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The world’s reliance on wheat threatens food security

Consumption

Global farming practices – dominated by wheat, corn and rice – are playing havoc with the preservation of wildlife and putting food security at further risk, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The lack of variety in agriculture is both bad for nature and a threat to food security.

According to the WWF’s David Edwards, there has been a 60% decline in wildlife populations since 1970, thanks – in the most part – to global farming.

A new report from the environmental watchdog found that 75% of the food humans consume comes from just 12 plant sources and five animal sources, with three crops making up 60% of the plant-based calories in the entire human diet.

Accordint to Statista, wheat is the most important grain worldwide, based on grain acreage and is ranked third when it comes to the total production volume. The global amount of wheat produced in 2016/2017 was 755 million metric tons.

Corn was the most consumed grain in 2017/2018, with around 12,500 million bushels being consumed in the US, followed by China at 9,400 million bushes.

This excludes many valuable sources of nutrition.

The WWF recently teamed up with Knorr UK to launch a campaign to push people to diversify their diets.

Its report – Future 50 Foods: 50 Foods for Healthier People and a Healthier Planet​ – concluded that the preservation of wildlife, and even human survival, are linked to the way we eat.

Repeatedly harvesting the same crop on the same land depletes nutrients in the soil, typically necessitating a higher use of fertilizers and pesticides, which damage the environment.

Animal husbandry, too, is tilting the balance, with its huge land and water footprint and significant greenhouse gas emission rate.

The results of standard farming practices worldwide are coming to roost, with a staggering loss of wildlife in the past 50 years, including the precipitous decline in insect populations – often referred to as Insect Armageddon.

“Nature can’t continue to take this pressure,”​ said Edwards. “The food system has pushed wildlife to the extremes.”

Gone forever

Staying within our ‘comfortable norms’ has also affected the world’s once abundant smorgasbord of offerings.

Since 1900, FAO figures note 75% of the genetic plant diversity in agriculture has been lost. In Thailand, for example, the 16,000 rice varieties once cultivated have dropped to just 37.

Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

Why the global population has zeroed in on such a limited array of foodstuffs is unclear, especially as there is an enormous variety available.

According to Maria Haga, head of Crop Trust, an organization focused on preserving crop diversity, there are more than 30,000 plants in the world suitable for human consumption, yet we only eat around 150 of those.

The dependence on just a few crops is a threat to food security, especially as the world’s population is tipped to reach 10 billion souls by 2050.

Rediscovering forgotten plants

The campaign’s 50 foods were selected for their high nutritional value, low environmental impact, flavor, accessibility and affordability.

It includes ancient grains like fonio and teff, nuts and seeds, legumes, leafy veggies and mushrooms sourced from across the globe intended to enable three important dietary shifts:

  • To increase the intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • To move reliance away from meat, poultry and fish, which is negatively impacting the environment
  •  To promote agrobiodiversity.

“The search for nutrient-dense plants has taken us toward ancient grains, heirloom plant varieties, and less commonly cultivated crops. There is a good reason for rediscovering some of the forgotten plants,”​ said Dr Adam Drewnowski, director of The Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington, which was involved with the report.

According to April Redmond, global VP of Knorr, the report aims to shift the way people eat.

“We believe we can shift the way food is grown and the foods people choose to eat, delivering significant, positive impact on the food system,”​ she said.

“Our mission is simple: make delicious, nutritious and sustainable food accessible to all.”

bakeryandsnacks



36 Comments on "The world’s reliance on wheat threatens food security"

  1. makati1 on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 6:16 pm 

    Wheat would be missed by the fast food joints here and a few million foreigners, but not many Filipinos. Too many ways to eat rice. ^_^

  2. Corny on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 8:05 pm 

    makati1: aren’t a lot of noodles wheat-based?

    In Wallace-Well’s book I read that 67% of calories globally consist of wheat, corn, rice, and soy. Rule of thumb is 10% loss in yeild per degree C warming. Warming is pushing wheat belts towards poles; Australia will eventually lose it’s wheat belt completely, currently about 25% of global yield.

  3. jawagord on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 8:42 pm 

    Corny where do you get your wheat stats? Austrialia does not produce 25% of global wheat crop, it’s less than 10%. And if Australia does lose the ability to grow wheat (doubtful since most warming is night time warming which benefits plant growth) it will be made up for by increases in Canada, Russia, Ukraine, whose farmers will benefit from longer growing seasons.

