Brainfood: Zea, Urochloa, Medicago, Solanum, Juglans, Camellia, Artocarpus, Lactuca, Phaseolus, and everything else

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.

Nibbles: Diets, Millet seedbank, Healthy rice, Kazakh genebank, Decentralized seeds, Planet Local, White sage, White olive, Talangana collecting, Nature-based, Italian food, Citron, Indian quinoa, Crop expansion

  1. And…we’re back!
  2. Nice new infographics derived from that classic paper “Increasing homogeneity in global food supplies and the implications for food security.”
  3. Video on a millet community seedbank in India.
  4. I hope all these healthy Indian rices are in seedbanks somewhere, community or otherwise.
  5. Kazakhstan is getting a new genebank, and I don’t mean a community one.
  6. yeah but genebanks are not enough: enter INCREASE.
  7. Wait, there’s a World Localization Day?
  8. Looks like white sage might need less localization and more seedbanks.
  9. I see your Mexican white sage and raise you the Calabrian white olive.
  10. The Telangana equivalent of white sage is probably safe, though, if this collecting programme is anything to go by.
  11. IFAD pushes nature-based farmers. White sage unavailable for comment.
  12. The localization narrative meets Italian food. And yes, spoiler alert, Italian food does exist. Despite the increasing homogeneity in global food supplies. And it doesn’t need white olives either.
  13. Let the hand-wringing about the Italian-ness (Italianity?) of citrons commence. But not until I’ve left the room.
  14. Ah, but is there such a thing as Indian food? I mean, if there’s quinoa in it. I look forward to the eventual quinoa community seedbanks.
  15. All those crops are not being locally grown for food anyway.
  16. Have a happy new globalizing, localizing year, everyone.

Brainfood: Neolithic microbiomes, Transeurasian languages, Rice history, Chinese Neolithic, Indo-European origins, Chalcolithic stews, Indus Valley hydrology, Bronze Age opium, Cassava storage

Nibbles: Fancy fungus, Fancy CWR book, Fancy dataset, Fancy food, Fancy wheat collection, Fancy diet, Fancy seeds, Fancy agriculture

  1. Symbiotic fungus can help plants and detoxify methylmercury.
  2. Very attractive book on the wild tomatoes of Peru. I wonder if any of them eat heavy metals.
  3. There’s a new dataset on the world’s terrestrial ecosystems. I’d like to know which one has the most crop wild relative species per unit area. Has anyone done that calculation? They must have.
  4. Iran sets up a saffron genebank. Could have sworn they already had one.
  5. The Natural History Museum digs up some old wheat samples, the BBC goes a bit crazy with it.
  6. Paleolithic diets included plants. Maybe not wheat or saffron though.
  7. Community seedbanks are all the rage in Odisha.
  8. Seeds bring UK and South Africa closer together. Seeds in seedbanks. Not community seedbanks, perhaps, but one can hope.
  9. Can any of the above make agriculture any more nutrition-sensitive? I’d like to think yes. Maybe except for the mercury-eating fungus, though you never know…