Brainfood: Food sustainability, Phenotyping barriers, Andean agrobiodiversity, Mango diversity, Wild Brassica diversity, Domestication database, Future crops, Great Dying, Food supplies, Nutritious ag, Wild olives, Pink cassava, Landrace diversity

Find you way around another nutrition database

The Priority Food Tree and Crop Food Composition Database contains nutritional information of selected tree foods and crops, with geographical focus on sub-Saharan Africa. The current version (version 1) comprises 132 foods (out of 99 species) and 30 components. All component values are presented per 100 g edible portion on fresh weight basis (EP). In addition to actual food composition values, the database includes scores for all foods – “high source”, “source”, “present, but low source”, or “not a source” – of the selected micronutrients iron, vitamin A, folate and vitamin C. Searches can be done by food name, scientific name and by food group.

Pretty clear, no? Well, if not, there’s now a user guide.

Search the database here. And rank all the foods by their contents of iron, folate, vitamin A or vitamin C here.

But before you ask, no, there’s no variety-level information. Mango is mango, maize is maize. For that you have to go to other databases.

Yet more on what One CGIAR should do

That list of suggestions to CGIAR from David Lobell last week in Food Policy? It turns out to be one a trio of “viewpoints” on what the new, improved One CGIAR should do. Just to remind you, Dr Lobell said breeding (including of hitherto neglected crops) and precision agronomy.

Dr Rebecca Nelson of Cornell University has somewhat different advice for CGIAR:

  • “…break definitively with fossil energy-based intensification and to dedicate itself to agroecological intensification.”
  • “…expand its mandate and its networks to support equity, food systems health, and sustainable productivity in agricultural systems around the world.”
  • “…bring the power of scientific research to local communities in a networked fashion that builds the global and local evidence base for agroecological intensification.”
  • “… tackle agricultural challenges in their larger context… This is necessary because food and agriculture are inseparable from the larger ecological, meteorological, social, and political systems.”

And, finally, there’s Dr Lawrence Haddad of GAIN. According to him, CGIAR needs to:

  • “…understand the terrain between farm and fork much better than it does now.”
  • fill the gap in “…research on private sector actors” in the food system.
  • have “…a greater focus on foods like vegetables, fruits, fish, pulses, nuts, eggs, dairy, and meat.”
  • help “…create a safe space to break out of the disciplinary and subject specific silos.”

Do please read all three articles in their entirety, if you can (they’re behind a paywall, I’m afraid), and let us know what you think here. Each is coming from a very different place, and yet they do have one thing in common: a recognition of the importance of agricultural biodiversity. Too bad none of them actually mentioned genebanks.

But then I would say that, wouldn’t I.

LATER: No wait, there’s another one.

Brainfood: AnGR treble, Livestock aDNA, Wild cucurbit gaps, Indian crop diversity, Wild Argentinian spuds, Wild wheat, Tomato domestication, Enset systems, Duckweed collections, Peanut hybrids, Sweet potato leaves, Adaptation pathways, Golden Rice

Want to document the economic impact of genebanks?

The Crop Trust, through the CGIAR Genebank Platform, is recruiting 5 fellows in 2020 for the ‘Genebank Impacts Fellowship’. The goal is to document the economic importance of conserving the diversity of plant genetic resources held in the international genebanks. Through this, we hope to raise awareness of the value of genebanks among users, donors, and other stakeholders.

The outputs of the previous cohort of fellows can be found on the website of the Genebank Platform.

Details here. Deadline for applications is Friday, 28 February 2020.