Exploring global diets

by Luigi Guarino on April 25, 2017

You may remember the paper Increasing homogeneity in global food supplies and the implications for food security, which we blogged about a couple of times when it first came out in 2014. National Geographic did a pretty good job of visualizing some of the data online, but CIAT have blown them out of the water now with a fabulous interactive website.

You can listen to Colin Khoury, the brains behind the whole thing, on Jeremy’s latest Eat This Podcast. And you can read about the most surprising results on CIAT’s blog. Spoiler alert:

1. Almost everybody eats a lot more food than their grandparents did. And it’s more diverse.
2. African, Asian, and small island countries have the world’s most diverse food supplies. Also the least.
3. Crop immigrants are the key to dietary diversity.
4. The world’s average diet means eating like people do in Cape Verde, Colombia, and Peru.
5. Political unrest can lead to greater diversity in people’s diets, or less.

There’s also a companion piece by Colin on the Global Plant Council website. And this is what Colin says on his Facebook page:

We built a big data website! When we published our findings of increasing homogeneity in global food supplies, we hadn’t yet found a good way to make the underlying national-level data readily visible to interested readers. This is why I’m tremendously excited to announce the publication of our new Changing Global Diet website, which provides interactive visuals for 152 countries over 50 years of change. We that hope you will enjoy your own investigations of dietary change over time. Perhaps you can tell us where you think the changing global diet is headed.

If you do play around with the website, you can share any interesting stuff you find using the hashtag #changingglobaldiet on Twitter. Me, I’m going to have a bandeja paisa and feel like a proud citizen of nowhere.

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Wanna be a bean counter?

by Luigi Guarino on April 24, 2017

Another genebank looking for a manager. This one at CIAT, which has really Big Plans for its beans, cassava and forages. Really big.

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Mapping wheat diversity in Turkey

12 April 2017

No sooner did I blog about a paper which mapped diversity in a crop in Mexico across time, that I came across one mapping diversity in another crop in Turkey.1 The authors — a truly international bunch from the Bahri Dagdas International Agricultural Research Institute, the Vavilov Institute, CIMMYT, ICARDA, FAO, and UC Davis — […]

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Animate the apocalypse

10 April 2017

You know that paper entitled Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being, that we included in Brainfood a couple of weeks back?. The money quote was: “The indirect effects of climate change on food webs are also expected to compound the direct effects on crops.” Ok, well, you don’t have to […]

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Brainfood: Slow Food, Runner bean diversity, Bamboo diversity, Istrian grapes, Smelly cheeses, Wild pseudocereals, Diversity & phenology, VAM diversity, Oases apocalypse, Wild wheat physiology, PepperHub, Bactrian camel diversity, Swiss livestock, CWR conservation, Tree database

10 April 2017

Developing radically-new meanings through the collaboration with radical circles: Slow Food as a platform for envisioning innovative meanings. Companies should collaborate with radicals. Presumably in order to turn them. #resist Unraveling agronomic and genetic aspects of runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus L.). At least we know what we don’t know. Total leaf crude protein, amino acid […]

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Faux wild rice in peril

8 April 2017

I’m not saying it’s the most important thing about it, but that oil pipeline that is planned for Minnesota will go straight through lakes which are sacred to the local Native American peoples, and which generate about 50% of the world’s annual harvest of handpicked wild rice (which is Zizania, not Oryza, but still).

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Seeing the wood and the trees

7 April 2017

The day after the Global Tree Assessment is published by BGCI, which revealed there are about 60,000 tree species in the world, is also a good time to link again to the wonderful European Atlas of Forest Tree Species. Now all we need is the same thing for Brazil, which has about 9,000 of those […]

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Are you a new or a traditional conservationist?

6 April 2017

Although discussions about the aims and methods of conservation probably date back as far as conservation itself, the ‘new conservation’ debate as such was sparked by Kareiva and Marvier’s 2012 article entitled What is conservation science? Two prominent positions have emerged in this debate, that of Kareiva and Marvier, which we label ‘new conservation’ (top-left […]

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