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AGRICULTURE

  • The challenge of how we ll feed the exploding world population in the future in a sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way  is seeding an agricultural revolution. Welcome to farming of the future : a hi-tech, capital-intensive system of growing food sustainably and cleanly for the masses.

  • Something over 82 million more people are alive this Christmas than have ever been alive before, as our world population moves inexorably towards the eight billion mark, due in now just over three years.

  • Serialised box tracking has been standard practice in the beef and poultry industries for a long time – and the entire food space may follow suit if serialised tracking becomes a mandatory requirement.

  • The concept of alkalinity is becoming more well-known today than ever before. As many people suffer inflammation that leads to disease, pain and a host of other health issues, we’re starting to realize it’s time we turn to our diets for an answer.

  • Feed businesses are scrambling to make the most of an as-yet untapped protein source for livestock: insects.

  • Ensuring healthy diets for an expected global population of nearly 10 billion people in 2050, while at the same time improving the world those people live in, will require sweeping changes to farming and how we produce food, according to a new report.

  • In 2020, you may be seeing a lot more macadamia nuts

  • India will eat more butter and drink more milk. Africa’s sweet tooth will grow bigger. But China’s appetite for pork is on the wane. Each of these trends will reshape global trade flows in agriculture, creating new winners—and forcing companies to adjust their food chains to serve shifting tastes.

  • The current global food system is not structured to cope with a rapidly growing population, climate shocks and the rise of both hunger and obesity. Under business-as-usual scenarios, an estimated 637 million people will still be undernourished, while health systems could face a bill of $1.2 trillion every year for treating medical conditions related to obesity.

  • Food constitutes a tangible and fundamental link to nature. How can we produce it sustainably?

  • SUMMER means more time spent outdoors having braais with friends. Add to that your usual business lunches, farewell parties, nights on the town, and the looming holiday season, and there will be more occasions that call for you to have a drink or two  or more. While a tot or two or three can lift your spirits, it can also drag your health down.

    Here's how to enjoy alcoholic beverages without ending up with a beer boep or suffering other adverse health effects:

    Be moderate

    Use alcohol in moderation. It is much better to have a drink or two every other day than to "save up" your drinks and have a binge session on a Friday night. Your liver can metabolise up to two units of alcohol a day, no more. If you have more than that in a 24-hour period, you will be putting your liver under severe strain (and probably end up with a horrible babbelaas too).

    Keep track of your kilojoules

    Diluted kilojoules still count. It's easy to consume extra kilojoules when you're having a few while watching the Springboks on TV. But before you open another beer, think about this: one 330ml bottle of beer contains 520kj. That is equal to one-and-a-half slices of white bread  if you drink a six-pack, you're essentially eating nine slices of bread. So if you are looking for that six-pack, you need to lose the six-pack. And don't think you can drink double because it's a "lite" version! Light beers contain only up to 30% less kilojoules, not 50% less as some may assume.

    Wine isn't innocent either. A large glass of wine contains 600kj  as much as two slices of white bread. And if you're trying to shake some extra weight, steer clear of paper umbrellas and fancy cocktails. A tall cocktail made with three tots of alcohol and fruit juice or a mixer can contain more than 1,000kj.

    If you have to have something with an umbrella in, why not opt for a mocktail? You'll save on the kilojoules the alcohol usually provides and, if you ask for your drink to be made with a sugar-free mix, you can satisfy your craving without the guilt.

    Eat before you drink

    And no, not a "big, greasy meal or a peanut butter and jam sandwhich to line your stomach". Eating something sensible before you go out will stabilise your blood sugar and keep you from eating too much junk later. Remember, alcohol stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions. This means that if you start boozing on an empty stomach you are less likely to say no to that double-decker man-sized burger with fries on the side as the night wears on.

    More quick tips

     Whenever possible, choose a single tot of alcohol with a sugar-free mix.

     If you're in the mood for beer, mix it with sugar-free lemonade to create a shandy.

     When drinking white wine, you can mix it with soda water to make a spritzer, or just keep adding ice to make the drink last longer.

     Red wine can be diluted to make a Catemba or spritzer using a sugar-free mixer or soda water, making two drinks instead of one. Alternatively, keep adding lots of ice to your glass instead of more wine.

     When drinking alcohol, compensate for the extra kilojoules by having little or no starch with your (next) meal.

    Don't chase. Yes, having shooters at the bar may be fun, but they are also going wreak havoc on your kilojoule consumption. Rather sip your drink slowly and pace yourself (one drink per hour or two is a good measure).

    How to hit that hangover

    Even when starting out with the best of intentions, you sometimes get swept up in the moment and end up having a few too many. And then you suffer the consequences: the dreaded babbelaas. When your mouth is as dry as a riverbed in the Namib and the world is spinning nonstop, you will probably be willing to try anything to cure the hangover. But before you go the Irish route and bury yourself up to your neck in sand, try these sensible tips:

     Resist any temptation to treat your hangover with more alcohol. It'll only make you feel worse.

     Drink lots of water as this will rehydrate your system. Some drinkers swear by sports drinks such as Energade.

     Stay away from coffee as it is a diuretic. Additionally, caffeinated beverages may make you think you're alert when you're really not.

     Take vitamins. Booze drains your body of vitamin C. So does smoking, for that matter  even passive smoking.

     Do a bit of exercise, like a brisk walk in fresh air.

     Eat properly. Opt for a healthy breakfast if you can face it as opposed to a full fry-up. If you are feeling nauseous, nibble on some dry toast or crackers with honey.

     Be patient. This too shall pass.

    And finally, cheers: remember that enjoying an occasional drink can be part of a healthy eating plan and lifestyle if it is done responsibly and mindfully. Whether sharing a bottle of wine with family during Sunday lunch, having an after-work drink with colleagues or simply relaxing with a book and a good Scottish whiskey, always take time to find delight in your drink

  • South Africa’s food prices increased at a relatively slower pace in January 2020 compared to December 2019. The data released this morning by Statistics South Africa shows that the country’s food price inflation was at 3.7% y/y in January 2020, while the previous month was 3.8% y/y.

  • Two hundred and twenty-seven million of the world's chronically hungry live in Africa. This translates to about 30% of this group.

  • Agriculture is undergoing a technology revolution supported by policy-makers around the world. While smart technologies will play an important role in achieving improved productivity and greater eco-efficiency, critics have suggested that consideration of the social impacts is being side-lined.

  • What do you need to live? What are the absolute essentials? As much as you might protest, you don’t need your iPhone, nor super-fast fibre-optic broadband, even if the flickering of router lights sends you into a frenzied withdrawal. You can drop the sneaky Friday night beer or the Monday morning coffee. Put simply; the niceties are not necessary.

  • The outbreak of Covid-19 will change the way we live our lives, without exception.

  • The data released this morning by Statistics South Africa shows that the country’s food price inflation accelerated to 4.2% y/y in February 2020, from 3.7% y/y in the previous month.

  • South Africans should not be concerned about the availability of food during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This assurance has been given by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), a Pretoria/Tshwane-based nonprofit organisation (created in 2004 to carry out scientifically rigorous and unbiased research relevant to the agricultural sector).

  • The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that Covid-19's negative impacts will lead to a worldwide food crisis unless measures are taken fast to mitigate the pandemic's effects across the food system.

  • As the world keeps on dealing with the COVID-19 situation, the UN has come out with a warning that the measures taken against the virus could cause global food shortages. More locally, in the US, apple retail sales get a boost and British officials ask their  citizens to help pick fruit and vegetables.

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