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Case study of crop pollination – Courgettes

Dr Jessica Knapp talks to us about the pollination of courgettes. Plants in the Cucurbitaceae family provide a good example of crops benefiting from insect pollination. This diverse plant family …

Pollination Biology

Dr Juliet Osborne discusses the mechanics behind how insects pollinate the plants which produce our food. For the agricultural industry, insects can be pretty serious pests of crops: eating and …

What is soil and why are we losing it?

A soil layer covers most of the land on the planet but the thickness of this layer is very variable. This soil layer would represent the ‘skin’ of the planet …

Coffee; from bean to cup

Is it possible that the age of ‘enlightenment’ began with the opening of coffee houses?! Some historians believe it’s no coincidence that productivity in industry began to rise as coffee …

The Palm oil paradox

Dan Ryan, a curator at the Eden Project, Cornwall explains the key issues surrounding the production of Palm oil. Palm oil is one of the world’s most successful foods and …

Gone Bananas?

In this section we use the growth and consumption of bananas to highlight how our demand for a single crop has led to intensive land use, monoculture and pollution. The …

Intensifying agriculture

We have been using land for agriculture for around 8,000 years, starting in southwest Asia, China and India and later developing in Europe. As wild food crops were domesticated, land …

The environmental impacts of food production

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), food consumption accounts for 28% of the world’s ecological footprint. The environmental impact of feeding our population is therefore substantial, is potentially long-lasting …

Markets and Food Equity

The benefits of a commodity that is supplied globally are obvious to many but it is important to point out that not everyone can access these. Food Equity reflects on …