The new reality is captured by a single, stark fact: Across the world, more people are now obese than underweight. At the same time, scientists say, the growing availability of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods is generating a new type of malnutrition, one in which a growing number of people are both overweight and undernourished ... The prevalence of obesity has doubled in 73 countries since 1980, contributing to four million premature deaths
Sea salt around the world has been contaminated by plastic pollution, adding to experts’ fears that microplastics are becoming ubiquitous in the environment and finding their way into the food chain via the salt in our diets ... Some researchers...now believe sea salt could be more vulnerable to plastic contamination because of how it is made, through a process of dehydration of sea water.
even if nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changed—and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese—this one dietary change...substituting beans for beef...could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target ... if everyone were willing and able to do that—hypothetically—the U.S. could still come close to meeting its 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals, pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009.
Scientists...in Belgium recently calculated people who eat seafood ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year. Last August, the results of a study...reported plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish, including cod, haddock, mackerel and shellfish. Last year, the European Food Safety Authority called for urgent research, citing increasing concern for human health and food safety “given the potential for microplastic pollution in edible tissues of commercial fish”.
maggots are especially efficient at converting protein into body mass, making them a good choice for processing waste food. About 2.5 pounds of maggots can munch through five pounds of food waste in about four hours ... In the United States, however, there are currently restrictions on commercial operations feeding animals insects, though many other nations including Canada allow the practice. The European Union will begin allowing insect protein in fish farms beginning in July.
Throughout the world, food waste and spoilage is a significant problem facing supply chains from farm to fork ... The crisis is even more acute across Africa, a continent where the majority of people derive their livelihood from agriculture. Currently, more than 20 million people in northeast Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia are facing starvation. Yet, half of all the staple food in the continent is lost in the post-harvest stage or before they hit the market.
On average, for every $1 a company invested in food loss and waste reduction—through training programs, providing equipment like scales to quantify food, and improving storage and packaging—they received a $14 return on investment... researchers analyzed more than 1,200 business sites across 17 countries and more than 700 companies representing a whole range of sectors ... Around 99% of the business sites saw a positive return on investment
The globalization of food supply chains makes widespread outbreaks more likely, and in some ways more difficult to track. Already there are nearly 50 million foodborne infections in the United States each year—and they cause about 250,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths ... Mitigating the increased risks associated with a longer, globalized supply-chain will require “robust capacity for public-health surveillance.”
the Environmental Protection Agency now lists anaerobic digestion as preferable to composting when it comes to surplus food ... feeding surpluses to people, followed by animals, is even better ... burning the fuel doesn’t release new carbon into the atmosphere, as burning oil or coal does; it merely recycles the carbon already inside those scraps ... by subtracting the methane that would have been generated by putting this food waste in landfills, and biofuel could be considered carbon negative.
Military canteens played the role of first adopters. Once Japanese soldiers became accustomed to a food, they would eventually introduce it to the wider public when they returned to civilian life. Such was the case with curry, which started appearing in Japan in the late 19th century. It was a borrowing not directly from India, but from the British Empire... It enters military menus and canteens and continues after [World War II] into school canteens. By the 1950s and 1960s it is a national dish