What are the interactions between
Food Security and
Planetary Boundaries?
?
John Ingram
NERC Food Security Leader
Environmental Change Institute
University of Oxford
Food security…
... exists when all people, at all times, have physical
and economic access to sufficient, safe, and
nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food
preferences for an active and healthy life.
(UN-FAO World Food Summit 1996)
… is more than food production
… is underpinned by food systems
GECAFS Food System Concept
Food System
ACTIVITIES
... exists when all people,
at all
times, have physical
Producing food: natural resources, inputs, markets, …
and economic
access to sufficient, safe, and
Processing & packaging food: raw materials, standards, storage requirement, …
nutritious
food to meet their dietary needs and food
Distributing & retailing food: transport, marketing, advertising, …
preferences for
an active and healthy life.
Consuming food: acquisition, preparation, customs, …
(World Food Summit 1996)
Food System OUTCOMES Contributing to:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Social Welfare
Income
Employment
Wealth
Social capital
Political capital
Human capital
Food Security, i.e. stability over time for:
FOOD
UTILISATION
FOOD
ACCESS
•Nutritional Value
•Social Value
•Food Safety
•Affordability
•Allocation
•Preference
FOOD
AVAILABILITY
•Production
•Distribution
•Exchange
Environmental
Welfare
• Ecosystem stocks &
flows
• Ecosystem services
• Planetary
Boundaries
So what are the contributions of
Food Systems to crossing
Planetary Boundaries?
Food System
ACTIVITIES
Producing food
Processing & Packaging food
Distributing & Retailing food
Consuming food
?
1: Agriculture as
a driver of Landcover Change
Extensification
Pressure on many
(?all) Planetary
Boundaries
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
2: Agriculture as a driver of GHG emissions
70% of arable GHG emissions
connected with N fertilizer
(manufacture, use):
Agriculture
13%
CO2 & N2O
EarthTrends, 2008
Contribution of agriculture to
crossing planetary boundaries
Campbell 2011, based on Bennett et al. (in prep.)
Contribution of capture fisheries to
crossing planetary boundaries
But ‘Food Systems’ involve more than
producing food …
Food System ACTIVITIES
Producing food: natural resources, inputs, markets, …
Processing & packaging food: raw materials, standards, storage requirement, …
Distributing & retailing food: transport, marketing, advertising, …
Consuming food: acquisition, preparation, customs, …
… and a major proportion of GHG emissions
from food systems are not from agriculture
Edwards et al., Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, 2009
Food Processing
•
•
•
•
•
•
Common characteristics of wastes from the
industry
Large amounts of organic materials such as proteins,
carbohydrates, and lipids
Large amounts of suspended solids depending on
the source
High biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and/or
chemical oxygen demand (COD)
High N concentration
High suspended oil or grease contents
High variations in pH
Most have higher levels than municipal sewage
Kroyer, 1995
Processing Food
Water use in Canadian food processing
Mm3/yr
% of all
industrial use
Intake
347.2
4.7
Discharge
320.1
Consumption
27.1
Water use
5.2
Food processing plants are responsible for 4.7% of total manufacturing intake
but account for 5.2% of total consumption
Dupont & Renzetti, Can J Ag Econ, 1998
Packaging Food
Packaging:
some environmental issues
• Litter
• Use of raw materials for packaging
• Ease and convenience of packaging
disposal
• Adverse consequences of careless
disposal of packaging
• Feasibility of recycling or reuse
• Real and virtual energy content
Retailing food
Refrigerant
leakage
accounts for
30% of
supermarkets’
direct GHG
emissions
(Environment
Investigation
Agency, 2010)
Guardian 1 February 2009
But the retail industry is “tidying up”
Net GHG emissions connected with premises, transport
and refrigerants
The Co-operative Group Sustainability Report 2008/09
Consuming Food
Breakdown (%) of energy use in commercial
kitchens in the US (broadly similar in the UK)
19
19
23
Space heating
Water heating
Cooking
Ventilation
Office equipment
Refridgeration
Other
Cooling
Lighting
Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, 2009
Consuming Food
Environmental and operational CO2 usage (kgCO2) per meal served
Facility
Environment
Operational
Combined
Primary School
0.07
0.11
0.18
Fast food outlet
0.19
0.29
0.48
Ministry of Defence:
- junior ranks’ mess
0.43
0.64
1.07
- officers’ mess
0.76
1.13
1.89
Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, 2009
Example
contributions
of FSAs to PBs
Climate
change
N cycle
P cycle
Fresh water
use
Land use
change
Biodiversity
loss
Atmos.
