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So what?/introduction Welcome from The Global Sustainability Institute This issue of So What? focuses on food. Food is of huge importance to everyone’s lives. Food evokes strong emotions in us all: there are some foods we love, some we hate. It is so important to us we develop our cultures and traditions around it. But how much do we know about where our food comes from? And how much do we understand about the environmental impact of the food we eat? We hope that by reading this issue you will understand more...
Global Sustain ability Institute So what? SO WHAT? MAGAZINE is published twice a year by the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University. It aims to highlight the University’s activities related to sustainability in research, education and estates. Your contributions welcomed If you have an article, feature or news item that you would like to contribute to a future edition of SO WHAT? please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. People involved Editor: Julie-Anne Hogbin Sub-editing and design: Charlotte Sankey and Georgie Ward, Creative Warehouse, Cambridge. Printed on 100% recycled paper.
about the GSI The Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) was established by Anglia Ruskin University in 2011 as part of our commitment to sustainability. It is a University-wide body which spans a broad portfolio of areas and interests related to sustainability.
HOW DO WE DEFINE SUSTAINABILITY? We use the following definition of sustainability at the GSI: “Sustainability envisages a just society of innovation, opportunity and wellbeing which manages the full diversity of environmental risks.”
We recognise that delivering sustainability requires an integrated view of the world and, above all, see our main role as helping develop practical solutions. We work to collate information needed to make decisions and present it to the people capable of implementing action. This involves developing partnerships across academic disciplines within our University and beyond, and with leaders in business and government.
WHAT AREAS OF RESEARCH DO WE SPECIALISE IN? Our research is focused around personal motivations and systems change set against the challenges of sustainability.
WHO DO WE WORK WITH? To help deliver our research themes the GSI works in partnership with a number of organisations from the public and private sector – such as the UK Cabinet Office, the EU commission and the Sunday Times’ best green company of 2011, Skanska. The GSI is also a partner in a number of international networks including: • Green Economy Coalition • Renewable Energy and International Law (REIL) • Capital Markets Climate Initiative (CMCI) • Cambridge Cleantech Consortium
Our core research questions are how does the system influence the individual, and how does the individual influence the system? By ‘system’ we mean the political, financial, industrial and social frameworks that lock us into unsustainable futures – futures characterised by environmental challenges such as climate change, growing scarcity of natural resources and social challenges such as global inequality and social unrest. We have four key areas of research: • Climate action & cultural systems • Behaviour change & decision making • Resource management & ecosystems services • Education for sustainability
So what?/opinion Global food security in 2013 GSI tackles global food systems By Dr Aled Jones, GSI, and Anne Radl, Projects Manager at The Humanitarian Centre
“Now is the time to work together… governments, business, farmers, scientists, civil society and consumers – we all have an important role to play [for] an end to hunger in our lifetime.” Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations
The state of hunger and malnutrition endured by so many speaks to the deep, underlying inequalities in our world: there is currently more than enough food produced to feed us all
Food security is rapidly becoming a focus for international and national political discussions. The rise in prices and availability of certain types of food can contribute to political fragility all over the world. Within the Global Sustainability Institute we are developing a project that explores the interaction between food and other global resources. We aim to explore how the system of systems that is our global economy copes with short-term shocks (such as droughts wiping out the production of maize in the US) as well as with long term trends (food prices increasing steadily over the past decade). Importantly this work will build on partnerships elsewhere – whether with the University of Wisconsin on global food supply, or more locally. The city of Cambridge is home to a number of organisations working on food security, poverty and inequality. These organisations include government, business, agriculture, science and academia, and civil society – as well as individuals working on different ways to ensure that all people, everywhere, have sustainable access to nutritious food sources. The Humanitarian Centre is an international development network in Cambridge and in 2013 is hosting a ‘themed year’ of events and activities on Food Security. During this year they will bring together all these different people, from Cambridge and beyond, to strengthen their impact. The Humanitarian Centre connects people working in academia, industry, government and charities to develop more effective ways of working together to tackle global poverty and inequality. The GSI will be supporting this effort. Achieving food security for all is essential to the alleviation and prevention of poverty. Although progress has been made in the past few decades,
