Globally, an over-reliance on a few staple crops, namely maize, wheat and rice, has resulted in limited dietary diversity— a leading cause of persistent malnutrition. These few foods represent more than half of the world’s calorie intake and have typically played a central role in the fight against food security, but to no avail— hunger, inequality and non-communicable diseases continue to rise. Perhaps it is time to try something new.
Despite the fact that there are more than 30,000 identified edible plant species in existence, only 6,000 to 7,000 are used for food and only 170 are grown commercially, while approximately 30 species fulfil 95 per cent of the world’s calorie requirements, as factory-style farming systems continue to contribute to the overwhelming degradation of the world’s natural resources and contribute to 26 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. (Science, 2018)1
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