Research Frontiers Project

Candy in 2019, carried out a research study to evaluate the model of the food availability and environmental impacts of a shift towards consumption of healthy dietary patterns in Australia. The study highlighted the importance of dietary change, as a key factor to ensure food security, improve the overall health status and reduce the negative impact of the rising population on the food scarcity. Food scarcity is also impacted by the climatic changes happening on a daily basis and this is true for some of the developed nations as well. The study was published in 2019 and was quoted for over 12 times in other methodologies as well. This paper made use of quantitative modelling method for analysis of food availability and its environmental implications. The study made use of two well-constructed diets, namely, “healthy mixed diet” and “healthy plant-based diet”. Both of these diets were formulated in sync with the Australian Dietary Guidelines Recommendation. The metrics used helped in comparing the net imports related to the net production done. There were no points of conflict in the study. The study was in accordance with the topic of concern and was able to highlight the positive as well as negative pointers. The suggestions were made that, including healthy diet strategies in Australian context can have a positive alteration on the food availability. Environmental impact can be reduced drastically with the help of animal portion in the diet. “Healthy plant-based diet” also pondered upon many positive implications. It showed potential for reducing the resources required to feed the population and also lowering the green house gas emissions. These factors collectively can help in reducing the overall global food supply demand. The challenges of the study were highlighted in the form of lack of land availability to grow these plants, lower rate of acceptance for vegan diet in consumers, directly being related to the use of fertilizer in plant growth etc. However, the study was also bale to reflect upon a midway of semi-vegetarian diet to be implemented. Thus, balancing the demand and supply for both food resources, vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian. It will also require modifications in the agricultural methods and resources, to meet up with the demand of the population.

Lynch in 2020 conducted a study to analyze the role of fish in a globally changing food system. The study was first published in 2018. Study highlighted the value of introduction of applied research and adaptive management techniques to be included on a daily basis. These techniques can be used to help with developing evolutionary ideas for crafting sustainable food systems for future population. The study reflected upon the fish and other aquatic organisms as an alternative source of food to be inculcated in the daily diet pattern. The study highlighted on the fact as how fish can be a valid and strong source of macro as well as micro-nutrients and proteins. They are also found to be low in saturated fats and have an array of benefits attached to them as a food item. The study pondered upon the importance of fish in diet as a direct relation to the climatic and ecosystem changes. Being a small-scale set up, fish can be easily procured as a food source in many nations. There were no limitations of the study. The study was based on a reflective conclusion of including fish as a food alternative for promoting food and nutrition security, especially in regions of the world that are less developed. The main concern raised in the study was the worry of ocean acidification as the most detrimental effect, directly impacting the marine life. Overall, opting for ocean food, especially fish can be a healthy choice and a sustainable one, for majority of the population sects in the world. The study can be helpful in making the required reforms and can contribute to the overall well-being of the consumers.

Study conducted by Augustin in 2020, reflected on the recovery of wasted fruit and vegetables for improving sustainable diets. Apart from having a good nutritional value, inclusion of both fruits and vegetables can be good from the point of view of health benefits. Most of the people are not meeting their daily nutritional demand and yet a major portion of fruits and vegetables produced are wasted away. The study was aimed at discussing the overall challenges and opportunities in collecting the food loss occurring in the overall horticulture chain. This was mainly done to underpin the gaps in the human food supply chain and developing scientific based strategies for compensating the recovery and loss beared by the population. This will be fruitful in developing sustainable technologies to recover the lost fruits and vegetables products and putting them to god use for the general population. The study advocated the use of market-based changes to be implemented, to enhance various promotional business opportunities to reduce the waste and increase the bioavailability of fruits and vegetables for the consumers to be used. The study recommended on the fact that edible biomass can be a big contributor in making this plan a big success. They can be helpful in promoting supply of food in a safe environment, promoting high nutritional value food and lowering the overall risk of harmful intake of nutrients that might not be good for health. This risk can be mitigated by having a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables in daily dietary pattern. The recovery of the wasted horticulture can be helpful for enhancing the working of the food supply chain and promoting the availability of the food in larger sizes. There were no limitations of the study. The study can be helpful in establishing new rules and regulations for value chain management in the food cycle. Thus, it can contribute largely to the integrated approach for sustaining various environmental aspects.

