All research themes
Since research on the food system covers such a broad range of issues and disciplines, we have broken it down into some key themes, which we use to classify researchers and research projects.
Please select a theme to see all the researchers, projects and other content related to that theme.
Conversion of land for food production is a major threat to biodiversity, while much biodiversity exists on agricultural land. The conservation of wildlife and the maintenance of ecosystem services can be separated from issues of food security.
Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and the transport of food make up a significant proportion of global emissions, while climate change will impact food systems through increased drought, flooding and extreme weather events.
Efforts to increase crop yields are critical to meeting growing demands for food from a larger, wealthier population.
Elements of the food system have strong linkages with issues of development, since developing economies are often largely agricultural, and the poorest people disproportionately suffer from hunger and chronic food insecurity.
Food security in a globally-connected world will require better governance at all levels – local, national and international.
There are many diseases and infections that people get through the food they eat, and food safety, particularly but not exclusively in less-developed countries, is a major challenge.
Research on livestock includes increasing productivity, reducing infectious and other disease and improving animal welfare. Farm animals harbour important human diseases, of which perhaps the most threatening is avian flu.
Good health requires a good diet, and diseases of under-nutrition and over-nutrition (e.g. heart disease and diabetes) are some of the major challenges in modern medicine.
This theme covers social aspects of the food system, including consumer culture in relation to food, the history of food and the development of agriculture, interactions between food and other social issues, and the wider implications of food-related technologies.