    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-wheat-producing-countries.html

  4. makati1 on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 8:57 pm 

    Corny, it depends on what country you are in. There are wheat noodles, but there are also rice noodles. Wheat does not even make the 2017 list:

    Annual Per Capita Food Consumption in the Philippines

    114.2 kgs of Rice per year
    39.5 kgs of Banana per year
    21.9 kgs of Corn per year
    18.8 kgs of Pork per year
    12.8 kgs of Chicken per year
    10.6 kgs of Pineapple per year
    8.2 kgs of Mango per year
    7.4 kgs of Coconut per year
    4.3 kgs of Tuna per year
    2.6 kgs of Cassava per year
    2.5 kgs of Beef per year
    2.5 kgs of Sugarcane per year
    1.9 kgs of Onion per year
    1.6 kgs of Papaya per year
    1.5 kgs of Calamansi per year
    1.2 kgs of Cabbage per year
    0.9 kgs of Peanut per year
    0.9 kgs of Potato per year
    0.6 kgs of Mongo per year
    0.5 kgs of Shrimps And Prawns per year
    0.4 kgs of Garlic per year
    0.3 kgs of Coffee per year
    0.3 kgs of Pomelo per year
    0.2 kgs of Oyster per year

    BTW: ALL of the above are grown in the Philippines.

  5. makati1 on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 9:00 pm 

    Ref for above: https://www.in-philippines.com/food-consumption-in-the-philippines/

  6. makati1 on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 9:03 pm 

    BTW: 114.2 kgms rice cost ~ P4,400 or $83 US. Many Filipinos grow most of the items listed, in their yard.

  7. iceage on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 9:33 pm 

    There is no more warming. Sun is inactive. 25 year time lag. If the earth cools there will be 50% yield loss of crops.

  8. joe on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 12:59 am 

    Wheat noodles are also known as pasta.

  9. Davy on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 3:21 am 

    “And if Australia does lose the ability to grow wheat (doubtful since most warming is night time warming which benefits plant growth) it will be made up for by increases in Canada, Russia, Ukraine, whose farmers will benefit from longer growing seasons.”

    There is no science that says Canada, Russia, and Ukraine will make up for loses in Australia. We are not really talking global warming it is global climate disruption. We have this mistaken assumption that the northern latitudes will turn into food producing areas and this is just not a given. It takes years for regions to adapt to altered climate and there is much more to food production like soil, water, and inputs. Today’s AG needs a local economy too. I find it troubling that current food producing regions are facing difficulties. There is no happy face for that.

  10. Davy on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 3:26 am 

    “BTW: 114.2 kgms rice cost ~ P4,400 or $83 US. Many Filipinos grow most of the items listed, in their yard.”

    Bullshit makato, a significant amount of Filipinos live in urban areas. Tell me how much food is grown in the 20MIL mega Manilla urban region? You are so far into fantasy it is hilarious. Your P’s is a net food importer and the imports are staples. There is a lot of subsistence AG but also the typical industrial Ag the rest of the world is engaged in requiring all those industrial inputs like fertilizer and herbicides.

  11. makati1 on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 6:06 am 

    Davy, “significant” means? Be more specific. Did you know that the rural farms supply those city folks? So, if they just go home, they will still be able to eat. It just won’t have to be trucked as far. No you never think beyond you prejudices. IF you are able to think.

    You have no idea what the culture is like here. The US has no culture, only greed. Here there is sharing. Most needs are taken care of by family or friends, not government handouts like in the US. When the SHTF, there will be no SNAP cards to lose. There will be no welfare checks to lose. There will be no SS to lose. You don’t miss what you never had.

    Filipinos are self sufficient like Americans were about 70 years ago. Today, Americans are JIT dependent. They live in a fantasy land of propaganda and bullshit. When you are the frog in the warming pot, it is difficult to see the end result. I can see it clearly. After 11 years, I have no regrets about my relocation. It is only getting better and better as I watch the US go down the shitter, one day (tweet) at a time. GO TRUMP! LMAO!

  12. Davy on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 6:29 am 

    “Davy, “significant” means? Be more specific.”
    Makato I am as specific as you are you loon. We have gone over this shit for years now. Go google the past comments here where I got more specific. You waste my time with your redundant ramblings

    “Did you know that the rural farms supply those city folks? So, if they just go home, they will still be able to eat. It just won’t have to be trucked as far.”
    AH, if I remember correctly you said most Filipinos grow food in their yards…RIGHT????

    “You have no idea what the culture is like here”
    Makato, we are not talking culture here we are talking food production which is verifiable. You can’t tell me the 20MIL people in greater manilla all grow food in their yards. Liar. This is verifiable science not your fantasies and personal idealism.

    “The US has no culture, only greed. Here there is sharing. Most needs are taken care of by family or friends, not government handouts like in the US. When the SHTF, there will be no SNAP cards to lose. There will be no welfare checks to lose.”
    Makato defaults to anti-Americanism when he has been neutered. “Bad bad America” says makato.