aerosols
Chemical
pollution
Producing
food
Processing
& Packaging
food
Distributing
& Retailing
food
Consuming
food
Example
contributions
of FSAs to PBs
Producing
food
Processing
& Packaging
food
Distributing
& Retailing
food
Consuming
food
Climate
change
GHGs,
albedo
Energy
Emissions from
transport and
cold chain
GHGs from
cooking
N cycle
Eutrophicn,
GHGs
Effluent
NOx from
transport
Waste
P cycle
P reserves
Detergents
Fresh water
use
Irrigation
Washing,
heating, cooling
Cleaning food
Cooking,
cleaning
Land use
change
Intensificn,
soil degdn
Paper/card
Transport &
retail
infrastructure
Forest to edible
oils plantation
Biodiversity
loss
Deforestation, [Aluminium]
soils, fishing
Invasive spp
Consumer
choices
Atmos.
aerosols
Dust
Shipping
Smoke from
cooking
Chemical
pollution
Pesticides
Transport
emissions
Cooking,
cleaning
Effluent
Waste
‘Food Security’ is now the BIG ISSUE
Independent; 16 October 2011: World Food Day
Food systems are already failing many:
1.02 billion people hungry in 2009
Developed
15m
“In New York City the number of people
having
NENA
42m trouble paying for food
Asia & Pac
has increased 60%, to 3.3m, since 2003 and ... a staggering one in five
642m
of the city's children rely on soup kitchens - up by 48% since 2004”
LAC
53m
SSA
Economist,
Jan 14th 2010
265m
“One new food bank opens every week in UK as more people find they
cannot afford to feed themselves and their families”
London Times, April 17th 2012
Food systems are failing
a further 2 billion!
1 billion with
insufficient nutrition
1 billion with too
much food and/or
“poor” diet
How do changes in Climate and other
Planetary Boundaries affect Food Security?
Food Security, i.e. stability over time
for:
FOOD
UTILISATION
• Nutritional Value
• Social Value
• Food Safety
FOOD
ACCESS
• Affordability
• Allocation
• Preference
?
FOOD
AVAILABILITY
• Production
• Distribution
• Exchange
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have
physical and economic access to sufficient, safe,
and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and
food preferences for an active and healthy life.
(World Food Summit, 1996)
Concern that climate change will undermine
food production in many parts of the world…
Anticipated wheat yield decline by 2030
Reduction in
wheat yields
0 - 5%
5 -10%
10 -15%
15 - 20%
> 20%
Australia exports 15 Mt/yr (~19% of world exports)
Kokic, et al. Australian Commodities, 2005
… further compromised by O3 pollution.
• Significant yield losses for important food
crops
• Adaptation strategies were modelled, e,g.
change of timing of crop growth period to
avoid peak ozone, but no marked
improvement was found
T
a
u
h
m
o
c
n
n
a
4
p
d
d
Extreme weather events also disrupt food
distribution systems …
… and food storage …
… and food safety.
• Mycotoxins formed on plant products in the field or during storage
• Residues of pesticides in plant products affected by changes in pest
pressure
• Trace elements and/or heavy metals in plant products depending on
changes in their abundance and availability in soils
• Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in foods following changes in
long-range atmospheric transport and deposition into the environment
• Marine biotoxins in seafood following production of phycotoxins by
harmful algal blooms
• Pathogenic bacteria in foods following more frequent extreme weather
conditions, such as flooding and heat waves.
