Insights | Sumfood

  • Chocolate

    Posted on Apr 14, 2019

    As we hurtle towards another seasonal celebration that requires the consumption of copious amounts of chocolate (also known as Easter), we thought it would be good to take a look at what goes into the candy/confection that we take for granted.

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  • Big data

    Posted on Apr 08, 2019

    Go to any conference on any topic and at some point, the phrase “big data” will show up. Turn on your TV and witness the latest paranoid presenter claiming that life, as-we-know-it, will end because of the proliferation of big data. So, what is ‘big data’, how ‘big’ does data have to be to be called big, and is this just a subjective term created to confuse?

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  • The GMA conference: our insights

    Posted on Apr 04, 2019

    The annual Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) conference always seems to be in the last week of March and coincides with cherry blossom fervour in Washington DC. This year’s event had headlined a few of the ‘big ticket’ issues impacting the industry, but had also taken a wider scope to encompass ‘all of the aisles in the supermarket’

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  • Cultural combos

    Posted on Apr 01, 2019

    It sometimes feels like there is no accounting for taste. What one person might relish in the way of food combos, another may abhor and, while it is easy to explain some of this as personal preference, there are patterns of flavour combinations that appear to be geographically or culturally determined. We peel back the banana skin and investigate why someone may wish to pair banana with mayonnaise.

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  • Ice, ice baby

    Posted on Mar 29, 2019

    Ice is dangerous stuff – it can cause your feet to whip out from under you and leave you humiliated on your rear-end; it can cause your vehicle to skid, and it can prevent planes from flying. It can also give you food-poisoning.

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  • Preventing food loss

    Posted on Mar 25, 2019

    While the amount of food lost at different parts of the supply chain differs according to the level of development of the country (specifically the available resources to mitigate crop losses), there are some common elements. Furthermore, what is becoming extremely clear is that climate change will exacerbate some of the threats to production. In this post, we look specifically at threats to fruit and vegetable production.

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  • Comfort food

    Posted on Mar 21, 2019

    On the 15th of March 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand, the unthinkable happened: a gunman walked into two Mosques and murdered 50 peaceful worshippers and injured a further 50. The pain that one ‘individual’ inflicted across a nation and, more specifically and deeply, to the friends and families of those victims, is palpable. This blog is not the place for discussion of the events of 15 March but, as we reel from the horror of what has happened and feel helpless through our inability to ‘turn back time’ or relieve the suffering of so many, we turn to what we know in an attempt to find some level of solace. This blog is dedicated to a few stories of kindness (and food) in the hope that it may offer some support at a very dark time.

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  • Do we need to grow more or lose less?

    Posted on Mar 13, 2019

    In the blog post ‘the Tipping Point’ we wrote about transitions – from plentiful plastic bags in supermarkets to none, from murmurings about climate change to the shouts of young people, and from our ‘traditional’ sources of proteins to novel plant-based ones. In a similar vein; we are interested in when there will be a ‘tipping point’, or global, robust conversation about the amount of food the world wastes: specifically, the amount of food that is lost before it even gets to the consumer.

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  • Just because you can doesn't mean that you should

    Posted on Mar 10, 2019

    As a child, I remember being told that just because you could do something, doesn’t mean that you should do it – and sometimes dietary choices fall under this logic. A New Zealand newspaper reported this week about those ‘perennial favourites’: chocolate covered tarantulas. Perhaps not the best gift for the mother-in-law this Mothers’ Day.

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  • Will science save us (part 3 - the rise of the citizen scientist

    Posted on Mar 07, 2019

    In previous writings, we have looked at science and how science is being used to support stronger food systems. To be fair, our findings are somewhat inconclusive, largely due to the lack of consistency across geographical regions and this is predominantly driven by political and trade agendas.

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