Sustainability Issue #1 February 2012

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The forest kingdom and the culinary nation

Photo: Jeppe Gustafsson / SCANPIX

Presentation of the theme of Sustainability No 1/2012

The forest kingdom and the culinary nation

By Birgitta Bruzelius

The Swedish countryside comprises many dormant resources which, properly used, should be able to create new jobs outside the towns and increase welfare in society. The Minister for Rural Affairs has placed a special focus on the forest and food with his campaigns Sweden the Forest Kingdom and Sweden the Culinary Nation. The sustainable forest industry, innovation, improvement, sensory experiences and recreation are all important ingredients. In this issue, Sustainability presents some of the research in this area.

Sweden the culinary nation is one of the government’s visions to make Sweden the new culinary nation in Europe. In order for this to be successful, one of the steps is to secure the quality of the raw materials. Quality can be measured in many ways. In meat production, the welfare of the animals is one of the criteria.

Landowners, investors, regional planners and citizens have conflicting interests with regard to forest land. The forest may be overexploited where it is readily accessible. This may result in threatened biotopes, polluted drinking water and more expensive forest renewal. The goal of an international research project is to develop a platform for balancing the different demands. The intention is to increase the availability of timber without jeopardising the availability of ecosystem services.

Current fish research has a broader compass than merely measuring growth. Stress tolerance and risk taking behaviour in Arctic charr are now being studied. The results may decide which of the fish can contribute with their offspring to future fish farming. Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world. Almost every other fish that is eaten is farmed. There is now a researcher supported campaign for Swedish aquaculture. Life in the wild is difficult for farmed smolts. Around thirty reserchers, doctoral students and growers from different countries are trying to find remedies for this. The current question is: Can lowered rearing density and less fat in the feed enhance the survival of the fish in the wild?

The day a human runs a marathon, she or he uses up huge amounts of energy.  Every day, a modern dairy cow uses up the same energy as a marathon runner. Therefore she needs both to eat and sleep. The question is how much. Soon, organic pigs must eat feed that is completely organic in order that they may be called organic pigs. Forage and mussel meal are feed raw materials of good potential for greater use in the feed for pigs.

Production and consumption of food account for a considerable proportion of our total environmental impact and resource use, while at the same time food is indispensable for everybody. The large amount of knowledge that is available concerning the components of selected food chains is now being synthesised. The goal is to draw up scenarios for conceivable and more sustainable future chains.

Producers in the Swedish horticultural industry turn over more than BSEK 5.5. There is therefore increasing interest in horticulture – the science of growing, processing and marketing fruit, berries, vegetables, herbs and other plants. Current horticultural research deals, inter alia, with the way both grey mould and powdery mildew can be biologically controlled.

The products and services of the countryside have increased. This applies to both supply and demand, in contrast to popular conceptions to the contrary. What are the consequences of this for the rural labour market, local employment and entrepreneurship? This is one of several questions that are now posed in a new research project. The countryside produces products based on natural resources, such as food, electricity, paper and other things that are largely consumed in the towns. Services for the urban population are now in increasing demand. Can partnerships be the solution to the dilemma concerning the way natural resources are used and conserved?

Author :

Birgitta Bruzelius

Journal links

Sustainability February 2012

Focus presentation

The forest kingdom and the culinary nation The Swedish countryside comprises many dormant resources which, properly used, should be able to create new jobs outside the towns and increase welfare in society. T...