Study carried out by Haylock in 2018, considered the topic of examining the insider/outsider dimensions of local food system planning. The study was based on the cases reported in New Zealand. The regions that were covered in this study included, Dunedin and Christchurch area. The study highlighted the importance of inclusion of diverse food networks in any given community. These diverse and alternative fooding networks and options, can offer a variety of context-related response. This strategy can be helpful in crafting managerial techniques to help with the challenges rising against global as well as conventional and local food systems. The study considered the policies and amendments, that involved local bodies governing the system of functioning. These organizational bodies were directly engaged in modulating food policy councils and its functioning. The main limitation of the study was to focus on the limited data available to be pondered upon. Being a new and emergent topic of concerns, not much comparative details are available to develop strong foundational grounds for future policies and interventions. The study also highlighted the limitation of lack of resources available for food system planning and engagement of local authorities in the process. This is vital to launch these strategic movements, from the grass root level. The study concluded in reflecting upon the importance of various professionals and governmental structures involved in this process, at both local as well bigger levels. The study can be related to the topic as it concluded with highlighting the importance of crafting potential policies and interventions, in an attempt to promote and drive transition towards a more resilient approach and a better food system. This can be beneficial for the integrating both environmental and economic aspects pertaining to the supply food chain in the local regions. This will also be fruitful in deriving alternative food options and thus, maintaining a good balance between the natural and artificial food resources, creating a sustainable environment.

Sellberg carried out a study in 2020, reflecting upon using local initiative to envision sustainable and resilient food system in the region of Stockholm city. The study highlighted the challenges faced by the global food systems in terms of acknowledging the ongoing transition and revolution. There is a major lack on information available on diverse food pathways, in context of various ecological regions. This study was however, based on analyzing these pointers in the Stockholm region based in Sweden. The study made use of modern-day approach used in developing new and sustainable methods in the food industry, tagged along with scientific methods used in the process. For the purpose of data collected a survey method was opted for. This survey helped in collecting data from various and diverse set of regional sectors. The data was mainly aimed at obtaining information circling around identification of conflicts and limitations. At the same time, the study also has a target of identifying a well-developed vision to launch positive food culture in the common population. The vision pondered upon various aspects of change that modulated the results of the study. The study ended in the conclusion that the direction in which the change flows, is directed by the global goals of promoting a sustainable and healthy diet amongst the common masses. This can be attained by two main methods. The primary method can be increasing the overall strength and productivity of the diversity in crops. The secondary method can be done by improving and strengthening the landscape that helps in supporting and promoting resilience of regional food systems on a larger scale. The study highlighted upon the limitation of lack of knowledge between understanding the concept of potential trade-offs and improving the efficiency of the global as well as local resources. The approach was also not found to be that fruitful. There were certain economic and socio-cultural disparities, that hampered the limit of opportunities to the local and regional population. This is very crucial from the point of view of expanding local niche and enhancing interaction between producers and consumers. The study was also based on “The Seeds of God Anthropocene” scenario methodology and it was quite helpful in analysing the cross-sectional variance in the data. The study can be observed to be pertaining to the topic of discussion, as it helped in identifying the social as well ecological barriers, that might come in the way of developing a sound and sustainable food system for future implementation.

