Ancient plant foods discovered in Arnhem Land

Australia’s first plant foods – eaten by early populations 65,000 years ago – have been discovered in Arnhem Land. Preserved as pieces of charcoal, the morsels were recovered from the debris of ancient cooking hearths at the Madjedbebe archaeological site, on Mirarr country in northern Australia. University of Queensland archaeobotanist Anna Florin said a team … Read more

Ancient gut microbiomes shed light on human evolution

The microbiome of our ancestors might have been more important for human evolution than previously thought, according to a new study published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. An adaptive gut microbiome could have been critical for human dispersal, allowing our ancestors to survive in new geographic areas. “In this paper, we begin to consider what … Read more

How plants in the cabbage family look inward when sulfur is scarce

New research from Kyushu University in Japan provides a better understanding of how chemicals thought to impart unique health benefits to plants in the cabbage family are broken down to promote growth in conditions lacking sufficient sulfur and could aid in the future development of broccoli and cabbage that are even healthier for you. Researchers … Read more

Findings on education, malnutrition ‘deeply disturbing’ with United Nations’ goals 10 years away

Despite progress toward global education targets, a new study reveals that 1 in 10 women ages 20-24 in low- and middle-income countries had zero years of schooling in 2017, and 1 in 6 had not completed primary school. For the first time, researchers have mapped years of education and child malnutrition across all low- and … Read more

Simple steps to avoid food poisoning this Christmas

Summer is a ‘danger period’ for food poisoning in Australia, but there are simple steps we can take to reduce the risk, say researchers at The Australian National University (ANU). Hot weather promotes the growth of foodborne bacteria, so it’s important to avoid leaving food out in the heat for extended periods, particularly meat. Dr … Read more

Integrated scenarios to support analysis of the food–energy–water nexus

There is strong interdependency between the use of food, energy and water resources and it is closely linked to environmental challenges, such as climate change and loss of biodiversity. These linkages are expected to become even more important with an increasing demand for these resources. In a new set of scenarios and visualisations, these relationships … Read more

Climate change and the threat to global breadbaskets

Extreme climatic conditions could lead to an increased risk of unusually low agricultural harvests if more than one global breadbasket is affected by adverse climate conditions at the same time. The findings of a new IIASA study show that these breadbaskets, the geographical areas responsible for growing much of the world’s food, are at risk … Read more

UBC ditching single-use coffee cups and plastic food ware

UBC Vancouver is ditching single-use coffee cups and plastic food ware, and encouraging students, faculty and staff to choose reusable options such as their own mugs, water bottles and cutlery instead. The move is part of UBC’s Zero Waste Food Ware Strategy—adopted in June 2019—aimed at keeping as many single-use coffee cups, plastic straws, bags … Read more

Industrial bread dough kneaders could use physics-based redesign

Bakers have been crafting bread for more than 6,000 years with four simple ingredients: flour, salt, water and yeast. Apart from using high-quality ingredients, the kneading process and amount of time the dough is given to rise ultimately determine the bread’s quality. During kneading, air is incorporated into the dough matrix, which develops the gluten … Read more

Harvesting fog can provide fresh water in desert regions

Fog harvesting is a potential practical source of fresh water in foggy coastal deserts, and current solutions rely on meter scale nets/meshes. The mesh geometry, however, presents a physiologically inappropriate shape for millimeter scale bulk bodies, like insects. Fan Kiat Chan, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offers biomimetic fog-gathering technologies based on Namib … Read more