade-war damage, find new markets | Reuters