Reviews & Analysis

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  • Conventional farming systems are susceptible to various sources of stress, but microalgae, mycoprotein and mealworm can offer healthy and more sustainable diets. This study highlights what makes future foods farming systems resilient and how to unlock their potential.

    • Asaf Tzachor
    • Catherine E. Richards
    • Lauren Holt
    Perspective
  • A framework based on circular economy and business model canvas principles is used to explore pathways towards future seafood sector resilience, elucidating how seafood business models currently operate and highlighting business practices that could increase sustainability.

    • Carly A. Fletcher
    • Rebecca St Clair
    • Maria Sharmina
    Perspective
  • Crop microbiomes provide plants with beneficial functions including increased nutrient acquisition and stress tolerance, but the current capability of utilizing indigenous crop microbiomes is limited due to low efficiency of separating the targeted functional microbes. A newly proposed framework using single-cell-sorting Raman spectroscopy combined with a synthetic community approach has the potential to design and optimize a ‘beneficial biome’.

    • Qing-Lin Chen
    • Hang-Wei Hu
    • Ji-Zheng He
    Review Article
  • Publicly funded technological innovations, strategic policy implementation and private sector upscaling have facilitated greater demand and lower costs for certain foods in the past. Can lessons be learned for transitioning towards healthy, sustainable diets?

    • Lindsay M. Jaacks
    News & Views
  • Agriculture is the main contributor to global water scarcity but not all diets contribute equally. Modifying what, and how much, we eat could reduce the impact of our diets on global water resources.

    • Tim Hess
    News & Views
  • Food contains thousands of different trace natural compounds, many of which remain largely unmeasured and undocumented. The network medicine approach sheds new light on how polyphenols, among the most important of these trace compounds, impact human health.

    • Dariush Mozaffarian
    News & Views
  • An assessment of global inequality in agriculture, food and health indicators between 1970–2010 reveals that significant progress has been made in some countries, but more is needed to achieve a truly equitable food system that delivers for the diets, nutrition and health of all people.

    • Shauna M. Downs
    • Elizabeth L. Fox
    News & Views
  • Transgenic maize for human consumption and livestock feed has the capacity to increase yields for a variety of farming operations in Africa and the potential to ensure food security in the face of climate change.

    • David Zilberman
    • Jacob Lefler
    News & Views
  • Without breakthroughs for adaptation, rising temperatures in the hottest wheat-producing environments, such as Sudan, could reduce domestic production, increase dependency on imports and threaten food security for millions.

    • Kindie Tesfaye
    News & Views
  • A study of the grain trade during 2020 indicates that policies to protect supply chains must be enacted to avoid supply chain shocks such as COVID-19 and locust swarms exacerbating food insecurity in global regions that rely on food imports.

    • Louise Manning
    News & Views
  • Understanding of the effects of elevated CO2 on crops has improved sufficiently that modelling future climatic effects on agriculture should eliminate ‘no CO2’ simulations. Further advancement in the estimation of the effects can be realized by studying a wider variety of crop species under a wider range of growing conditions, improving the representation of responses to climate extremes in crop models and simulating additional crop physiological processes related to nutritional quality.

    • Andrea Toreti
    • Delphine Deryng
    • Cynthia Rosenzweig
    Review Article
  • Effects of national policies on crop yield and nitrogen losses can be disentangled from environmental conditions using spatial discontinuities between international borders.

    • Gilles Billen
    News & Views
  • Climate change increases the frequency and severity of drought in many agricultural regions. A novel big-data approach has been designed to shed light on the interactions between agronomic and environmental factors affecting the sensitivity of crop yields to drought.

    • Francois Tardieu
    News & Views
  • Aquaculture must develop within planetary boundaries. Experience from agriculture, such as in managing monocultures and using genetically modified crops, can inform sustainable solutions for aquaculture.

    • Johnathan A. Napier
    • Richard P. Haslam
    • Mónica B. Betancor
    Perspective
  • An assessment of the climate vulnerability of the UK’s fruit and vegetable supply is a useful starting point for considering the health, environment, and social trade-offs of international trade in food.

    • Colin K. Khoury
    • Andy Jarvis
    • Andrew D. Jones
    News & Views
  • Traceability is key to food quality and safety, but its wider implementation is hindered by high costs and technical complexity. A newly proposed mobile-based bidirectional system based on information concatenation through products’ 2D barcodes offers an effective, cheaper and more flexible alternative.

    • Kaiyuan Lin
    • David Chavalarias
    • Masaru Mizoguchi
    Perspective
  • A series of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies show that starch structure and plant tissue intactness control glucose release from pea-based foods. Modification of these characteristics through plant breeding and food processing may provide opportunities for enhanced food formulation, but challenges for labelling and communication.

    • Michael J. Gidley
    News & Views
  • Feeding infants with formula requires heating water and bottles for sterilization and formula preparation. Plastic infant feeding bottles are commonly used, and now their potential to release microplastics has been explored at a global scale.

    • Philipp Schwabl
    News & Views
  • Farm management strategies for alternatives to nitrogen application can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and increase crop yields in China.

    • Timothy J. Griffis
    • John M. Baker
    News & Views
  • The diversity of aquaculture production systems in Bangladesh may be calibrated to provide food and nutrition security without negative environmental impact, aligning multiple interests of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Andrew L. Thorne-Lyman
    News & Views