The Food Briefing: January 2021

Energy used during cooking can account for up to 61% of food’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study developed by a group of researchers from six UK universities. Food production, including agriculture, is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG), however the emissions continue through cooking as well. Many vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots and cauliflower contribute 50% of their total GHG emissions during cooking, while meat, such as lamb and beef, is as low as 8%. Read more.

Patrick Holden from the Sustainable Food Trust claims the Climate Change Committee have got it all wrong with their strategy on land use, farming and food. By focussing on a switch to plant-based diets, they have failed to differentiate between problematic intensive animal agriculture and environmentally supportive, regenerative practices. The results could simply drive up imports of meat from countries which thrive on intensive production. Read more.

Food adulteration is big business, especially in foods such as spices, honey and rice. Much-prized basmati rice is a key target of food criminals, who mix cheaper long grain rice with stocks of basmati, helping to return larger profits. In a UK-India collaboration, led by professor Chris Elliott from Queen’s University Belfast, a new testing process has been created which can provide nearly 100% accuracy in identifying adulterated rice stocks. Read more.

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