more recently the decline in rates of hunger and malnutrition has slowed or stalled in many parts of the world. Today, nearly 1 billion people are living with hunger, and many more are malnourished. The state of hunger and malnutrition endured by so many speaks to the deep, underlying inequalities in our world: there is currently more than enough food produced to feed us all. Food security is not just about food. It has the potential to positively impact many other areas of the way we use the planet, such as: • The environment: the way we grow, produce and distribute food has consequences for the use of limited global resources – like water, land and energy. These processes can impact climate change (for better or for worse), and affect our resilience to climate change. • The economy: in developing countries, agriculture is often the largest employment sector, especially for the poorest, and those living in rural areas. Growth and investment in sustainable agriculture has been shown to help bring more people out of poverty than any other sector. • Global health: hunger and undernutrition are still two of the greatest threats to global health. Recently, another kind of malnutrition – obesity, and the diseases related to it – is claiming even more lives than hunger. • Women’s empowerment: most smallholder farmers are women. There are many projects that target women for land resource management and agricultural projects. These projects help women manage their resources more effectively and bringing them into the decision-making processes in their communities. • Education: low educational rates and hunger are strongly correlated – particularly at the primary level and in rural areas. As with health, environment, livelihoods and women’s empowerment – there are clear opportunities for education and food security policies and practice to support one another. Please go to www.humanitariancentre.org for upcoming events, and opportunities to get involved. 3
So what?/news Art competition winner 2012 ‘After Lunch we’ll Save the Planet’ The Global Sustainability Institute ran a second art competition at the end of 2012, which again invited students to respond to the theme of sustainability. This is part of the continued development of cross-disciplinary relations with the Cambridge School of Art. The competition coincided with the exhibition of Andy Webster’s ‘(Un)Sustainable’ installation in the Ruskin Gallery. Webster’s 45ft inflatable of the word ‘sustainable’ aimed to encourage engagement with sustainability, often seen as an abstract term. The selection committee chose three prize-winning entries, which were announced at the private view of the exhibition, in November last year. Sergio Fava, Lecturer from the Cambridge School of Art and member of the selection committee, remarked on how the “very high-quality student work” which graced
the walls of the gallery balcony “demonstrated the potential of Anglia Ruskin art students to engage with pressing current affairs”. The winning entry After Lunch we’ll Save the Planet by Susie Johnson impressed the judges with its simplicity and clarity of expression. She placed carbon paper over her kitchen table for 30 days which recorded the carbon footprint of her activities. “Any impact on the surface had a consequence below,” said Susie. “Here are the carbon footprints of 90 meals – refrigerated, cooked and served in a heated, lit room – and served on plates washed by machine. The food has been intensively farmed, packaged and then transported: Kenyan green beans, Chilean wine, Chinese apples, New Zealand lamb. Here is a testament to the extraordinary and yet mundane blows to the environment.”
Making an impression: After Lunch we’ll Save the Planet by Susie Johnson literally recorded the carbon footprint of her activities on her kitchen table – on carbon paper.
Kerstin Hacker, Course Leader BA (Hons) Photography at Cambridge School of Art, noted: “The marks on the paper invite the audience to contemplate the choices they make on a daily basis when serving food – questioning the origin of the products we eat and how to reduce our Carbon footprint”.
BOOK REVIEW: looking to 2052 and beyond Randers’ prediction is not of economic collapse – this occurs shortly after 2052
Jorgen Randers 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years Chelsea Green Publishing In 2052 I will die. At least if I am an average human living to my expected average age. This makes Jorgen Randers’ new book 2052 of particular interest to me. Jorgen was one of the original authors of the 1972 study Limits to Growth; 40 years on from this publication he now makes a prediction for 40 years
time. 2052 brings together the collective thoughts of a host of global thinkers and tries to understand how the world works and therefore where it is likely to end up. His prediction is not of economic collapse – this occurs shortly after 2052 – but is an important description of what will happen if society does not attempt to proactively tackle some of the global challenges that we can predict. Aled Jones, GSI Director
So what?/news Understanding our behaviour: framework for success GSI’s Dr Candice Howarth has been working with the EU Commissions’ CNECT Directorate on a study that links behaviour change, sustainability and Intelligent Communications Technologies (ICT). She has been developing a framework that measures the impact of behaviour change initiatives. This will provide a robust system to ensure behaviour change initiatives are comparable and measureable. So what is behaviour change all about? In a world where legislation, regulation and policy dominate much of the action surrounding sustainability, Dr Howarth investigates how behaviour change can play a greater role in achieving a more sustainable future (and present) and simultaneously help achieve government targets. In order to change the way people behave, and why they may behave a certain way and not another, the factors that influence the formation
news in brief///////// //////
The horse meat scandal led the nation to question the way our food is sourced. Will supermarkets, multinationals and consumers accept that driving down prices and increasing short term profits leads to shortcuts in food management systems? Horse meat ends up on our shelves because of our complete disconnect with food supply chains. We no longer know where our food comes from. Could this be a turning point in our engagement with food?
