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Celebrating Tanzania’s food heroes

In Britain, millions of people tuned in to the X Factor last year, or followed along with the Great British Bake Off. Meanwhile, over in Tanzania, people were turning on their TVs to catch Mama Shujaa wa Chakula. It’s a TV talent contest that celebrates women farmers, and pits 16 contestants against each other in […]

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Restoring soil in Bangladesh

Soil loss is the environmental crisis that gets the least attention from the media or from environmental campaigns. That’s why I did a whole week on it last year, and wrote up a report as an introduction to the topic. Last week Practical Action released a short documentary on soil in Bangladesh. It makes a […]

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FeedKind: turning greenhouse gases into animal feed

If you tuck into a piece of meat today, in whatever form it may be, there’s likely to be a long supply chain behind it that is mostly invisible. There’s the animal it came from, obviously. Behind that is the feed that reared that animal to full size, usually soy. Behind the feed is the […]

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Restoring the grasslands with sustainable business

Yesterday I wrote about five business responses to the environment, and how the most ambitious businesses take my mum’s advice and try to leave things better than they found them. Here’s an example of that. The Great Plains cover a huge section of the American continent, and were traditionally covered with grasslands. These grasslands relied […]

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Cassava plastic – good enough to eat?

When I was reading about ocean plastic recently, it was interesting to learn where it comes from. The biggest sources of plastic waste aren’t advanced consumer economies, but middle income countries where consumer goods are widely available, but waste processing systems aren’t yet in place. All sorts of waste is being generated in packaging, but […]

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The striking climate impact of beef

Last year I wrote a whole series of posts about meat, and how we can reduce the environmental impact of our diet. An NRDC report came out last week that demonstrates the point very well. This graph shows America’s food related per capita greenhouse gas emissions. As you can see, there has been a 10% […]

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A creative use for Britain’s bread waste mountain

Despite the best efforts of campaigners over the past few years, food waste remains deeply entrenched in our food system. Reducing or eliminating waste is still the priority, but there will always be wastage in the system somewhere. That’s where we need to put our circular economy hats on and work out how to put […]

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How to protect the soil

When land is planted with crops, those are harvested and the land is left bare. That’s something that never happens in nature. Under natural conditions there’s always something covering the ground. Soil is never dug over in nature either. Animals and birds might scratch around and occasionally bury things, but they never turn over a […]

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Three pioneers of alternative meat

One of the things I’ve been keeping an eye on over the few years is the development of alternatives to traditional farmed meat. To remind ourselves why this matters, meat production is a significant source of greenhouse gases. It drives deforestation, and is an inefficient use of land and water in a world with 7 […]

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An experiment in zero carbon baking

If you’re in Britain right now, you’ll probably be aware that it’s the new season of the Great British Bake-Off, the BBC’s TV baking competiton. It’s an unlikely television phenomenon, but phenomenon it definitely is, and everyone is talking about baking. This year 10:10 have challenged their supporters to create some low carbon bakes, and […]

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