Focus articles

Sweden, the culinary nation Sweden, the culinary nation – this is one of the government’s visions, to make Sweden the new culinary nation in Europe. To be successful in this, one of the steps ... Stress tolerant and bold Current fish research is engaged on more than just measuring growth. Studies will now be made on stress tolerance and risk-taking behaviour among Arctic charr. The r... More milk with the right amount of sleep On the day a human runs a marathon, she or he uses up unbelievable amounts of energy. A modern dairy cow uses up the same energy every day. Therefore she needs to bo... Scenarios for the food cycle Production and consumption of food account for a considerable proportion of our total environmental impact and resource consumption, and at the same time food is abs... Forage and mussels for organic pigs How can the nutritional needs of pigs be satisfied by increased use of local and unutilised feed resources? What advantages does forage have on the behaviour and wel... Horticultural network at Alnarp The producers in the Swedish horticultural industry turn over more than BSEK 5.5. There is therefore increasing interest in horticulture – the science of how to grow... Mobilisation in the countryside The products and services of the countryside have increased. This applies to both supply and demand, in contrast to popular conceptions regarding the opposite. What ... Rural development for whom? Town and country – hand in hand. This is what a common political slogan says. There is certainly a mutual dependence between town and country in the meaning that the... Balancing interests in European forests Landowners, investors, regional planners and citizens may have conflicting interests as regards land use. The goal of an international research project is to develop... Life in the wild is hard for reared smolts Development of more effective and ecologically sustainable methods for hatchery rearing of salmon and brown trout. This is the task of the project SMOLTPRO in which ... Concerted action for Swedish aquaculture Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world. Almost every other fish that we eat is farmed. The Swedish aquaculture industry is however of modest pro...

The Interview

Develop a bio-based economy A bio-based economy is at the top of the wish list when the Royal Academy of Forestry and Agriculture KSLA presents its observations regarding the upcoming research...

More articles

MSEK 200 for strong research teams Attractive living conditions in a cold environment. New and improved methods of measurement to find viruses and bacteria in animals and humans. What effects do chemi... Welfare in the office Architect Christina Bodin Danielsson works at the firm Brunnberg&Forshed as a specialist on office environments. She has just received a “mobility grant” from Formas... Sludge from the paper industry binds mining waste Björn Öhlander is Professor of Applied Geology at Luleå Technical University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He and his research team applied for... The ability to lead an independent life An elderly person may become a prisoner in his or her own home. Not least because of the fear of falling. This is known by everybody who has – or has had – an old re... Diesel and ozone in the blood Diesel exhausts and ozone interact, and together they give rise to a stronger effect in the airways than on their own. Particulates in diesel exhausts give rise to h... Environmental toxicants linked with atheroscleriosis Environmental toxicants such as dioxins, PCB and herbicides may pose a risk of cardiovascular disease. For the first time, it has been possible to demonstrate a link... The nature quality of ancient forests is disappearing Every tenth Swedish forest species is red listed. An increasingly intensive forest management is carried on at the expense of these species, shows a new study at Swe... Bisphenol A can affect the newborn The environmental toxicant Bisphenol A can affect the infant brain. Infant mice exposed to Bisphenol A undergo changes in spontaneous behaviour and adapt less well t...

In brief

More than MSEK 420 for 112 new projects What harmful effects do nanomaterials, which are used in the construction industry and other applications, have on human health? How are rural areas to be developed,... Sweden uses the smallest quantity of antibiotics for animals Of seven EU member countries, it is Sweden that has the lowest antibiotic consumption in the livestock husbandry. Swedish sales are about three times lower than in D... Crustaceans can make silk Both caterpillars and spiders can make silk. This is a thin, strong and sticky string of protein which, in the case of the silkworm, can be used to make cloth. But r... Diatoms and copepods interact The diatom Skeletonema marinoi often dominates the algal blooms in the Baltic Sea. In spite of the toxins it produces, the alga, in a natural food environment toget... Twenty per cent more organic pigs The number of pigs which were allowed to graze outside increased by 20 per cent in 2011. This is the largest increase ever. The housing shortage of birds is unsolved Power transmission route corridors cannot replace the natural environments of farmland birds, shows a new investigation from Biodiversity Centre at Uppsala Universi... This is where the great crested newt thrives Like many other amphibians, the great crested newt has become less common during the past few decades. A thesis from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU...

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