A study by researchers at University of Maryland found how Western appetites for foods like avocados, coffee and citrus fruit are threatening global food security, having looked at 40 years of data
“The impact of western dietary preferences has started to pose a serious threat to global food security and the environments in which they are grown. This is because the increasing demand for crops such as avocados, citrus and coffee alters the natural cycle of the environment in which they are produced,” said Andre Laperrière, executive director of Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN).
GODAN is the UK, USA, United Nations and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) supported an initiative that backs the proactive sharing of Open Data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security.
“If insects and pollinators such as bees are not able to receive year-round nutrition from plants with diverse blooming patterns, they face a serious existential threat which could alter the balance of our global food cycle,” Laperrière added.
“If continued at its current rate, this will have devastating consequences to agriculture on a global scale, thus emphasising the need for a significant change to western dietary preferences and crop management. Research has shown a need for more crop diversity and pollinator-friendly methods of farming as a means of restoring a balance to the ecosystems where produce is grown.”
“It is therefore essential that farmers and those who control the process of agriculture impose practices that can work with the environment. All this can only be recognised and actioned if we have the relevant open data and information released by the stakeholders to identify the patterns – supermarket demands, consumption patterns, the food origins, carbon footprint, agricultural output and the environmental reaction,” Laperrière further added.