// Latest Posts

Understanding oil crop sustainability: An interview with Dr Thomas Alcock

Dr Thomas Alcock is a postdoctoral researcher with the Future Food Beacon, researching oil crops and sustainability. Prior to this role, he held a Future Food Doctoral award, in which he worked on identifying the genetic basis of magnesium uptake in Brassica crops, with the hope of developing more nutritious vegetables. Here, he shares with …

The Perfect Storm: Environmentally and Socially Unsustainable Seafood Supply Chains

This post is written by Lee Matthews, Lucy McCarthy and Anne Touboulic. Seafood supply chains sustain three billion people nutritionally and also provide 10% of the world’s population with employment, the vast majority of whom are small-scale fisher-people. Seafood provides access to safe protein for many of the world’s most economically marginalised people but these …

Mini-Traction Machine (MTM-2): Tribometer / Soft Contact Tribometer

We spoke to Dr Gleb Yakubov about the mini-traction machine (MTM-2): tribometer used in Food Science for experiments and research. Tell us about your research? What kind of things are you exploring? In my group, we are interested in linking molecular and structural features of polysaccharides (polymeric sugars) with their functionality in foods, plants, and …

Elizabeth David on food and belonging: Keeping house during a lockdown

This post is written by Dr Richard Vytniorgu, Impact Research Fellow in the School of Cultures, Languages, and Area Studies. The Challenge of Covid-19 For those of us who can, working from home has become the new normal, squeezing our entire lives into the four walls we call home. Inviting friends and family over for socialising …

Genomic sequencing and Covid-19

Deep Seq, the University of Nottingham’s state of the art high-throughput genomics facility, is currently part of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, mapping the spread of coronavirus. We spoke to Prof Matt Loose and Dr Christopher Moore, about the work, the equipment they use, and how they are adjusting to this new challenge. Tell us …

Global trading: the good, the bad and the essential

This post is written by Lucy McCarthy (QUB), Anne Touboulic (University of Nottingham), and Lee Matthews (University of Nottingham). In our last post, we began our journey considering food supply chains in times of pandemic and we touched upon their history. Here, we further consider some of the flaws in our globalised food systems and …

UK Plant Health Week: A conversation with a plant pathologist

2020 is the International Year of Plant Health and April 20-27 is UK Plant Health Week. We spoke to Dr Rumiana Ray, a Crop Pathologist, about the importance of plant health, and what you can do to support keeping plants healthy.   You are a specialist in crop pathology, what does that mean? Plant pathologists …

Global food supply chains in times of pandemic

This post is written by Anne Touboulic, Lee Matthews, and Lucy McCarthy The public health crisis unfolding before us is unprecedented, unimaginable and catastrophic. It will profoundly impact our values and lifestyles as it exposes the implications of national austerity measures on public services and the precariousness of our globalised production and consumption systems. Food supply chains …

Coronavirus and the food system: a reading list

Gardening and growing Growing and gardening while in isolation, by Mark Diacono (Facebook/Telegraph) Land available for allotment use has declined 65% since the 1960s (Institute for Sustainable Food, Sheffield)   Food supply chains The UK’s food supply and a call for rational rationing, by Prof Tim Lang (The Conversation) Interview with Tim Lang, by Jay …

Plants for future food security: the case of Bambara groundnut

Future Food Beacon researchers in Malaysia and UK are working with partners in Africa and Asia to help secure the future of our food supply. They are doing this by exploring the wider use of crop diversity to fill food production and nutrient gaps, making a diverse range of food crops available and accessible to …