Daily Archives: January 15, 2016

Tim Peake: How might his mission affect his world view? – BBC News

11 December 2015 Last updated at 12:19 GMT

Fewer than 600 people have seen Earth from space – the rest of us will have to make do with incredible time-lapse footage such as this from the European Space Agency.

However, flown astronauts say the view has had a huge impact on them, making them think about issues such as sustainability.

Former astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria explains the “Overview Effect” that British spaceman Tim Peake can expect on his forthcoming mission.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Food Tank’s 2016 Winter Reading List

Food Tank has compiled a winter reading list featuring 21 inspiring and informative books on cooking, nutrition, and agriculture.

Food Tank is excited to present our 2016 Winter Reading List, a collection of the recent literature on food and farming this winter. Topics cover Asian-American recipes, Senegalese food, references for sustainable farming entrepreneurs and aid workers, books on folklore and food history, as well as scientific research and books devoted to specific ingredients like coffee and food additives. The ingredients, dishes, people, and ideas featured here are the perfect way to satiate your intellectual appetite and inspire your cooking.

Here are 21 books to sink your teeth into this winter. For more books to add to your list, check out our past reading lists: Fall 2015, Summer 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2014, Fall 2014, Summer 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2013, and Fall 2013.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
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Food-Matters

The Future of Food: 16 Most Exciting Stories for 2016

What’s on the horizon for food and agriculture in 2016?

As we wrap up 2015 at Food Tank, we are already looking forward to next year. From food safety law to a heightened focus on food waste, there are so many exciting food and agriculture stories that continue to unfold every day. We’ll continue to cover the most important food issues in 2016, focusing on equity and sustainability in the food system to drive positive change. Here we have selected 16 stories that represent the most exciting food trends for 2016:

1. Beans are finally getting their due—the U.N. General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP). Pulses are crops harvested solely for the dry grain, and include crops like lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. IYP will highlight the potential for these plant-based proteins to improve food security, enrich soils, and increase incomes for farmers around the world.

2. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) LIBERATION project

is highlighting effective ways to reduce—and even reverse—agriculture’s environmental footprint. According to the FAO, food production will need to increase 70 percent by 2050. Ecological intensification—increasing yields through ecosystem services, rather than external inputs—is critical to achieving this goal. Follow Food Tank’s monthly Harvesting the Research series in 2016 to hear from researchers and scientists of the project.

3. The 2016 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) will take place in Berlin from January 14–16. The international conference focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry. The 2016 theme focuses on the importance of urban agriculture for improving food security.

…(read more).

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Food-Matters

Anglican Church leaders suspend US Church over gay marriage – BBC News

Anglican Church leaders have effectively re-affirmed their opposition to same-sex marriage – by punishing the liberal US Episcopal Church over the issue.

The Episcopal Church has been suspended from Anglican committees and decision-making for three years after allowing its clergy to perform same sex marriages.

The decision was taken by a majority of church leaders at a meeting of the Anglican Communion in Canterbury.

Our religious affairs correspondent Caroline Wyatt reports.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Genetic Literacy Project | Science Trumps Ideology

Mission

Genetic Literacy Project

Agricultural and human biotechnology are reshaping farming, food and medicine. The GLP explores the intersection of DNA research and real world applications of genetics with media and policy to disentangle science from ideology.

Genetic research and biotechnology can improve food security, the environment and public health. Yet dramatic innovation can lead to unintended consequences and present ethical challenges. In theory, the study of genetics and related cutting edge sciences are widely celebrated. But in practice, the words “gene” and “genetic engineering” and “biotechnology” and “synthetic biology” often stir fear and misunderstanding when applied to biomedicine and farming. Intricate science scares people who don’t understand risk and complexity. What is the potential of agricultural and human genetics? The commitment of the GLP is to promote public awareness of genetics, biotechnology and science literacy.

The Genetic Literacy Project is part of the Science Literacy Project, an independent 501c3 funded by grants from non-partisan foundations. We also accept tax-deductible donations from individuals. It has no affiliation with any other organization, although it’s office space in Washington, DC is supported in part by the University of California-Davis. To donate, please contact us through our Washington office:

Genetic Literacy Project

University of California Washington Center, Room 213e
1608 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

info

(202) 833-4613

Global Climate Change
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Food-Matters

The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture: An Era of Urbanization

The GFAA will see key international actors coming together to discuss the interconnectedness of urban and rural environments as it pertains to food systems.

Nearly 1 billion people are farming in cities across the globe. But while 15-20 percent of the world’s food is currently coming from urban areas, migration of peoples to cities is increasing and could put a strain on the global food system. An agricultural policy is necessary to acknowledge this threat, which is what the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture (GFFA) hopes to accomplish by bringing together key international actors from politics, academic, and civil society to engage in discussion and enhance understanding.

Held for the eighth year in Berlin, from January 14th-16th, this year’s theme is “How to feed our cities?- Agriculture and rural areas in an era of urbanization” and is coinciding with International Green Week (IGW). According to Christian Schmidt, Member of the Bundestag and Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, a further outcome of these events will be to “provide guidance for the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Summit.” This guidance would lead to the desired goal of adopting a joint Communiqué, which will “give impetus to international debates on agricultural policy and processes.” The GFFA represents the world’s largest conference of agriculture ministers, with almost 80 in attendance last year. There will also be a public International GFFA Panel Discussion, with discussions taking place in front of 1,200 international guests.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Food-Matters

A Controversial EPA Rule Is Pitting Small Farmers Against Big Agribusiness

by Natasha Geiling Jan 14, 2016 8:00 am

In May, when the EPA released its final version of the Clean Water Rule — meant to clarify which waters are under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act — the agency cheered the broad reach of the rule, arguing that it would protect the drinking water of some 117 million Americans, or roughly a third of the population.

But when Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced a resolution to kill the EPA’s Clean Water Rule back in November, she seemed especially concerned with the rule’s impact on a single group in particular: farmers and ranchers, who comprise just two percent of the population.

“I spent the weekend going back through letters my fellow Iowans have sent me on this issue,” Ernst said on the floor of the Senate. “And so many of them are frustrated with the lack of common sense coming out of Washington. They are taking this issue personally because their livelihood depends on it.”

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
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