Why is keeping diversity on the plate so important? Why should we care?
Well for one its estimated that more than 50% of our food comes from just 3 crops, Wheat, rice and corn. Being overly reliant on three crops may not sound like a big deal but with a growing global population and increased threat of climate change it maybe riskier then we think.
Climate Change is having an enormous effect on the crops we grow. We are having issues with drought,elevated levels of cardan dioxide and pest.
Having a diverse gene pool can be helpful with dealing with some of these issues. But sadly many of the heirloom varieties of these crops are not being grown and the genes are slowly becoming lost.
A perfect example of this is:
Six out of the 10 wild coffee species are at risk of being endangered. ( 1.
Wild coffee species are under threat, with 60% of them facing possible extinction, including Arabica, the original of the world’s most popular form of coffee, researchers say.
Most coffee species are found in the forests of Africa and Madagascar. They are threatened by climate change and the loss of natural habitat, as well as by the spread of diseases and pests.
While cultivated coffee is thriving, making up a hugely profitable business globally, the health of those species will also be affected by climate change.
In Ethiopia the number of locations where Arabica grows could be reduced by as much as 85% by 2080, and up to 60% of the land used for Ethiopia’s coffee production could become unsuitable by the end of the century, say scientists.)
On the other side of the coin the crops that we depend on as our main food source are also in trouble.
One of the fastest spreading pest in the world is armyworm and it is highly damaging to grass like crops such as, Rice as well as Maze.
According to the Convention On Biology Of Diversity; more then 90% percent pf crop variety has already disappeared within the last 100 years.
As our population grows to over 10 billion people by 2050 we will require more food, leading to an increase of land use and intense farming. We will need those genetic to help us grow better crops though hard climate changes.
Now you ask how does that change what i eat on my plate. Well growing your own heirloom varieties and seed saving is a great start.
Joining something like my plant subscription and learning to use new and rare edible plant and sharing with your friends is another way that we can help save plant diversity.
I truly believe that snall changes in our own homes do make a difference in the large scale of things,
Come help me bring diversity back to our plates.