Nibbles: Eating to Extinction, Livestock Conservancy, Pastoral diversification, Donkeys, ICARDA, USDA, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Duragna, Baked bean bread, Kenosha Potato Project, Landrace marketing, Gene editing

  1. All the videos from the recent Eating to Extinction event in London celebrating food diversity.
  2. If you want to eat rare breeds or their products, the Livestock Conservancy has a website for you.
  3. ILRI policy brief on how pastoral systems can usefully diversify.
  4. The BBC rounds up the history of the domestication of the donkey without, alas, mentioning the Livestock Conservancy or pastoral diversification. Spoiler alert: ancient Roman donkeys were really big.
  5. NPR interviews the manager of the ICARDA genebank in Lebanon.
  6. Local Oregon paper visits the USDA genebank in Pullman.
  7. It’s the turn of the Native Seed/SEARCH genebank to feature in the news.
  8. Want to know what “duragna” is? This press release from Cornell will explain all. I think we included the original paper in a recent Brainfood, but I can’t be bothered checking. Anyway, trust me, it’s interesting. Spoiler alert: it has to do with cereal diversity.
  9. Brits told to grow more faba beans and use them to make bread. Census takers not available for comment.
  10. Fascinating project on the history of saffron cultivation in eastern England. Now that would spice up all that faba bean bread.
  11. The Kenosha Potato Project deconstructed to within an inch of its life by Modern Farmer. We’ve blogged about this innovative breeding project here before, have a look. Ah no, I just have, and in fact we haven’t, though we have blogged about William Whitson, an independent tuber breeder, who is however a long-time member of KPP.
  12. Meanwhile, in Peru, local potato landraces are finding a new market via chips/crisps. Pretty sure we’ve blogged about this too. We are so on the ball.
  13. Gene editing for conservation? Yes, why not? But nothing on crop and livestock species in this succinct explainer, alas.

Brainfood: Sustainable diets, Resilient food system, IK in food systems double, Herbarium double, Ag research priorities, Fruits & vegetables, Cryopreservation, Diverse diets, Gene editing orphan crops, Ag revolution 4.0, Diversification, Monoculture, Agroecology, Regenerative ag, Plant health, Svalbard, Seed banking theory, Comms double


  1. New(ish) website for the Peruvian national genebank.
  2. WorldVeg genebank reaches out to Southeast Asia.
  3. CIMMYT genebank reaches out at COP15.
  4. Nigerian national genebank gets advice.
  5. USDA’s genebank at the University of Georgia makes it into the local paper.
  6. Shout-out for community seedbanks in Mexico, or Fondos de Semillas Familiares actually. National genebank unavailable for comment.
  7. All well and good, but genebanks need a Resilient Seed Systems Shared Action Framework.
  8. And, of course, they are complementary to in situ/on farm conservation. How exactly does that work? Let Dr Nigel Maxted tell you. For an hour.

Happy Food Diversity Day!

On Friday January 13th, from 9am to 7.30pm, some of the UK’s leading scientists, writers, chefs, farmers, campaigners and entrepreneurs will be taking part in a continuous feed of discussions, storytelling and information sharing – all about the wonders and importance of food diversity. These discussions will be made available for free via Eventbrite, live-streamed on YouTube and available to view after the event. Explore the resources for each of the sessions here.

This seems to be the brainchild of Dan Saladino, who recently published the wonderful Eating to Extinction.

LATER: And then there’s this talk from the Seed Detective on the 25th to round things off.