Over February/March our University once again actively supported the annual Fairtrade Fortnight campaign to raise awareness of trade justice for farmers in developing countries. We held a staff vs. student football match, an inflatable Fairtrade banana hunt, and stalls with information and shopping opportunities for ethically sourced gifts.
The first GSI Research Conference will take place 15 May 2013 at the Cambridge campus. The Conference theme is ‘Big Challenges, Creative Solutions’ and our aim is to promote the development of innovative and creative solutions to the global challenges we face by encouraging collaboration across sectors and research interests. For further information visit www.anglia.ac.uk/gsi/ conference 2013.
The Environment Team has been holding free Dr Bike sessions for staff and students at the Chelmsford and Cambridge campuses, as well as bike security information days. Sign up for future sessions at www.anglia. ac.uk/greenevents.
of their behaviour must be fully understood. From habits, personal preference and social norms to government incentives and price, there are countless elements that interact exclusively and with each other, producing a complex system in which behaviours are formed and evolve. Dr Howarth has conducted work that combines behavioural initiatives with communication of sustainability messages to maximise the sustained impact of the behaviour change. These range from community and household incentives to increase uptake of energy efficiency measures, to climate change messaging to overcome perceived barriers to behaviour change, whether it be farmers or people getting into their cars. People can be persuaded to live more sustainably by changing minds and changing the context in which decisions are made. This can ensure we not only reduce our unsustainable ways but that we are equipped to adapt to the impacts of our behaviour.
WDM lobbies against food price speculation The World Development Movement (WDM) has been campaigning since 2010 to curb speculation on food commodities. In 2010 it became apparent, after the 2007-2008 food crisis, that speculation was partly to blame for the extreme volatility of food prices. Speculation is
now de-linking food price from the fundamentals of supply and demand. WDM is working to build a just global food system. The movement for food sovereignty is about building a positive, sustainable and local food system that rejects corporate control and genuinely reinforces the right to food for all.
So what?/news New ARU Masters degree in Sustainability launches this autumn
This September Anglia Ruskin /// LEARN. Class based The innovative University will welcome our first workshops with the GSI course cohort of students onto our new provide a research led structure MSc in sustainability. learning experience. includes Students will engage with Sustainability is a subject of ever and contribute to a wide intensive increasing scope and complexity, range of research topics residential so much so that it is difficult to and issues including teaching at gain a full understanding of all responsible innovation, both our the interrelationships, pressures environmental economics, Cambridge and implications involved. the communication of Developed as a partnership with climate science and campus and the the Eden Project and Change behavioural change. Eden Project Agents UK, the new master’s /// EXPERIENCE. Students will Cornwall programme is designed to experience first hand, the mirror the multidisciplinary visionary Eden Project and and collaborative approach discover how sustainability, needed to address complex good business practice and sustainability challenges. the citizenship values of the future are complementary. The flexible and innovative /// PRACTICE. Students will course structure includes a undertake a period of mixture of intensive residential work experience. Change The Eden Project’s stunnning architecture, seen from above teaching sessions, at both our Agents UK will support Cambridge campus and at the students in applying the Eden Project in Cornwall, online skills they have developed in learning and a period of work a practical context helping placement. prepare them for future employment. Students will embark upon an ambitious learning journey, The MSc Sustainability has been along which they will: designed to provide graduates 6
with the knowledge, skills and abilities to act as a catalyst for progress towards sustainable living. Our graduates will be well equipped to develop careers in several directions, for example: • Working as a sustainability professional, for instance as a sustainability consultant for an NGO or government body, or as a sustainability specialist in industry or commerce, • Returning to their original sector empowered to ‘do things better’, • Working in education, developing the sustainability literacy of future generations, or • Establishing their own social, community, or sustainabilityfocused enterprise. The course is open to students and professionals from a broad range of backgrounds. For more information please contact Course Director Mike Thompson at email@example.com or visit www.mscsustainability.org
A VEGETARIAN DIET IS A SUSTAINABLE DIET proposer
One in eight people in the world are hungry and, put simply, livestock farming is inefficient. The amount of land needed to feed someone on a typical meat-based diet could feed two and a half vegetarians, or five vegans. Growing crops to feed people rather than animals uses less land, water and other resources.
A vegetarian diet cannot be a sustainable diet in the UK as we no longer produce the variety of food required to eat a balanced vegetarian diet. Native vegetables, especially legumes, are not grown in large enough quantities. When they are grown here, they are often exported for processing before re-importation to the UK. Unseasonal produce, local or not, can have a large carbon footprint, either during production (e.g. heating) or transportation. Imported food contains water and nutrients taken from dry places, such as southern Spain, which can ill afford to lose their water.
