Blog

Mon 09 June, 2014

By Kyle Turner, University of Oxford and Boyd Swinburn, Deakin University

The most comprehensive global study ever undertaken for obesity was just released and the need for serious population-wide action is no longer up for debate. The study’s key findings make for grim reading – not a single country saw a decline in obesity over the past 30 years.

Instead, between 1980 and 2013, the prevalence of global overweight and obesity increased by 27.5% among adults. What is even more worrying still is that overweight and obesity in children soared by nearly a half (47.1%) in just three decades.

Thu 05 June, 2014

By Cory Rodgers

On May 4th, the Oxford Food Security Forum hosted its third annual conference at St. Antony’s College, featuring three panels organised around the theme “Critical Perspectives and Marginalised Issues.”

Tue 13 May, 2014

By Alex Canepa.

In the midst of the acrimony surrounding the U.S. Congress’ decision to cut upwards of $8 billion from the SNAP (food stamp) program in the 2014 Farm Bill, many observers missed a significant new departure in American food policy - financial incentive for healthy eating.

Wed 07 May, 2014

By Kremlin Wickramasinghe

This week, the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention in the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford was officially designated as the WHO Collaborating Centre on Population Approaches for NCD Prevention.

Thu 06 March, 2014

By Hannah Rowlands.

The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food is building relationships with organisations in the Oxford area which have an interest in food system research, including the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.

The RAU, established in 1845, is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the delivery of education, research and consultancy, in and relating to, agriculture and the rural environment.

But one link already exists. Many of the beautiful, agriculturally themed 18th and 19th century paintings on the walls at the RAU are on permanent loan from the University of Oxford.

Mon 24 February, 2014

By Hannah Rowlands

We were fortunate enough to have Professor James Jones, University of Florida, one of the principal investigators on AgMIP, speak to us recently in Oxford about "Model-Based Integrated Assessment of Food Security".

Wed 19 February, 2014

By Abrar Chaudhury.

In a recent panel discussion at the World Economic Forum 2014 - “Doing Business the Right Way” an audience member asked Richard Goyder, CEO of Wesfarmer and Australia’s G20 business leader about when businesses could be expected to formally adopt the triple bottom line (TBL) i.e. incorporate the social and environmental bottom lines along with the economic bottom line. His response was that “the only thing in the financial statements that (one) can believe in is the cashflow statement” as profits are somewhat arbitrary.  Without “generating cash you go broke”, he emphasized, so businesses need to survive first before social and environmental responsibility can be demonstrated.

Tue 18 February, 2014

By Chase Sova.

Emerging economies often look to the United States as a model for how to grow their agricultural sectors. Doing so when climate impacts strike, however, may yield more questions than answers.

Mon 10 February, 2014

By Chase Sova and Andy Jarvis.

The role of agriculture has been the subject of serious debate at each of the last global climate change conferences. The most recent event, held in Poland this past December, offered no exception. Chants of “No agriculture, no deal” resonated along the Warsaw Stadium hallways, backed by a host of government, civil society and private sector actors.

Agriculture contributes to approximately 30% of total global green house gas (GHG) emissions when related deforestation and post-production steps are considered. Its treatment by the international community is thus of major consequence, both for mitigation and adaptation outcomes. Yet agricultural mitigation targets — and a binding agreement to back them — continue to be plagued by sticky issues around national security, terms of trade, and climate justice.

Most actors in the international arena have acknowledged the immediate and urgent adaptation needs of nearly 1.5 billion small-scale producers and have promised action. In fact, the world has become a testing ground for adaptation policies and projects in nearly all sectors.

Mon 10 February, 2014

By Lindsay Turnbull, University of Oxford

Organic farming is a trade off: it prohibits the use of certain chemicals and inorganic fertilisers, which usually results in lower yields, and hence higher prices. With arguments about health benefits inconclusive, one might ask what reasons there are to pay the organic premium.

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