The apps that can tell you if you’re buying sustainably

Image credit - Lars Plougmann, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

By Emily Waterfield What does sustainable shopping look like? From environmental impact to workers’ rights, the term can cover so many aspects that buying sustainably can be a daunting task. But a new app that helps people select supermarket products by ethical preferences and an online database that brings transparency to supply chains aim to … Read more

To reduce food waste, scientists are making labels that track produce as it spoils

This new label mimics the product's decline in freshness by forming a bumpy surface.

A new type of use-by label for milk bottles that decomposes as the liquid inside goes sour could appear on UK supermarket shelves later this year. Labels such as these, capable of telling consumers exactly when fresh produce has gone bad, are being developed by scientists who want to stop food from being prematurely discarded. … Read more

Food scraps to become dairy and meat substitutes

Image credit - Taz, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Finicky eating habits and wasteful processes have led to a system that discards millions of tonnes of food each year, but new approaches are salvaging the scraps we never see to make products that people will want to eat. Many people worry about how to feed the world’s population in 2050, when it is expected to reach 9.8 … Read more

Root architecture discoveries could help breed drought-resistant crops

A freesia's root architecture helps the plant store food to survive seasonal weather conditions.

We should breed new varieties of crops based on their root architecture rather than just focusing on the top half of the plant, according to scientists looking at how to cultivate plants that use water more efficiently and better withstand drought conditions. Yellow, parched fields were a common sight in Europe this summer. The severe … Read more

Chicken plastic and wine leather – giving waste new life

The production of this leather-like textile is considered to be zero impact as it is created from grape marc - a waste material from wine production.

A fashion collection made from the remains of grapes from the wine industry and plastic made from chicken feathers are two new twists on the practice of making new products from waste, and a growing demand for sustainability from consumers mean there could be a ready market for this type of innovation. Food waste isn’t just … Read more

Indoor farms could fine-tune the flavours of our food

In the future, produce could be grown directly in supermarkets or restaurants.

A new way to farm indoors using different wavelengths of light could boost the taste of fruits, salads and herbs, while also increasing food supply and nutritional value. Growing food inside brings many benefits to farmers by reducing the amount of land, fertilisers, energy and water needed to cultivate the plants. But it can come … Read more