Head of Communications The Vegetarian Society
Farmed animals consume a third of the world’s cereals and around 80% of the worldwide soya harvest. Seventy per cent of all agricultural land is used for rearing livestock, including huge swathes of Amazon rainforest cleared to create new pastures.
Senior lecturer in Primary & Public Health, Anglia Ruskin University
It takes 1– 2,000 litres of water to produce a kilo of wheat for human consumption and as much as 3,000 to 100,000 litres for a kilo of beef. Livestock farming causes 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with human activity. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation even estimated that livestock farming is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s entire transport system. Undoubtedly nutritious and delicious, a balanced vegetarian diet is also sustainable.
Meat or no meat, it is the choice of food that decides if a diet is sustainable. The more diverse a diet – including those containing meat – means more sustainable choices can be made in any season. The environmental impact of meat and dairy products varies depending on the farming methods. A dairy cow, eating grass watered naturally by rain will require much less water or feed than intensively reared cattle. Eating a healthy, balanced and sustainable diet means a reduction in meat and dairy consumption compared to the average UK consumption.
Well-planned vegan diets can be amongst the most sustainable diets, and the British Dietetic Association agrees they can support health at every life stage. In contrast, diets which rely upon farming non-human animals threaten sustainability.
1. A vegetarian diet could very well be sustainable, but so could a diet including meat. 2. Food constitutes the largest share of our personal ecological footprint, and meat and dairy stand out. 3. The UK’s average meat consumption rose by over 20% between 1961 and 2007 to over 85kg per person per year – much more than is recommended for a healthy diet. The global average is around 45kg, while many other regions are catching up. 4. For us, eating less meat is surely one of the most effective ways to reduce your footprint while improving your health. 5. In Europe, eating meat has deep cultural roots and most people consider themselves meat lovers. The carnivore/ vegetarian dichotomy therefore doesn’t appeal to most of us, unlike a ‘flexitarian’ approach which favours less, but better quality, meat. 6. Eating meat in line with established nutritional guidelines would already bring significant environmental benefits. WWF’s LiveWell Plate report showed that we would quite easily reduce GHG emissions by 25%, while becoming healthier and spending less.
Senior Advocacy and Policy Officer The Vegan Society
Growing crops to eat first-hand ourselves is more resource efficient than eating crops ‘second-hand’ after they have been fed to farmed animals. In the UK, we would need only one third the fresh water, fertile land and energy to feed ourselves on wellplanned vegan diets compared to typical British meat-and-dairybased diets. The UN have shown that the global livestock industry is one of the top three causes of global climate change and each year wastes enough grain to meet the basic energy needs of 3.5 billion humans. Experts at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health agree that shifting away from meat-based diets can ‘bring multiple benefits to health and environment’. What is more, the UCL Lancet Global Health Commission concludes: “Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”.
Senior Policy Advisor (Food), WWF (UK)
What do you think? cast your vote online at www.anglia.ac.uk/gsisurvey 7
Rising prices, rising tensions… The GSI is examining how volatile food prices are increasing local tensions and therefore global risk, writes Dr Irene Monasterolo of the Global Sustainability Institute Since 2007, access to food has become more complicated for more and more people. That year signalled the start of a period of high volatility in food prices, driven by the fast increase in the price of rice and wheat, which more than doubled between 2007 and 2008. Further food crises in 2010 and 2012 led to prolonged instability in the international markets.
One catastrophic effect of the food crisis is that it effectively wiped out the progress made towards fighting poverty and malnutrition achieved from 1990 to 2007
A rapid increase in the cost of basic foods directly affects peoples’ quality of life – whether they are consumers or producers of food. On-going high volatility of food prices can affect the underlying conditions of a country, its trade relations and even international relations. The GSI is undertaking a major research project to model the impacts of these sudden changes in food and commodity prices on global economic growth, and the likelihood of further volatility in the future. So what are the causes of the high volatility of commodity prices? The following have been identified as the main ones: /// Land is converted to produce crops for use as an alternative energy source such as transport fuel (bioethanol/biodiesel) rather than food. /// Climate change and the risk of extreme climatic events such as droughts and floods. This can make harvests less successful, and cause instability on financial markets. /// Financial speculation, which artificially manipulates food prices. These causes are deeply interconnected and based on a global future characterised by: • Growing world population expected to rise to nine billion in 2050. • The increase and change in food consumption of
the rising middle class in emerging economies (e.g. China, Brazil and India) towards Western consumption styles. Higher meat consumption will require changes to land use towards livestock breeding. Constraints on the availability of natural resources which are fundamental for human life (land, water, food and energy).
