“Natural does not always mean sustainable”
Knowledge

“Natural does not always mean sustainable”

We are reliant on optimized foodstuffs in order to supply the planet’s growing population with healthy, sustainably produced food. However, consumers often view these as “artificial”, and thus “unnatural” – and “natural” is the preferred choice. Of our everyday foods, however, very few are of “natural origin”. They have been optimized by humans over the course of time. But are supposedly “natural” products also healthier and more sustainable? Three presenters took an in-depth look at food optimization in this Swiss-Food Talk.

Nobel prize laureate Nüsslein-Volhard: “Genetic engineering offers major opportunities for environmental protection”
Media

Nobel prize laureate Nüsslein-Volhard: “Genetic engineering offers major opportunities for environmental protection”

Genetically modified plants are not cultivated in Europe, an approach criticized by Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard as anti-scientific and ideology-driven.

Organic products more frequently affected by recalls
Media

Organic products more frequently affected by recalls

Organic products have to be taken off retailers’ shelves at an above-average rate. The reason for this is toxins from plants harvested together with the organic produce or from molds. They can be controlled less well in organic agriculture than in conventional agriculture.

«Sustainability means more»

Hendrik Varnholt

Hendrik Varnholt

Journalist at Lebensmittel Zeitung

«One-third organic farming does not solve the problem»

Olaf Deininger

Olaf Deininger

Development Editor-in-Chief Agrar-Medien

«Most fears about pesticides are misplaced»

Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller

Columnist at Genetic Literacy Project and AGDaily

«Modern pesticides can help fight climate change»

Jon Parr

Jon Parr

President of Syngenta Crop Protection

«Who is afraid of the evil GMOs?»

Jürg Vollmer

Jürg Vollmer

Editor-in-Chief of «die grüne» magazine

Content in German

«What plant breeding brings us»

Achim Walter

Achim Walter

Professor of Crop Science, ETH Zurich

Content in German

«Research and work place needs impetus»

Jan Lucht

Jan Lucht

Head of Biotechnology at Scienceindustries

Content in German

«Agriculture plays a major role»

Jan Grenz

Jan Grenz

Lecturer in Sustainability, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL

«Sustainability means more»

Hendrik Varnholt

Hendrik Varnholt

Journalist at Lebensmittel Zeitung

«One-third organic farming does not solve the problem»

Olaf Deininger

Olaf Deininger

Development Editor-in-Chief Agrar-Medien

«Most fears about pesticides are misplaced»

Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller

Columnist at Genetic Literacy Project and AGDaily

«Modern pesticides can help fight climate change»

Jon Parr

Jon Parr

President of Syngenta Crop Protection

«Who is afraid of the evil GMOs?»

Jürg Vollmer

Jürg Vollmer

Editor-in-Chief of «die grüne» magazine

Content in German

«What plant breeding brings us»

Achim Walter

Achim Walter

Professor of Crop Science, ETH Zurich

Content in German

«Research and work place needs impetus»

Jan Lucht

Jan Lucht

Head of Biotechnology at Scienceindustries

Content in German

«Agriculture plays a major role»

Jan Grenz

Jan Grenz

Lecturer in Sustainability, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL

More opinion pieces

Myths & Facts

swiss-food stands for fact-based information. Important facts are explained here in an understandable way.

To the myths and facts

From the media

Philippines: Farmers Harvest the First Golden Rice
Media

Philippines: Farmers Harvest the First Golden Rice

The world’s first Golden Rice harvest recently took place in the Philippines. The rice is enriched with a beta carotene gene, which can be converted into vitamin A in the human body. The aim is to bring an end to the widespread vitamin A deficiencies in developing countries. But there has been and still is massive resistance to growing it.

Supply Reliability Increasing in Importance
Media

Supply Reliability Increasing in Importance

The Swiss are satisfied with the state of domestic agriculture. However, supply reliability has become more important. These are the findings of a representative survey that the Federal Office for Agriculture published with its Agricultural Report 2022.

40% drop in yields: Does this spell the end for turnip lanterns?
Media

40% drop in yields: Does this spell the end for turnip lanterns?

The traditional Räbeliechtli (turnip lantern) parades are taking place again in November. However, according to the “Aargauer Zeitung”, farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to produce the turnips. As key plant protection products are being taken off the market, the turnips are less and less well protected against pests and diseases.

Genome editing: United Kingdom on its way to the top
Media

Genome editing: United Kingdom on its way to the top

The British Parliament is planning to pass a law that will provide new legislation for new breeding technologies, such as genome editing. This new legislation will pave the way for Great Britain to become a leading figure in agri-food research.

More contributions from Media

Subscribe to newsletter

To the newsletter archive

Knowledge

“Natural does not always mean sustainable”
Knowledge

“Natural does not always mean sustainable”

We are reliant on optimized foodstuffs in order to supply the planet’s growing population with healthy, sustainably produced food. However, consumers often view these as “artificial”, and thus “unnatural” – and “natural” is the preferred choice. Of our everyday foods, however, very few are of “natural origin”. They have been optimized by humans over the course of time. But are supposedly “natural” products also healthier and more sustainable? Three presenters took an in-depth look at food optimization in this Swiss-Food Talk.