Turner conducted a study in 2018, analysing the idea of squandering Australia’s food security. The research study pondered upon the economic and environmental cost of unhealthy diet and the policies pertaining to the same. The study described the country of Australia as a major exporter of multiple food products. Reflecting upon Australian food system with the terminology of being “Food Secure”, researcher also highlights the fact as to how Australia can be observed as a potential importer for key nutrient food items. The study gave credit to its strong policies, when it comes to importing food products. The main negative highlight of the study reflected upon the dire situation that can rise from this given case scenario. If the habit and the pattern continue, Australia can land into high international debts, high dependence on many products from other nations and eventually leading to an overall decline in the Gross Domestic Product per capita. Some other factors were observed to be accelerating this detrimental effect, such as rise in green house emissions, increase in water depletion in many cities etc. all of these factors were observed to be a cumulatively a potential threat to Australia’s food security parameter. With current feeble and week policies in place the system functioning is further deteriorating. This has directed people towards unhealthy diet choices. The study also highlighted the danger of trajectory to be observed, if and when timely interventions are not implemented. The recommendations of the study pondered upon, developing strategies that were based on both economic as well as health cost for changing unhealthy dietary patterns. An innovative approach is required, based on a comprehensive analysis of all factors and thus, enabling a robust solution and policy pattern in place to promote sustainability. The article helps in covering the organizational component of the topic of choice and helps in giving a secondary point of view, to tackle the situation.

Smith carried out a study in 2018, pondering upon the challenges faced by the government in attaining resilient food systems in Australia. The study reflected upon the fact that, building resilient food systems can be deemed as the hour of need. This can be good for tackling with situations arising from natural disasters, depending upon, how adaptive the government can be. The paper is based on examining the actions taken by the government, at the time of extensive flood, which took place in 2011, in Queensland, Australia. Three main factors were taken into consideration. These actions included, responsibility, participation and collaboration, as a part of adaptive engagement shown from the government’s end. The main role was to ensure and maintain the supply of food and its availability throughout the time of crisis. Study highlighted on the lack of organizational structure in executing their duties to the fullest, even with sound policies and infrastructure in place, to manage the situation. In such scenario the responsibility was overtaken by the supermarket systems in place, to make sure every one had enough food supply. This also paved a way for a collaborative approach between the retailers and the governmental organizations. However, the non-super market organizations, on the other hand, failed to prove their participation in the process. The study recommended on taking inference from such incidence and working on the grey areas. This will be helpful in promoting food sustainability in case of any next disaster or alarming situation. The study doesn’t reflect upon the disruptive food system, but does ponders upon the methods by which food supply sustainability can be maintained for future implications. 

Redlingshofer in 2020 carried out a systemic review on the effectiveness of the waste hierarchies in reducing the overall impact of food waste. The systemic study was conducted for countries belonging to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forum. The study highlighted the key factor to enable sustainability in the food chain, can be done by the means of identifying, how to make use of food left uneaten. The OECD group of countries manage the same with the help of two main methods. One is European hierarchy and the second is 3R approach. This 3R approach includes three main terms, i.e. “reduce, reuse, recycle”. The study highlighted the limitation of the system. In spite of being a good method of evaluation, there is a lack of implementation of the same, when applied to food. Also, the current approach lacks the ability to assess the effectiveness of proper resource that can be used in reducing overall environmental impact. The systemic literature review helped in reflecting upon the short-comings. Firstly, it highlighted the direct impact of use of greenhouse emission on the environment. Secondly, the statistical data of the food wasted, in presented in an undermined manner and not reported correctly. Third, the decision for food waste management is determined by the characteristics of the food itself. Fourth and the most important factor is the underlying barriers that need to be prioritized for preventing food wastage. The study concluded that however, this strategy has been in place for long now, but it is not that effective when put to work. The study recommends on pondering upon these grey areas of concerns and helping in strengthening the policy system, to develop more robust working structure. The study helps in highlighting the environmental aspect of the topic, in relation with food wastage management.