    “There will be no SS to lose. You don’t miss what you never had.”
    Oops, you may not have SS and you will miss it especially now that you are old and weak

    “Filipinos are self sufficient like Americans were about 70 years ago.”
    Bullshit makato. Some are but many are not and it is those who are not in that overpopulated Island that will over run the others. I have already proved you wrong. You are a fraud

    “After 11 years, I have no regrets about my relocation.”
    Yea, makato, as long as you get your monthly government check you do not deserve. Wait until your health fails, which it will. All old people die and you are hugging 80. OOPs

  13. JuanP on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 6:32 am 

    mak, I will help you out when I get up I have a splitting headache from too much fun last night. Did you see my late night Davy and Jon posts? I even posted one under JuanP. Go to bed old man. Talk to you soon. sweet dreams. Think about your boywonder as you go to sleep.

  14. Davy on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:01 am 

    Well, I obviously cant’t dazzle y’all with my brillience, cause I don’t have any, and nobody is falling for my bullshit anymore. What’s a poor widdle insane guy like me to do?

    I want my mommy!

  15. JuanP on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:08 am 

    JuanP posted this

    Davy on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:01 am

  16. Davy on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:13 am 

    Davy posted this

    JuanP on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:08 am

  17. JuanP posted this on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:17 am 

    Davy on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:13 am
    Davy posted this
    JuanP on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:08 am

  18. Davy posted this on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:19 am 

    JuanP posted this on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:17 am

    Davy on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:13 am
    Davy posted this
    JuanP on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 7:08 am

  19. Corny on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 12:38 pm 

    jawagord: you’re right on overall percent of global wheat AU produces — it’s more like 1/25 of total, not 25%. Don’t know if Wallace-Wells miss-quoted the number or if I wrote it down wrong. AU’s wheat belt is being lost however.

  20. forbin on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 3:08 pm 

    you have to laff

    “Our mission is simple: make delicious, nutritious and sustainable food accessible to all.”​

    bakeryandsnacks

    yah, bakery and snacks……

    I thought that was the problem ( and too many people )

  21. Robert Inget on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 3:59 pm 

    Directly to the point. Ya can’t grow diddly w/o
    water. Massive Flooding one month then no more rain for eleven months.

    Now it’s possible to save water for careful later
    irrigation, but it’s expensive.

  22. Sissyfuss on Sun, 31st Mar 2019 8:19 am 

    We are a species in overshoot that grows more critical with each passing year. Add to that harvest cycle disruption and soil degradation and it doesn’t take a stable genius to see that food insecurity is baked into a nutritionally challenged cake.

  23. makati1 on Sun, 31st Mar 2019 6:38 pm 

    Davy, you are trying to impress people with your lack of maturity and intelligence? “…you loon….neutered….etc,” is not debating, it is childish putdowns by a loser. You keep talking about a little country with a lot of people as if it means something. The Philippines is NOT the US with ONE growing season. We can grow food 365 days a year. That equates to about 4 times that of the US. We plant every week on the farm so we have a constant supply of veggies. The chickens don’t notice the difference so we get eggs every day also. And on and on.

    You cannot refute my assertions with facts just diversions, hypocrisy and bullshit, as always. You don’t have to “waste your time” replying to my comments. Just ignore them, but you cannot. You are worse than Pavlov’s dog. Woof!

    I laugh at your pathetic attempts to put me down. You have no idea what my resources are here. Zero. I do not need my SS but I will take it for as long as it lasts. The government took it from me so I am taking back as much of it as I can before the US collapse and it ends. Not much longer by the looks of the YUGE debt situation in the US. Keep paying those taxes!

    YOU are the one who is worried. You do not even own that “farm”. The government does. Try not paying your taxes for a few years and see. IF you actually “own” any land. I doubt it. How long will your goats last when you start eating them?

    You obviously do not comprehend English or you would not post stupid remarks trying to make it seem like I am lying. YOU are the liar in this board, not me. Liars have to remember what they tell whom. If you always tell the truth you do not have to remember. But you have to lie. You have to be top dog, while you are actually… Curb that dog! LMAO

  24. Peak Oil Ombudsman on Sun, 31st Mar 2019 7:16 pm 

    Davy,

    Your fundamental problem is you do not play nice with other people. You are rude, condescending, and a bully. Since you are constantly dishing it out to others, it’s only fair that what goes around comes around- you know, turnabout is fair play.

    Signed,

    PeakOil.com Ombudsman

  25. makati1 on Sun, 31st Mar 2019 10:25 pm 

    “Midwest Flooding Hits Superfund Sites, Including Some With Radioactive Materials”

    “…flood waters have reached eight Superfund sites in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska,…Conditions may stay the same or even get worse before they improve.”

    http://fortune.com/2019/03/26/midwest-flooding-superfund-sites/

    Do you know what is in YOUR water?