How a Swiss start-up protects its inventions
Knowledge

How a Swiss start-up protects its inventions

The topic of meat substitutes is on everyone's lips here in Switzerland, as in many countries. At the forefront of Swiss manufacturers in this field is the start-up Planted, whose success is partly due to its systematic protection of intellectual property.

Drought-tolerant wheat from Argentina
Knowledge

Drought-tolerant wheat from Argentina

Heat waves are posing a major challenge to cultivation around the world. Water shortages and droughts are resulting in heavy crop losses for the agricultural industry. Because droughts will be more frequent in the future, the search for plant varieties that consume less water is a top priority. One drought-tolerant wheat variety from Argentina is showing great potential.

How plant breeding innovations are helping to feed a hungry world
Knowledge

How plant breeding innovations are helping to feed a hungry world

As of 2019, nearly 26% of the globe’s population experienced hunger or did not have regular access to safe and nutritious food. With increasing global populations and a changing climate, this number is estimated to surpass 840 million by 2030.

More contributions from Knowledge
Using CRISPR/Cas9 to fight potato blight
Research

Using CRISPR/Cas9 to fight potato blight

The Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR/Cas method now makes it possible to breed resistant varieties and may reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture.

Read more

Finally, a golden age for golden rice
Knowledge

Finally, a golden age for golden rice

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide, as many as 500,000 children go blind every year due to a lack of vitamin A. Roughly half of them die within 12 months of losing their sight. This miserable situation could be greatly eased if the affected children had access to an inexpensive, everyday food containing an adequate amount of vitamin A.

Read more

Food trends: Innovative technologies are indispensable
Knowledge

Food trends: Innovative technologies are indispensable

Climate change and environmental problems will change our eating habits. The food of the future will have to be both good for us – and good for the planet.

Read more

Audio & Video

swiss-food has a large selection of exciting videos and podcasts on the topics of food, agriculture and research.

To the podcasts and videos

Research

Genetically modified plants contribute to the fight against global warming
Research

Genetically modified plants contribute to the fight against global warming

The large-scale cultivation of genetically modified crops would counteract global warming. American and German researchers come to this conclusion in a study.

Honey bees not on brink of extinction
Research

Honey bees not on brink of extinction

For about 15 years now, the story of alleged colony collapse disorder has persisted in the media, often attributed to pesticides and genetically modified plants. There is increasing evidence, however, that worldwide honey bee populations remain stable or are even growing.

Climate change: lower harvests starting as early as 2030?
Research

Climate change: lower harvests starting as early as 2030?

Climate change affects the quality and quantity of harvests. According to a recently published study, there is a risk of significantly lower maize harvests as early as the mid-2030s. Africa and South America are primarily affected. However, Europe must also be careful that agricultural production is not neglected.

Productive agriculture helps the climate and biodiversity
Research

Productive agriculture helps the climate and biodiversity

There is a common belief that organic farming is good for the climate and that it promotes biodiversity. However, this notion is increasingly be proven incorrect.

More contributions from Research

Blindspot

Blindspot articles are marked with a small spotlight and illuminate the «blind spots» in the agricultural policy debate.

To the Blindspot articles

Politics

Genome Editing: Standards are being relaxed all over the world
Politics

Genome Editing: Standards are being relaxed all over the world

Great Britain has already decided on its first steps, Switzerland has too: The handling of simple genome-edited plants is being made easier.

Questions about solidarity in agricultural production remain open
Politics

Questions about solidarity in agricultural production remain open

The war between Russia and Ukraine threatens the global food supply. Security of supply is also becoming an issue in Switzerland. In the spring session, parliamentarians from various parties wanted to know from the Federal Council how it intends to react to the changed global food supply situation. The Federal Council's replies do not yet reflect a fundamental reassessment of the situation.

Parliament decides on a change of course in green genetic engineering
Politics

Parliament decides on a change of course in green genetic engineering

According to the National Council, the Council of States has also spoken out in favor of a loosening of the Gene-Tech Moratorium. The Federal Assembly takes the arguments from the scientific community into account with the decision. The opportunities presented by new breeding technologies are greater than the risks. The Federal Council is now called upon to initiate the approval of new breeding methods.

Fighting against genome editing with yesterday’s weapons
Politics

Fighting against genome editing with yesterday’s weapons

The Council of States (upper house of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland) intends to allow genome editing provided that no foreign genetic material is inserted into new plant varieties through this method. The decision is causing consternation among genetic engineering skeptics. But you only have to look at their arguments to see that the opponents of genetic engineering are fighting with yesterday’s weapons.

More contributions from Politics

Subscribe to newsletter

To the newsletter archive