Study conducted by Beitzen in 2017, shed light on the prospect of zero-packing grocery stores. This can be helpful in mitigating a positive reinforcement on the social and environmental factors of the food supply chain. The study showed that there is a lack amongst consumers regarding awareness of environmental and social externalization of supply food chain. The grocery stores can stop making use of disposable plastic packaging. This approach can be fruitful in moving towards a more sustainable options, considering both ecological and economical factors. The study data was collected on the basis of a semi-structured interview method. This was conducted through seven stores across Europe and across six food supply chains experts. The findings recommended on eth dire need of including more resource-efficient behaviour on the part of suppliers and consumers. This reduction in packaging can help in lowering food waste by drastic numbers. The study also highlighted on the fall in numbers of buys made, as the consumers were not comfortable without plastic shopping bags. The study suggested that a zero-packaging policy is required from the customer’s end to make this initiative a fruitful one. Study also highlighted that with the use of potential pathways, zero-packaging can be looked at as a potential and efficient solution to overcome the current limitations.

Porter in his study carried out in 2019, reflected on the historical background of intergovernmental panel on climate change, agriculture and food. The study was based on an invited review. The study highlighted on the limitation of presence of qualitative data, that has an impact on live stock as well as other food products. With the changes in the diet pattern, the crop yields are estimated to decline in the near future. Food security is the matter of the hour, that needs to be dealt from political, ecological as well as policy making point of view. The study highlighted two main concerns. First concern was agriculture and the other were food security. Due to inconsistent focus on these two pointers, there can be a problematic situation arising from the same. The study makes future recommendations for examining the interaction between themes such as crop resources. Also, an integrated model to be used, to make sure all production as well as non-production aspects of food security are taken into due consideration. This study can be helpful in analysing the current disruptive functioning of the current food dynamics from a holistic point of view.

References for Disruptive Food-System Technologies in Australia

Augustin, M. A., Sanguansri, L., Fox, E. M., Cobiac, L., & Cole, M. B. (2020). Recovery of wasted fruit and vegetables for improving sustainable diets. Trends in Food Science & Technology95, 75-85. DOI

Beitzen-Heineke, E. F., Balta-Ozkan, N., & Reefke, H. (2017). The prospects of zero-packaging grocery stores to improve the social and environmental impacts of the food supply chain. Journal of Cleaner Production140, 1528-1541. DOI

Candy, S., Turner, G., Larsen, K., Wingrove, K., Steenkamp, J., Friel, S., & Lawrence, M. (2019). Modelling the food availability and environmental impacts of a shift towards consumption of healthy dietary patterns in Australia. Sustainability11(24), 7124. DOI

Haylock, K., & Connelly, S. (2018). Examining the Insider/Outsider Dimensions of Local Food System Planning: Cases from Dunedin and Christchurch New Zealand. Planning Practice & Research33(5), 540-557. DOI

Lynch, A. J., & MacMillan, J. R. (2020). The role of fish in a globally changing food system. Agroclimatology: Linking Agriculture to Climate60, 579-593. DOI

Porter, J. R., Challinor, A. J., Henriksen, C. B., Howden, S. M., Martre, P., & Smith, P. (2019). Invited review: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture, and food—A case of shifting cultivation and history. Global Change Biology25(8), 2518-2529. DOI

Redlingshöfer, B., Barles, S., & Weisz, H. (2020). Are waste hierarchies effective in reducing environmental impacts from food waste? A systematic review for OECD countries. Resources, Conservation and Recycling156, 104-123. DOI

Sellberg, M. M., Norström, A. V., Peterson, G. D., & Gordon, L. J. (2020). Using local initiatives to envision sustainable and resilient food systems in the Stockholm city-region. Global Food Security24, 100-334. DOI

Smith, K., & Lawrence, G. (2018). From disaster management to adaptive governance? Governance challenges to achieving resilient food systems in Australia. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning20(3), 387-401. DOI

Turner, G. M., Larsen, K. A., Candy, S., Ogilvy, S., Ananthapavan, J., Moodie, M., ... & Lawrence, M. A. (2018). Squandering Australia’s food security—The environmental and economic costs of our unhealthy diet and the policy Path We’re On. Journal of Cleaner Production195, 1581-1599. DOI

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