Price rises impact the poor the most Food price rises have the worst effect on the poorest households, as they spend a higher share of their income on food – up to 70% for poor households in developing countries, compared to an average of less than 10% in the UK. One catastrophic effect of the food crisis is that it effectively wiped out the progress made towards fighting poverty and malnutrition achieved from 1990 to 2007. The net effect is that it is estimated that more than 800 million people in the world are food insecure today, and that two to three billion may suffer from chronic malnutrition. The impact of higher food prices is felt differently in rural and urban areas. While poor people living in rural areas and in slums on the edges of big cities in developing countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, were the worst off, in urban areas, the consequences of higher food prices were compounded by the global economic crises. Job losses caused working and middle class families in the US and in Europe to fall under the poverty line, creating a new urban poor. Too much, as well as too little, food Food insecurity is not limited to the developing world. In 2011, nearly 15% of US families
So what?/gsi research 2008 1996
2013 Rise in food commodity prices since 1990. Source: FAO index
2000 the flip side of this is that more than a billion people in the world suffer from illnesses related to obesity – with terrible human and economic costs. In fact, for the first time in history, in some countries, this generation of children may not live as long as their parents: higher food prices have led people of average or low income, to opt for cheap, high energy, and less sustainable ‘junk food’ over more nutritional options. There is enough for everyone! The suprising fact is that, if it were evenly distributed, enough food is produced for every person on the planet to have 2,700 calories per day. In fact, some estimate that our current agricultural systems could provide for the 9 billion expected by 2050 if we were to address issues of distribution and waste.
Global hunger: the facts ///// Even as global yields boomed, subSaharan Africa now produces less food than 30 years ago. ///// Hunger kills, maims, reduces IQ, lowers wages, reduces school attendance and undermines economic growth. ///// While food is the most basic of human needs required for survival, on average, one in eight people go to bed hungry each night.
experienced some degree of food insecurity: one in six Americans receive some form of food assistance and one in two American babies born in 2010 were enrolled in government food assistance programmes. While so many go under-nourished,
But 30% to 50% of all the food produced in the world is wasted. As it is, production needs to increase by 60% over the next 40 years to meet rising food demand – including wastage! As the scope for expanding agricultural land is limited, the current high uncertainty on commodity markets means high food prices are likely to be here to stay.
Definitions Commodity: In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Economic commodities comprise goods and services. Financial speculation: High risk financial transactions designed to profit from short or medium term changes in the price of a tradable good. Volatility: Fast change (increase/decrease) in the market prices of goods and services. 9
Is there enough? We need a major rethink of how we manage our global food system if the world is not to go hungry, and production processes are not to damage the very environment food needs to grow. Dr Molly Jahn, distinguished Professor of Agronomy and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, shares with So What? views on food security â€“ and how she is working with the GSI on solutions 10
The Global Sustainability Institute has joined a new partnership, including the University of Wisconsin, which is working on improving the security of our food systems. The partnership, that provides leadership across the business and academic communities, is called the Knowledge Systems for Sustainability (KSS). In parallel, at Rio+20 in 2012 the Commission for Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change launched its Sustainable Agriculture Business Principles (SABPs). Aimed at providing a common language through which the private sector can engage with governments to tackle food security, the SABPs’ focus is on information and data sharing. The KSS is developing a ‘knowledge track’ based on SABPs recommendations to develop ways to support decision making that can address the crisis in our food systems.
This work recognises the opportunities to innovate our agriculture and food systems toward better outcomes for people and the environment we rely upon
Needed: a new kind of economy Tackling food security involves breaking down traditional barriers to enable us to adapt, adopt and invent our way through the transition from an economy focused on maximising productivity and growth at almost any cost, to an economy that better delivers sustainable livelihoods for all. Since the early 20th century – when scientific approaches to agriculture gained traction – agricultural productivity has increased dramatically in many parts of the world. Food systems driven by ever increasing agricultural outputs has allowed the world to produce much more food and enabled the global population to grow from 1.6 billion in 1900 to more than 7 billion in 2011, heading toward 9 billion by 2050. What was known as the ‘Green Revolution’ in the 1960s and ’70s improved the food and nutritional security of hundreds of millions of people. However, climate impacts such as changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, and increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather are already having major consequences for agriculture, especially for the world’s poorest people. This is only expected to get worse. Food and political unrest The food price spikes and economic downturn that began in 2007 sparked food riots in dozens of countries, and led to political unrest around the world. The resulting shifts in government have had a series of consequences, most recently the terrorist attack on a BP energy facility in Algeria, and the conflict in northern Mali. At no time in our history has the connection between food security and national security been more evident. In eight of the last 13 years, global grain consumption has exceeded production, partly due
definitions Food security The availability of, and access to, food. The ‘Green Revolution’ Breakthroughs in the 1960s and ’70s in farming research, development, and technology that dramatically increased global agricultural production. It was credited with saving over a billion people from starvation, and included improvements to fertilisers, pesticides, irrigation, grain varieties and hybrid seeds.
