Reviews & Analysis

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  • Developing new modelling tools to support better design of climate change adaptation strategies offers an opportunity to harmonize crop production, climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability.

    • Bin Peng
    • Kaiyu Guan
    News & Views
  • Global redistribution of accumulated nutrients could enhance food security and counteract degradative Earth system processes. Such a redress of unequal nutrient use may be enabled by a ‘one Earth currency’ allowing accumulated rights to nutrients to be traded.

    • Helena Kahiluoto
    • Kate E. Pickett
    • Will Steffen
  • Sensitivity of US dairy production to extreme cold and heat has diminished over recent decades in large part due to improvements in management, breeding and technology. These adaptations have benefited milk yield by reducing the vulnerability of dairy production to cold and heat stress.

    • Matthew Tom Harrison
    News & Views
  • Adopting new models for sustainable and profitable agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa requires a comprehensive evaluation of fertilizer use in terms of agronomic performance, economic implications, the integration of crops and livestock, and policy recommendations.

    • André F. Van Rooyen
    • Henning Bjornlund
    • Jamie Pittock
    News & Views
  • Projected decreases in maize and soy yields due to global warming are compounded by changing co-variability between surface water fluxes and temperature. Precipitation and evapotranspiration need to be accounted for when adapting agriculture and agricultural practices for climate change.

    • Angeline G. Pendergrass
    News & Views
  • Corporate reporting tools should incorporate equity considerations if they are to cover the true costs of operating in the food system. Looking at natural, social and human capital costs, this study proposes integrated metrics to account for the impact of economic activities across socio-economic, gender, racial, generational and risk-bearing domains.

    • Steven Lord
    • John S. I. Ingram
  • Several frameworks aimed at making the effects of food production and consumption on society explicit have emerged recently. This Review identifies the main ones currently in use and compares them in terms of scope, functional unit, impacts and monetization types—with an outlook to their harmonization.

    • Reinier de Adelhart Toorop
    • Jenn Yates
    • Adrian de Groot Ruiz
    Review Article
  • The continued proliferation of certification schemes aimed at mitigating social and environmental problems in the food sector calls for constant stocktaking of their effects. This Review examines some of the most prominent sustainability standards to discuss the issues of causality, exclusion, compliance and monitoring, excess supply and emerging country markets—ultimately identifying directions for future research.

    • Eva-Marie Meemken
    • Christopher B. Barrett
    • Jorge Sellare
    Review Article
  • Labour exploitation in the agrifood sector must be addressed for sustainability. Data-driven methodologies can identify risk hotspots and facilitate development of mitigation strategies.

    • Stefan Gold
    • Gabriela Gutierrez-Huerter O
    • Alexander Trautrims
    News & Views
  • US–China trade relations have implications for global nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses, and increasing blue water demand. The case shows that trade policy analysis needs to integrate environmental considerations.

    • Minghao Li
    • Wendong Zhang
    News & Views
  • China’s potato policy, introduced to improve food security, shows that substituting staples with alternative crops, though rarely the focus of dietary advice for planetary health, can also reduce the environmental impacts of food.

    • Laura Scherer
    • Jing Huang
    News & Views
  • Natural biomass cycling and avoidance of biomass overharvest are the basis of a sustainable food system. This study proposes five guiding principles for biomass use based on the concepts of ecology and circularity, as well as leverage points for their implementation.

    • Abigail Muscat
    • Evelien M. de Olde
    • Imke J. M. de Boer
  • Bioinspired, biodegradable seed coatings delivering plant growth promoting bacteria, osmolytes, and carbon sources provide a new tool to grow crops under the abiotic stressors accompanying climate change and marginalized soils.

    • David W. Britt
    News & Views
  • Large-scale modelling underscores the need to reduce phosphorus fertilizer application in rich countries and increase it in poor regions. Yet, the realization of associated economic and environmental benefits will require complementary analyses locally.

    • Philip M. Haygarth
    • Mariana C. Rufino
    News & Views
  • Brexit may compromise diet-related health in the United Kingdom — but the risks could be mitigated with trade agreements, subsidy reform and nutrition policy.

    • Alan Matthews
    News & Views
  • Marginal areas of rice production have the potential to meet increasing oil palm demand in India, without sacrificing forests and associated biodiversity.

    • Giovanni Strona
    News & Views
  • Efficient use of light can improve crop yields and qualitative performance for controlled-environment agriculture. A spectral-shifting, unidirectional light-extracting photonic thin film has the potential to boost photosynthesis to improve greenhouse lettuce yield.

    • Giuseppina Pennisi
    • Francesco Orsini
    News & Views
  • A global analysis of consumer expenditure along the food supply chain indicates the importance of post-farmgate activities and how socioeconomic indicators may affect it.

    • Laurian J. Unnevehr
    News & Views