  26. New JuanPee sock on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 5:02 am 

    “Peak Oil Ombudsman on Sun, 31st Mar 2019 7:16 pm”

  27. JuanP on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 5:07 am 

    “Your fundamental problem is you do not play nice with other people. You are rude, condescending, and a bully. Since you are constantly dishing it out to others, it’s only fair that what goes around comes around- you know, turnabout is fair play.”

    What a whining fool. You have been a bully from day one except with your buddies like makato or anon. Years ago there was the gang. I remember 6 of you at once attacking me. I am still here. Nobody is as loud mouthed and nasty as you juanP. I attack people who attack me. I moderate stupid and inaccurate comments. I moderate makato and cloggo and their extremist agenda. Grow up pussy and quit ruining this forum with your mindless identity theft and endless sock puppeteering. None of what you do contributes new information. You are like a stupid kid playing XBOX live. What a fucknut.

  28. makati1 on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 7:16 am 

    Such hypocrisy, Davy! You mange to even exceed your previous delusions! YOU started the problem, Davy. YOU. Not anyone else.

    You win only in YOUR mind, which, BTW, must be dying along with your country. Your delusions, immaturity and lack of intelligence is very obvious to even the newbies here. Were you an abused child Davy? You show all of the symptoms. Aww. LOL

    You deserve all of the attacks, Davy. Like your loser country, you asked for them. The blow-back is a bitch isn’t it? Same for what is coming home to America after decades of terrorizing and plundering 3rd world countries. The US is 3rd world and sinking lower. GO TRUMP! LMAO!

  29. Davy on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 8:37 am 

    “Such hypocrisy, Davy! You mange to even exceed your previous delusions! YOU started the problem, Davy. YOU. Not anyone else.”
    Total BS makato. You made a huge effort from day 1 to make this place an anti-American extremist destination. I asked you for some moderation way back and you told me to go fuck myself. Do you think I am going to sit by and listen to your shit when you bad mouth my daughter and family? When you tell me I am stupid and fat because I am an American? What about when you tell me the NUKs will go off at 3:00AM. Fuck that. I went after you and a few others that were extremist attacking me because I am American. I went after the prick face anti-American Canadians and their BS hypocrisy. Most of those nasty extremist are gone. Your message has been moderated and neutered for the most part. You don’t dare say stupid shit anymore. I ignore you for the most part. Your hypocrisy has no limits with what asswipe JuanPee is doing now. Since July he has harassed me with mindless stalking and pricking. Since October he has done daily identity theft. I know have his dumbass on the run. He no longer has the upper hand. I just turn his shit back on him. He has run out of ammo and his dirty behavior backfiring. I do not mind a debate but his shit degrades the whole forum BTW you enable and support this shit then whine about it. What a fuck nut you are makato. You are the biggest reason this forum has gone into irrelevance makato. JuanPee prick face is now the biggest reason it is a disaster. Cloggo is taking it down with his shit too but at least he has some good comments. Your comments stink makato, they are stale and redundant regurgitations of your failed message.

    “You win only in YOUR mind, which, BTW, must be dying along with your country. Your delusions, immaturity and lack of intelligence is very obvious to even the newbies here. Were you an abused child Davy? You show all of the symptoms. Aww. LOL”
    Well listen to the 12 year old school yard bully flinging nastiness. What a loser and a hypocrite. Fuck you makato. I will moderate you until you are dead with our without your lunatic friend JuanPee.

    “You deserve all of the attacks, Davy. Like your loser country, you asked for them. The blow-back is a bitch isn’t it? Same for what is coming home to America after decades of terrorizing and plundering 3rd world countries. The US is 3rd world and sinking lower. GO TRUMP! LMAO!”
    Watch your blood pressure old man you might stroke out. Your days are numbered. You will be dead soon from your stupid decision to move to the 3rd world.

  30. Davy on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 9:04 am 

    Ooops, sorry all, been hitting the coco puffs too hard again.

  31. JuanP on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 9:44 am 

    Prick face are you back from your sailing adventure with boney joe, pervert

  32. Davy on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 10:49 am 

    Oops, sorry for losing my shit again everyone. It seems to be happening real often lately.

  33. JuanP on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 11:17 am 

    Oops I am a retard and like playing games

  34. Davy on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 11:37 am 

    Out of all my enemies I hate JuanP the most.

  35. JuanP on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 12:04 pm 

    Out of all the enemies in my head truth buster and the truth will set you free are the worst. I like Mitch and I am passionately in love with boney joe. We are sailing together now in the Bahamas. I am mentally ill if you have not figured that out already. It Is getting bad these days because I am self medicating.

  36. Not JuanP on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 1:24 pm 

    JuanP on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 12:04 pm

    JuanP is on a sailing trip in the Bahamas with his lover Boney joe.

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