Miraglia et al., Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2009
Weather-induced price spikes affect
affordability
Consequences of the
2008 Food Price Crisis
Bringing it all together
Need to consider FS:PB interactions
in context of drivers and feedbacks
Environmental feedbacks
e.g. water quality, GHGs
GEC DRIVERS
Changes in:
Land cover & soils, Atmospheric
Comp., Climate variability & means,
Water availability & quality,
Nutrient availability & cycling,
Biodiversity, Sea currents
& salinity, Sea level
Food System ACTIVITIES
‘Natural’
DRIVERS
e.g. Volcanoes
Solar cycles
Producing food
Processing & Packaging food
Distributing & Retailing food
Consuming food
Food System OUTCOMES
DRIVER
Interactions
Socioeconomic
DRIVERS
Changes in:
Demographics, Economics,
Socio-political context,
Cultural context
Science & Technology
Socioeconomic feedbacks
e.g. livelihoods, social cohesion
Contributing to:
Food Security
Social
Welfare
Food
Utilisation
Environ
Welfare
Food
Access
Food
Availability
So what do we do about it?
 Adapt to inevitable change
 Mitigate further change
Adaptation
“doing things differently”
Producing food
=> adapt
our Food
System
“Activities”
Processing & packaging food
Distributing & retailing food
Consuming food
Adaptation: Improved agriculture, livestock,
horticulture, aquaculture, fisheries, …
• More varied crops
• Stress-tolerant
varieties
• Wider range of food
stuffs
• Novel food producing
systems
• Improve water mgmt
• Insurance for
producers
•…
Adaptation: Preserving crop varieties for
the future
• Opened 2008
• > 4,000,000 samples
• -18 oC
• “Climate-change proof”
Adaptation: Improving food storage
~ 15-25% losses to pests
and damp in store
Adaptation: Considering novel foods?
Tuomisto & Teixeira de Mattos. Env Sci & Tech, 2011
Mitigation: improving N-use efficiency?
China grain production and fertilizer consumption (1980 = 100)
375
Grain
327
Fertilizer
204
139
100
144
151
100
1980
1990
2000
2005
Considerable food production achievement
BUT inefficient use (quantity, timing)
Still a need to improve N-use efficiency
N inputs – N output in crop
kg N/ha/yr
Western Kenya
(maize-based
system)
North China
(maize-wheat)
USA
(maize-soybean)
-52
+227
+10
Vitousek et al, Science, 2009
Mitigation: reduced tillage?
 Reduce SOC oxidation
 Reduce input energy
Mitigation: Sequestering more carbon in soil?
N Cost of Carbon Sequestration
• At a C/N ratio of 12 in soil organic matter (SOM),
1 tonne of stored C requires 83 kg N/ha
• At approximately $0.85/kg N applied, N cost of 1
tonne SOM is $71/ha
• Current price of C on European market is
<$25…
Ken Cassman, pers comm
Mitigation: Reducing food miles?
The Well Travelled Yogurt Pot: Stefanie Böge
What about us as individuals?
Adaptation/Mitigation:
Accepting less
choice?
Tesco Oxford has
25,000 different food
lines…
Adaptation & Mitigation: Modifying our diets?
=> One of the biggest, most immediate impacts!
Behavioural Change and Personal Action
CO2 emissions
Emissions reductions (MtCO2e) achievable if
adopted by 100% of the US population
Consume less red meat and diary:
Eat poultry in place of red meat and consume
plant-based food rather than dairy two days per
week
105
Waste less food:
Reduce consumer food waste by 25%
65
Reducing food waste
• May occur anywhere
along the supply
chain, from farm to
final consumer
• Difficult to measure
• Globally, 15-50% of
food is lost postharvest
• Often unnoticed until
too late
Reducing food waste
Derived from Lundqvist, 2009 & Godfray et al, 2010
Reducing food waste
• Every household in the UK wastes between £250 and
£400 of food per year
• Avoidable waste of cereal-based food in the UK and USA
could lift 224 million people out of hunger
• Producing and distributing edible food that goes to waste
accounts for around 5% of all UK GHG emissions
Food Ethics Council, 2009
Alleviating food insecurity by reducing food waste is
as important as by increasing food production …
… environmentally, economically and ethically!
?
Thank you!
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