to mounting pressure from the use of grain for biofuels and grain-fed meat production. With half the world’s grain produced in just three countries (US, India and China) catastrophic droughts on all three continents in 2012 means global grain stocks are at near-record lows. Not only are each of these countries expected to experience severe disruptions from climate change, the vulnerability of each of their agricultural systems are increased by degradation of soil and water resources and biodiversity loss. There is growing evidence that across the world, for the last decade, yields of rice, corn and wheat crops are stagnating. Yields are threatened further by extreme events such as the 2012 floods in the UK that wrecked harvests. Reports, assessments and international efforts have highlighted these threats which are dire, obvious and both global and local. In 2011, Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, convened 12 international experts to come up with solutions. Drawn from diverse fields, their aim was to channel the evidence into policy actions and specific recommendations, in order to achieve a food-secure world in the face of climate change. The Commission launched its final report last year in London. These were the experts’ seven key recommendations: 1. Integrate food security and sustainable agriculture into global and national policies, including adaptation to climate change and mitigation of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. 2. Increase global investments in sustainable agriculture and food systems. 3. Sustainably intensify agricultural production while reducing emissions and other environmental impacts of agriculture. 4. Target programmes and policies to assist vulnerable populations, recognising that interventions that move agricultural systems in safer directions may not necessarily improve conditions for the most vulnerable. 5. Reshape food access and consumption patterns to ensure that basic nutritional needs for all are met and to foster healthy and sustainable eating habits. 6. Reduce food loss and waste across supply chains. 7. Create comprehensive, integrated information systems that will allow us to explore ways to define and track frontiers of safer space in human and ecological dimensions. This work recognises the opportunities to innovate our agriculture and food systems toward better outcomes for people and the environment we rely upon, and the almost certain catastrophes at unprecedented scales if we fail. 11
So what?/about you
trust me, i’m a scientist one in three people do not trust climate scientists, alarming for anyone working in sustainability. Take our quiz to find out how trusting you are, by Dr Rosie Robison and lydia wade There is concern within the climate science community about the public’s apparent lack of trust in climate scientists. In a 2011 UK survey we found that 34% of respondents did not agree that “we can trust climate scientists to tell us the truth about climate change”, which is surprising as scientists often score highly in trust surveys.
If the public related to climate scientists more, this could increase trust levels. It is clear that in order to build the public’s trust climate science must be made more open and transparent. But beyond this, giving the public real opportunity to influence the research focus of climate scientists could help build the public’s connection to science and help scientists earn the public’s trust.
So who do we trust? The banks? Politicians? The media? Our neighbours? Supermarkets? We do know that we are more likely to trust people who already share similar opinions to us. But if we only listen to information that we already agree with, does that potentially close us off from important information, because we find it difficult to deal with?
So What? have created a quick quiz to get you thinking about your own trust level. This is adapted from the Interpersonal Trust Scale developed by the psychologist Julian Rotter in the 1960s. (http://tinyurl.com/8e99wa7). For a more detailed discussion of trust, see GSI briefing note 2, The Psychology of Trust and its Relation to Sustainability Issues, written by Lydia Wade.
QUIZ how trusting are you? Indicate how much you agree or disagree with each statement (circle your response). 1 = strongly disagree 2 = mildly disagree
3 = disagree and agree equally 4 = mildly agree 5 = strongly agree
Parents can usually be relied upon to keep their promises. 1 2 3 4 5
Most major national sports contests are not fixed in any way. 1 2 3 4 5
The United Nations is an effective force in keeping world peace. 1 2 3 4 5
Most people can be counted on to do what they say they will do. 1 2 3 4 5
The future seems very promising. 1 2 3 4
Most technicians will not overcharge, even if they think you are ignorant of their specialty. 1 2 3 4 5
Most elected officials are really sincere in their campaign promises. 1 2 3 4 5
Most climate scientists can be trusted to tell the truth about climate change. 1 2 3 4 5
Add up the numbers and the total will give you your level of trust propensity.
