Changing Climate, Changing Food
In the Changing Climate, Changing Food podcast the changes that people are making to their diets is looked at from the perspective of Scottish agriculture. The series will look at where emissions come from on farms, how farmers have reacted to the increased scrutiny in the media, the role farms can play in mitigation and how food policy and food systems play an important role in achieving net zero. These topics and more are explored through discussions with farmers, researchers, consumers and industry professionals.
What's the beef?
In the first episode of the series ‘Whats the Beef?’ environment consultant Séamus Murphy speaks to Beef specialist Robert Ramsay. Beef has one of the highest carbon footprints of all meat products and has received the most scrutiny in the media because of this. In this discussion, the environmental impacts of beef production are examined as well as the increased scrutiny farming is receiving due to it climate change impact. The difference between beef production in Scotland as opposed to other parts of the world is looked at and what the future might hold for beef.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Not Just a load of hot air!
In this episode SRUC researcher Dr. Alasdair Sykes talks to Séamus Murphy about where emissions come from in a farming system and tackles some of the confusion surrounding methane and soil carbon. Later in the episode environment consultant Iain Boyd talks about some of the impacts climate change will have on farmers ability to produce food in Scotland and how society and farmers are responding to the climate change threat, As well as the impacts COVID 19 might have on our response.
Knowing where our food comes from is something that has become more and more difficult through the years. The disconnect between where we buy our food and the farms that produce it has led to a gradual decline in understanding the links between the farm and the food on our plates. In this episode Chef Neil Forbes from Edinburgh's Cafe St Honoré and Sascha Grierson of Grierson Organics discuss the benefits and value of supporting local producers. The conversation touches on topics such as food waste, organic farming and food education.
Reducing our Carbon Footprint
In this weeks episode the discussion moves towards mitigation, what can be done to reduce the carbon footprint of our food and farms in Scotland. Researcher Alasdair Sykes talks about the science behind mitigation and Professor Davy McCracken of SRUC's Hill and Mountain Research Centre speaks about how the science can be practically applied to help us reach our net zero targets.
As our knowledge of climate change grows so too does our awareness of the impacts our food has on the environment. This has led some people to completely cut meat products from their diets, but for the majority of people meat and dairy will still have a place on their plates. In this episode Environmental consultant Séamus Murphy speaks to Ayrshire dairy farmer Bryce Cunningham about his story at Mossgiel Farm and how he has tried to make his business and milk as environmentally friendly as possible.
Paying For Change
The history of financial support for farming and food production is based around the need for countries and governments to produce food to feed their populations. In the last few decades the growing environmental challenges have climbed the ladder to sit alongside food security as a major driver for the worlds policy makers. In Scotland the support farmers receive is going to change, as it looks more and more likely payments will be made off the back of environmental good practice, enhancing biodiversity and reducing the carbon footprint. In this episode Professor Davy McCracken discusses the history and future of policy surrounding agricultural support and NFUS climate change policy manager Ruth Taylor speaks about climate change and the impacts of Brexit, COVID and the green recovery on agriculture.
Seeds of Change
In this weeks episode Séamus Murphy speaks to conservationist and agricultural consultant Mary-Jane Lawrie about the impact climate change is and will continue to have on Scottish farms and biodiversity, with a focus on arable. The discussion also touches on the impact our food choices have on the environment and the effect of Brexit and new trade agreements changing what is on offer in the supermarket.
Sustainable Food Systems
The complexities of agricultures contribution to climate change will require a major shift in farming to ensure we can reach net zero. These are challenges that farmers will need to tackle in the very near future, although there are also questions to be asked of the food system in which farmers are a crucial cog. The creation of a sustainable food system locally and globally could help solve some of the big environmental and social questions that climate change, COVID 19 and Brexit have thrown up. In this episode Environment consultant Séamus Murphy speaks to Pete Ritchie of Nourish Scotland about what a sustainable food system would look like and how change is already on the way.
A locavore is a person who predominantly eats food that is grown in their local area. For the vast majority of human existence this was not something that required a name, it was the status quo. People didn't have the access to wide array of global food available at our supermarkets today. However, the consumers urge to understand and know more about where their food comes from is increasing with the rising awareness and urgency surrounding climate change. In this episode Séamus Murphy speaks to Reuben Chesters the founder of Locavore a social enterprise supermarket in Glasgow. Reuben talks about what drove him towards founding locavore, the importance of a local food system and the different reasons consumers are now seeking out the more sustainable options.
The road to net zero: Part 1
Governments, companies, farmers and individuals have already started to make changes to tackle climate change and help Scotland achieve net zero by 2045. The very nature of the challenge requires a long term plan spanning generations. Those entering the industry today will already be comfortable with the idea of climate change, carbon footprinting and net zero and these will become more important in food and agriculture in Scotland as we move towards net zero.
In this episode Séamus Murphy speaks Georgia Forsyth Sijpestijn an environmental graduate who recently completed an MSc in Agroecology and Organic farming. Georgia was a member of the 2050 climate group a charity seeking to empower Scotlands young professionals to become climate leaders. The conversation looks at where we are with the environmental impacts of what we eat and Scottish agriculture while also looking to what the future might hold.
The road to net zero: Part 2
Attempting to reduce the impacts of climate change is a huge challenge that will require buy in from all areas of society. Climate change is an inter-generational issue and needs long term planning to solve, those people that are leading projects to reduce emissions now will likely not be still leading those projects in 2045, Scotlands target for net zero. It is those that are beginning their careers today that will be the people that will see Scotland achieve net zero.
In this final episode Séamus Murphy speaks to Farmer Ben McClymont, Ben is a trainee farm manager on an arable farm outside Edinburgh and was brought up on a dairy farm in the south west. Ben is also involved in the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs Agri and Rural affairs committee. The discussion focuses on the current state and what the future holds for agriculture in Scotland.