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Global Diet May Be Diversifying, But It’s Based Increasingly On A Handful Of Super-Crops

March 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture says his analysis of 50 years of data shows that while diets around the world are diversifying, the foods eaten are increasingly Westernized and dependent on a small number of crops. The shift is due to increased international trade and urbanization – greater access to supermarkets and fast food, less time to cook, and no room for gardens. The upshot is that people are gradually eating fewer indigenous foods, like rice, sorghum and millet, and eating more of the “mega-foods”: corn, wheat, soybeans and palm oil. According to the study, people may be eating a greater variety of food products – the “standard global diet” – but it’s risky to base a global diet on just a handful of major crops.
Dan Charles, "In The New Globalized Diet, Wheat, Soy And Palm Oil Rule", NPR, March 04, 2014, © NPR
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