The origins of most food products such as bread, milk, meat, fruit, vegetables, sugar and so on are in agriculture. Farmers grow crops and raise animals to fulfil the demands of today’s food supply chain and production methods vary greatly from small organic farms to industrial agriculture.

Inevitably, farming has an important impact on the environment and ensuring a safe, sustainable supply of food for the world’s fast growing population is a major challenge for the future of agriculture.

Vertical Farming – what’s the deal anyway?

28 May 2018

First devised in 1915 by American geologist Gilbert Ellis Bailey, the initial concept of vertical farming was rather understood as a sort of rooftop farming. The definition evolved as vertical farming moved indoors, and while definitions vary, most agree that vertical farming refers to the growing of edible greens in stacked rows in a controlled environment.

Sustainable protein: Meeting future needs

30 June 2017

Substituting animal products with more sustainable protein sources (e.g. algae, insects, rapeseed, and legumes) are important for the future of food. So, what are our options?

Pesticides and health (Q&A)

01 November 2016

Pesticides are substances used to repel or destroy harmful organisms known as pests (e.g. insects, weeds, fungi or rodents) to prevent diseases, or protects plants or plant products during production, storage and transport...

Eating insects: cultural and individual experiences affect perception and acceptance

19 May 2015

Although insects are not traditionally eaten in Western countries, other regions around the world have long considered them acceptable on the menu. A recent paper published in the journal...

Use of water in food production

01 February 2015

Water is routinely used in food production as an ingredient, for cleaning, sanitation and manufacturing purposes. This article discusses the sources, treatments...

Climate change: Possible implications for food safety?

01 June 2014

There is a growing consensus that human activities may be changing our planet’s climate. These changes in climate have a number of possible implications for human health and welfare, one of which could be the safety of food.

Organic food and farming: Scientific facts and consumer perceptions

30 October 2013

Organic farming in the EU is a system of agriculture and food production that combines favourable environmental and animal welfare standards and is supported by EU law...

Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?

10 March 2012

Researchers at Stanford University, USA conducted a systematic review of published literature to determine if organically produced foods are safer or healthier than conventionally...

Systematic review finds no difference in nutritional value of organic vs. conventional foods

13 April 2010

Organically produced foodstuffs are not richer in vitamins and minerals than conventionally produced foodstuffs, conclude researchers in a systematic review...

From farm to fork: The farm, beginning the food chain

06 June 2006

Modern farming does its utmost to guarantee quality and safety in food production - thus addressing concerns that are uppermost in consumers' minds today.

Healthy plants equal healthy food

03 November 2003

Consumers may wonder, as they bite into a piece of fresh fruit or crunch on a vegetable, what extra “ingredients” they might be about to swallow. The latest report from the European Commission on pesticides and food should allay any concerns in the minds of those who appreciate the goodness in healthy, fresh produce. 

A sustainable future for cocoa

03 July 1999

Theobroma cacao means food of the gods. It is also the botanical name for the cocoa tree, a much-revered crop for thousands of years. Satisfying the world's growing appetite for chocolate is an interesting case study in the development of sustainable agriculture.