Brainfood: Desho grass, Wheat breeding, Restoration seed policies, Drought rice, Dietary quality, Passport data, Bombyx breeding, Tea domestication, Carp diversity, Abyssinian pea, Chickpea subsetting, Oat breeding, Phenointegration, Food trade

Photographing dietary quality

People in other cultures are often portrayed as scary or exotic. This has to change. We want to show how people really live. It seemed natural to use photos as data so people can see for themselves what life looks like on different income levels.

That’s Anna Rosling Rönnlund of Gapminder on Dollar Street.

Dollar Street lets you visit many, many homes all over the world. Without travelling.

There are photos of everything from toilets to pets. The food items included are “grains”


and “spices.”

We know from recent work from our friends at Bioversity and their partners that number of species consumed is a good proxy for the nutritional quality of diets across countries and seasons. I wonder if such photographic documentation can be used to estimate dietary richness, and thus quality?

Nibbles: Development egos, CGN, Fijian adaptation, Seedxit, Fancy coconuts, Seed dealers, Heritage rice, Rumsfeld & biodiversity, Grass-fed beef beef

I say TME 419, you say TMe-419

We have received an email from Prof. Z.R. Tesfasion, University of Jos, Nigeria:

This is to inform you that the TME-419 cassava being grown by farmers in the South Western and South Eastern Nigeria was bred by me from TMS-30572. There could also be other genotypes (at least 4) being cultivated by farmers within Nigeria.

This was in response to an old post of ours, dating back to 2012, in which we delved into cassava genebank database hell and asked: Is there more than one TME 419 cassava? In particular, we compared cassava accession TMe-419 from the IITA genebank with cassava super-cultivar TME 419, making was and is making waves in West Africa, as described in IITA’s Improved Cassava Variety Handbook.

Is the shape of the leaf’s central lobe lanceolate or elliptic? Is there or is there not pigmentation on the petiole? Is the colour of the root pulp white/cream or yellow? And does it have a purple cortex or not? A discrepancy in one of these descriptors I might have understood, but it is clear to me that we’re talking here about quite different cassavas.

So I ask IITA: which one is the real TME 419? I mean the one making news in DR Congo and Nigeria.

The answer, thanks to Prof. Tesfasion, is that the cultivar being widely adopted in Nigeria and elsewhere is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the TME 419 described in the Improved Cassava Variety Handbook. The TMe-419 accession is a different thing, the similarity in handles notwithstanding. The name of the former came from a breeding programme, that of the latter from the genebank, and the two of them did not compare notes quite as much as they perhaps should have done. A problem that DOIs will no doubt alleviate in the future.

What’s TMS-30572? Ah, that’s another story.

Nibbles: Irradiated mangoes, PNG genebank, Chinese taro, Strawberry breeding, DNA sequencing, Googling sheep, Weird pineapple, Agroforestry, Olive diversity, Xylella, Fermentation, Pulque & mezcal, Cheese & donkeys, Italian food double, Tomato double, Fairchild, Vanilla history, Potato history, Kelemu