(8 - 19) A low trust propensity
For you, trust is something that is earned over time. Maybe life experiences have taught you that this is the best strategy. By being wary of trusting new people and groups, you may be trying to protect yourself and as a result you are likely to be an independent person. The downside is you may find it harder to work in groups where you are required to cooperate and depend on others. You may also not be open to other people’s opinions.
(20 - 28) A moderate trust propensity
You have neither a high nor low trust propensity. If most of your scores were around ‘3’ this may indicate you are cautious but still willing to trust others after a time. Or if your results were an equal mixture of high and low scores you may have a high level of trust in other individuals, such as peers and acquaintances, but a low level of trust in specific groups of people, such as politicians, or vice-versa. What do you think makes you trust some people over others?
(29 - 40) A high trust propensity
You tend to place trust in other individuals and groups you meet unless they have given you a reason to doubt them. You are outgoing and confident and find it easy to form friendships and alliances. Maybe you have found you get the best out of others when you trust them. Those who are very trusting may leave themselves vulnerable to being taken advantage of.
So what?/be sustainable
Grow it! With all the concerns about the quality and impact of the food we consume, why not join the new urban trend of using any spare inch of soil to grow, grow, grow… by Ella Wiles The idea of urban farming is simple: to grow good food close to home. That way you reduce fuel use for transport, encourage good eating habits and maybe even save a bit of money on your ever-growing food bill.
Suddenly urban farming is everywhere – as the popularity of urban agriculture is growing across the UK, Europe and America: from the anarchic Guerrilla Gardening movement which illicitly cultivates unused public green spaces, to rooftop gardens and farms, to the opening of FARM:shop (a farm in a shop) in Dalston.
Importantly it develops our connection to where our food comes from, be it in a single container, community garden or a vertical farm. Furthermore, nurturing plants and vegetables with other people can benefit our mental, physical and social needs amidst the chaos of urban living.
So how did growing your own food become so cool? When did composting become so trendy? The growth of urban environments is staggering. In 2007 the balance switched so that most people now live in an urban area; by 2050 three-quarters of us will do so. This poses the challenge of how to feed urbanites far removed from the fields that feed them?
Three ways to green your city
Make seed bombs that flower where they fall 1. Pour five cups of soil into a bowl. 2. Bind together with one cup of water. 3. Add seeds from dried seedpods, such as sunflower and poppy seeds. 4. Mould the nutritious flower bombs into your desired shape. Give it as a gift or throw it onto an uninspiring patch of soft ground or grass. Tip: soil with good clay content is best.
Start an allotment or farm an unused patch 1. Contact your city council to join the local allotment waiting list or find someone who needs help on their plot. 2. Unused land can be turned into a temporary growing area whilst awaiting development – developers want to keep land occupied. Submit a proposal! 3. Be enterprising: recycle green waste from restaurants; get a wormery; harvest water; erect or build bird boxes and habitat zones; grow expensive crops such as shitake mushrooms and you could even turn a forgotten site into a profitable green enterprise!
Richard Reynolds GuerillaGardening.org
Make a container garden 1. Gather any spare containers: bowls, buckets, wateringcans and even pallets can be transformed into troughs. 2. Pierce some holes in the bottom. 3. Add stones or broken pottery to aid drainage and support roots. 4. Find a sunny spot in which to sit or hang your container.
So what?/be sustainable
the sustainable kitchen Written and cooked by DR Rosie Robison you can reduce your impact on the environment by making some changes to the ingredients you use and cutting waste. sustainable COOKing can make us healthier TOO At the GSI we are interested in how sustainability is relevant to everyone. We believe sustainable living can add to your quality of life and is more achievable than you might think. In our own
How to cook sustainably These cheap and tasty recipes all follow the following principles of sustainable cooking: reduce meat and dairy Meat and dairy products require much more energy, water and land to produce than vegetables, grains and pulses. Cows also unfortunately burp (and fart!) a lot of methane, contributing to climate change. How much meat and dairy to include in your diet is a matter for debate, but cutting back can have a big effect on the sustainability of your diet.
experience we have found that that sustainable living makes us happier and healthier, especially when it comes to food!
cook from scratch When you cook from raw ingredients it is easier to know what is going into your food, and where it is coming from. For example, next time you buy fruit check out which country it comes from – this way you can learn when different fruits come into season closer to home (and so taste better). CUT food waste This is probably one of the best things we can all do. A report this year found that almost 50% of the world’s food is thrown away. Next time you have leftover bread going stale, it is the perfect excuse to make a nice pudding using our recipe!
