By John Ingram, Food Systems Programme Leader, Environmental Change Institute, on the 'Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the U.S. Food System' report to which he contributed:

It is well recognised that climate change poses considerable risks to global food production: IPCC AR5 and many other analyses detail where, by how much and to what types of production system given degrees of climate change will have impact. There are, however, fewer analyses of the challenges facing the food system as a whole. While disruptions to production are clearly important, climate change – and extreme weather in particular – will impact many of the food system’s ‘post-farm gate’ activities and hence food security; food security depends on more than just food production. For instance, damage to food transport and storage infrastructure due to storms and floods causes local shortages, affecting food affordability and variety. Temperature and humidity changes can lead to numerous food safety issues, and hence both health considerations and food waste, the later also affecting availability. Consumer behaviour can also change, leading to changes in diets and hence nutrition.


By Professor Mike Hamm, C. S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University (MSU) & visiting fellow of Mansfield College, University of Oxford.

Mike was one of the two experts on sustainability consulted by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in developing its 2015 report.  This report’s  publication has attracted widespread interest and - from those ideologically opposed either to actions on sustainability that necessitate a change in habits or to government intervention - a great deal of criticism. In this blog Mike shares his thoughts on the new Guidelines, and explains clearly what they actually say.


Speaker: Professor Michael Hamm, Michigan State University

Title: Regional food systems for improved resilience

Date: Monday 23 February

Time: 4.15pm

Location: Gottman Room, OUCE

The talk will be 30-45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session and then a short wine reception.

Everyone welcome.

We in the developed world have tended to concentrate our food sources in areas with a ‘comparative advantage’ for production, typically for climatic reasons.  The cost of energy, post-harvest handling technology, and varietal development has made this possible.  We have entered a period where increased extreme weather events and climatic shifts make this a more risky venture – and provide a strong rationale for regionalized food systems to increase resilience of our food system and help insure food security. This seminar will use examples from the United States and East Africa to illustrate the notion and rationale.


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.


People » Alex Canepa

MSc. Candidate in the History of Medicine, Science and Technology

Alex researches the history of food systems with a focus on agricultural economics and public health.