Studies have Shown that we are far too reliant on far too few plant crops.
We’ve known about this for many years. When someone comes up with a better wheat variety, everyone wants to grow that variety. The number of different varieties grown in the world has been in decline for quite some time, and it’s now at a point where the emergence of a single wheat pathogen can all but wipe out the world’s wheat – because we are all growing the same few varieties.
Chocolate is even worse. So are bananas. The harvest is the seed pod, which has been selectively bred so that you get more of the stuff you want and none of the pesky seeds. This means the plants can only be propagated from cuttings. They are all effectively the same plant – one pathogen, and chocolate is gone. A world without chocolate! Think of the horror of that!
It’s interesting to consider that there are probably more varieties of tobacco in fields around the world than there are of wheat. It might lead to a future where bread costs more than cigarettes. That’s okay, you can’t smoke bread anyway, even though it has nicotinic acid in it.
Incidentally, I recently tried gluten-free bread. It was in the ‘cheap bread’ stack and I was curious. It’s dreadful bread. Falls apart at a touch. Tastes okay, but you can’t spread butter on it. If I had a gluten allergy I suppose it would be better than no bread at all, but I don’t, so I won’t buy it again.
Also incidentally, did you know that to be called a baguette, the bread must be made from 100% French flour? That’s why supermarkets call them ‘French sticks’ or something similar. They aren’t real baguettes. When you find one labelled ‘baguette’ then you can eat it just by biting chunks out of it – no butter required. Now that’s real bread.
Enough about bread. I’m getting hungry.
So, we have known for years about the risks of having a limited diversity of crops. Why is it suddenly in the news again? Well…
It’s linked to diet control once again. Why, if food crops are so risky, must we move away from meat? Cows can live perfectly well on grass, which grows where nothing else will grow. So we do away with cows and put our trust in a limited range of plants that could be wiped out by a rogue fungus or a spontaneously mutated virus? That would be as silly as, oh, ditching reliable coal energy for randomly generated wind power. It’s just setting up the conditions for a global disaster.
I wonder if that’s how they plan to achieve population reduction? They’ve made it clear that that is their aim, what they have been cagey about is how they plan to do it. Cut off the power in winter and let the food supply fail and you’ll have population reduction in a week – they’ll eat each other and burn the bones for heat.
No need to worry if you’re a smoker. We’re toxic, remember?
Oh, and one thing that seriously pisses me off in almost every bit of science I read these days is the shoe-horning of ‘evolve’ into every bloody thing. Evolution is a specific word for a specific theory, it does not apply to eating habits. Eating habits change all the time but the animal involved does not change. Evolution means a change in a form of life to produce a new species. If I have a salad instead of a curry one day (don’t laugh, it could happen) that is not an example of the evolution of curry into lettuce. No wonder evolutionary theory has such a tough time of it, it’s being devalued in every damn article!
Bah. I need a drink.