Patatas Bravas Tasty fried potatoes in tomato sauce potatoes (150-200g per person) 1 onion (chopped) tin of tomatoes oil, tsp sugar, salt Optional: garlic (chopped), paprika or chilli, add any green herb at the end 1. Wash potatoes, and cut into chunky cubes. Leave the skin on: it is tastier, less waste, less work and better for you! Place in a pan of water, cover and bring to the boil. 2. In a saucepan, fry onions in a dash of oil. Add some garlic and fresh or dried chilli to taste. 3. Once the potatoes are firm but edible (around 5-8 mins), drain. 4. Add tomatoes to the onions and simmer with the lid off (so it thickens, as the water boils off). 5. Fry the potatoes in oil, until you are happy with their crispness. 6. Once the sauce has thickened add some paprika (if using) and sugar, then mix in the potatoes and add salt to taste.
Are you an adventurous cook? Do you want to eat sustainably but couldn’t do without meat? Check out Lucy Moore’s blog offally good for recipes using cuts of meat which have become less popular in the UK, such as oxtail and heart (similar to steak apparently!). Lucy spoke at the GSI’s seminar series in December 2012. View the video on our website.
So what?/be sustainable
Red Lentil Dahl delicious, nutritious, and VERy cheap! red lentils (50-75g per person) 1-2 onions (chopped) ground cumin, oil, salt Optional spices: onion seeds; ground coriander; cardamom pods (but remember not to eat these!); cinnamon; turmeric. 1. Cover lentils in water in a pan, and bring to a low boil. Put the lid on to reduce the amount of energy needed to boil. 2. Fry the onions. Once they are softened, add the spices (except onion seeds and cinnamon). Use around 1tsp of each per 200g lentils. Cook for a couple more minutes. 3. Once the lentils are cooked (about 20 mins, taste to check they have gone soft, adding water where necessary) add the onions, the onion seeds, a little cinnamon, and salt. Serve with rice or on buttered toast!
Bread Pudding the perfect way to use up leftover bread 225g bread (any type) half a pint of milk 50g butter, 75g sugar, 1 egg (beaten) Optional: 50-150g dried fruit (raisins/sultanas etc); 2 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon or mixed spice 1. Tear the bread up into medium sized chunks, pour over the milk, and leave to stand for 30 mins. 2. Melt the butter, and add to the bread, then add the sugar and beaten egg. Mix. 3. If you’re using it, add the dried fruit, mix well and transfer the mixture to a baking dish. 4. Sprinkle over any spices you’re using and bake at 160oC/GM4 for 1hr 15mins. 5. Serve hot or cold. It is delicious in slices the day after.
Mushroom Soufflé an impressive dinner party dish 4 eggs, separated 40g butter, 40g flour, half a pint of milk 200-400g mushrooms (or leeks) Optional: garlic N.B. You do need an electric whisk or a good hand whisk for this recipe. 1. Slice mushrooms and fry in a little butter. Add garlic if you like. Set aside. 2. To make the white sauce melt 40g butter in a saucepan (thick bottomed is good). Add 40g flour and mix into a smooth paste using a wooden spoon. Over a medium heat, add the milk a small amount at a time, mixing all the time to achieve a smooth consistency. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl to cool. 3. Whisk your egg whites into stiff peaks. 4. Mix the mushrooms into the white sauce, and then add the egg yolks. 5. Add the egg whites slowly to the mushroom mixture, trying to keep air in the mixture, but don’t worry – it will lose some air. 6. Transfer to an oven dish and cook at 180C/GM 5 for 30–40 mins. To test if it is cooked stick a knife in, it should come out clean. Serve with roast potatoes and a green vegetable. 15
Global Sustain ability Institute
whoâ€™s who at the GSI
Dr Aled Jones Director
Dr Alison Greig Director of Education for Sustainable Development
Dr Candice Howarth Senior research fellow
Dr Rosie Robison Postgraduate research fellow
Dr Irene Monasterolo Postgraduate research fellow
Julie-Anne Hogbin Project & Commercial Manager
Victor Anderon Visiting Fellow
Dr Bob Evans Visiting Fellow
Ben Roberts Aran Services Low Carbon KEEP Associate
Clare Merritt, Sustainability East Low Carbon KEEP Associate
Ella Wiles Research Assistant
Mike Thompson DIrector, MSc Sustainability
Samir Saran PhD student
Joab Omondi PhD student
David Natalini PhD student
Zsuzsa Pogats PhD student