Volume 1

  • No. 12 December 2020

    Conservation and food supply

    Several island nations have designated policies for safeguarding coastal and marine areas over the last decade. Palau, where since 2001 the number of tourists has consistently been about five times larger than the resident population, has recently established a large-scale marine protected area — the Palau National Marine Sanctuary — banning fishing and other extractive activities in 80% of the country’s offshore exclusive economic zone. This ban will affect the supply of certain species in the domestic market and possibly shift diets to even more impactful food choices unless accompanied by complementary efforts, such as offering tourists more sustainable meal alternatives.

    See Lewis et al.

  • No. 11 November 2020

    Climate-vulnerable supply

    Food systems in the United Kingdom have been under the spotlight due to Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic — as have inequalities within them. Increasing climate change adds precarity to the supply of fruit and vegetables in the UK. In 1987, 42% of fruit and vegetable supply in the UK was domestically produced; in 2013, 22% of the supply was homegrown. Over the same period, the diversity of crops, including tropical fruits, presented to the UK consumer has increased, as have imports from climate-vulnerable countries. This reliance may impact availability and the price of fruit and vegetables, with impacts on dietary quality and nutrition likely to be felt among lower-income and more vulnerable sections of society.

    See Scheelbeek et al.

  • No. 10 October 2020

    Mitigating Fusarium wilt

    The fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4, the most destructive and uncontrollable soil pathogen of banana (Musa spp.), has become a global threat. Zorrilla-Fontanesi and colleagues propose designing sustainable agrosystems for banana production, as well as integrating biotechnology and new plant breeding techniques for an effective and efficient mitigation management of Fusarium wilt.

    See Zorrilla-Fontanesi et al..

  • No. 9 September 2020

    Waste not

    The online food delivery and takeaway market is rapidly growing. In 2018, 10 billion orders placed in China generated 323 kilotonnes of disposable tableware and packaging waste. Scenario simulations show that sharing tableware (with decentralized collection and machine washing) in cities in China could significantly reduce waste and emissions from packaging, and may offer a new strategy for promoting sustainable and zero-waste urban lifestyles.

    See Zhou et al.

  • No. 8 August 2020

    One Health aquaculture

    Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic animals and plants, is one of the fastest developing food sectors globally, and in recent years has become the main source of fish available for human consumption. Applying the principles of One Health — the interconnectedness of human, animal and planetary health — could well support enhanced sustainable production in aquaculture; facilitating food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation, economic development and the protection of natural resources.

    See Stentiford et al.

  • No. 7 2 July 2020

    Supply chain nitrogen

    The livestock sector is responsible for about a third of human-induced nitrogen emissions through application of fertilizer and manure to land, and the transportation of nitrogen-rich products such as feed, food and manure. A global disaggregated assessment of nitrogen use in the livestock supply chain, including international trade, shows nitrogen emissions embedded in agricultural commodities and reveals where interventions for nitrogen sustainability would be most effective.

    See Uwizeye et al.

  • No. 6 June 2020

    Food systems battleground

    The interface between the food supply chain and the consumer is a food systems battleground. In this issue, in a Comment, Garnett and colleagues discuss how reduced diversity of supplier base to supermarkets, just-in-time logistics, reliance on imports and diminished domestic food production have driven efficiencies within the UK food supply chain at the expense of resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed blockages and deadlocks within food systems — managing risk and resilience in the food system is the business of government, involving partnerships with science and industry. Elsewhere, in a Review, Siegrist and Hartmann examine how heuristics and individual differences among consumers influence the acceptance of novel agri-food technologies. They argue that the adoption of technologies that have the potential to transform food systems must be acceptable to consumers.

    See Garnett et al. and Siegrist et al.

  • No. 5 May 2020

    Disruptive vision

    Anthocyanin accumulation in ‘rainbow rice’, created through conventional breeding, confers a purple hue in the leaves and grains. In this issue, Steinwand and Ronald describe how genomic analyses and new plant breeding technologies can be leveraged to generate the next generation of food crops with enhanced agronomic and nutritional traits, and Herrero and colleagues assess the readiness of disruptive technologies in the transition to a more sustainable food system.

    See Steinwand et al. and Herrero et al.

  • No. 4 April 2020

    Food on the move

    The food system is increasingly globalized, and localness is often presented as an attribute of sustainable food production. But there is a dearth of evidence on feasibly minimizing the distance between sites of food production and consumption. A model based on foodsheds suggests that less than one-third of the world’s population could achieve their demand for specific crops with production and consumption within a 100-km radius. Food is on the move — to ensure adequacy and stability of current global food supply.

    See Kinnunen et al.

  • No. 3 March 2020

    Pollution and perennials

    California supplies two-thirds of the USA’s fruits and nuts; 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in the Golden State. Historical and future yield losses of valuable perennial crops due to tropospheric ozone and rising temperatures are modelled by Hong and colleagues — and indicate that clean air policies in the region have had, and can continue to have, a positive impact on yields of many of California’s most valuable perennial crops.

    See Hong et al.

  • No. 2 February 2020

    Form and function

    Food gels and oleogels feature 3D percolating biopolymers or colloids designed to span water or oil in food, thereby providing viscoelastic properties to an otherwise purely viscous fluid. The cover image is an artistic view of food gel droplets, drawn against the typical cellular background of protein-templated oleogels.

    See Cao et al.

  • No. 1 January 2020

    Silos and systems

    The image of a corn processing plant with storage silos represents an early stage of the food supply chain and entry point to a complex, increasingly globalized food system with broad health, economic, social and environmental interactions. The journey from silo to system starts here.

    See Editorial.