Nearly ubiquitous in products ranging from cookies to cosmetics, palm oil represents a bedeviling double-edged sword. Widespread cultivation of oil palm trees has been both an economic boon and an environmental disaster for tropical developing-world countries, contributing to large-scale habitat loss, among other impacts.
Twelve-year-old Lena is growing up poor and malnourished on Chicago’s West Side. She buys Blue Juice and Hot Chips from the corner store on her way to school. She and her classmates can afford the flavoured sugar water and salty starch, but this cheap “food” that fills up her stomach provides no nutritional value.
The recently launched Stanford Alumni in Food & Ag group aims to bring together Stanford graduates with a background or interest in food and agriculture issues. Tannis Thorlakson, one of the group’s creators, works as the environmental lead for Driscoll’s in the U.S. and Canada, and recently earned her Ph.D. from Stanford’s E-IPER program. She hopes the group will help alumni stay connected with cutting-edge research and stay up-to-date on news within the food and agriculture space.
Marshall Burke, assistnat professor of Earth system science and deptuy director at the Center on Food Security and the Enviroment shares his insights on how climate change is already impacting human behavior and what interventions are cost effective when it comes to combating the global change in climate.
These field notes constitute my seventh summer report from our Iowa farm. As readers of prior postings may remember, my wife and I own a medium-sized farm in east-central Iowa that produces corn, soybeans, and beef from a cow-calf herd.
When it comes to food security, health and poverty, the impacts of climate change already are evident. That’s the message FSE Fellows David Lobell and Marshall Burke delivered last week at Global Climate Action Summit events held by Stanford in San Francisco.
But new research is showing that climate change is expected to accelerate rates of crop loss due to the activity of another group of hungry creatures — insects. A paper published Aug. 31 in the journal Science reports that insect activity in today's temperate, crop-growing regions will rise along with temperatures. Researchers project that this activity, in turn, will boost worldwide losses of rice, corn and wheat by 10-25 percent for each degree Celsius that global mean surface temperatures rise.
More children die from the indirect impact of armed conflict in Africa than those killed in the crossfire and on the battlefields, according to a new study by Stanford researchers. The study is the first comprehensive analysis of the large and lingering effects of armed conflicts — civil wars, rebellions and interstate conflicts — on the health of noncombatants.
The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University is pleased to announce that former U.S. Ambassador and World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin will return for a second year at Stanford. We caught up with Cousin to ask about her plans for this upcoming school year.
Stanford researchers find warming temperatures could increase suicide rates across the U.S. and Mexico
Suicide rates are likely to rise as the earth warms, according to new research published July 23 in Nature Climate Change. The study, led by Stanford economist Marshall Burke, finds that projected temperature increases through 2050 could lead to an additional 21,000 suicides in the United States and Mexico.
David Lobell Named Gloria and Richard Kushel Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment
The rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that crops are becoming less nutritious, and that change could lead to higher rates of malnutrition that predispose people to various diseases.
In 2015, exposure to particulate matter in sub-Saharan Africa led to 400,000 otherwise preventable infant deaths, according to a new Stanford study. The research, published this week in Nature, finds that even modest improvements in air quality could lead to substantial reductions in infant mortality in developing countries.
Failing to meet climate mitigation goals laid out in the U.N. Paris Agreement could cost the global economy tens of trillions of dollars over the next century, according to new Stanford research. The study, published in Nature, is one of the first to quantify the economic benefits of limiting global warming to levels set in the accord.
Food security experts from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) gathered to discuss transforming food production in Africa at Stanford on Nov. 29. The symposium, hosted by the Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE) examined the challenges, strategies, and possible solutions for catalyzing and sustaining an inclusive agriculture transformation in Africa.
Food security experts from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) will gather at Stanford for meetings and a symposium on transforming food production on that continent. R.S.V.P by Nov. 28 for Symposium: Can Africa rise to the challenge of feeding itself in the 21st century? | Nov. 29
September means that it is time again for my annual Iowa farm report, the sixth edition in this series. As readers of prior postings will remember, my day job is Professor of International Agricultural Policy at Stanford University. However, my wife and I also own a 200-acre farm near Marion, Iowa, where we spend summers watching over corn, soybean, and alfalfa fields, and gazing out at a growing cow-calf herd.
Ertharin Cousin, Former US Ambassador and World Food Programme Director, Joins Stanford as Visiting Scholar
The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University is pleased to announce that former U.S. Ambassador and World Food Programme (WFP) Director Ertharin Cousin will serve as this year’s Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer and Visiting Fellow at the Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE).
Casey Maue, a PhD student in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources alogn with Woods Institute Senior Fellow, Erica Plambeck, spent time this spring examining the oil palm supply chain in Ghana. Casey is a 3rd year PhD student and is advised by FSE Director Roz Naylor and FSE Senior Fellow Marshall Burke. Casey's research focuses on the economic dimensions of agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the economic impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector.
Since the 1960s, India’s groundwater irrigation has increased dramatically, playing an important role in its economy and people’s lives — supporting livelihoods of over 26 crore farmers and agricultural labourers who grow over a third of India’s foodgrains. These benefits, however, have come at the cost of increased pressure on groundwater reserves.
An interview with authors of the “The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution” predicts the future of soy and palm oil booms by examining the past and present.