Key idea: To keep the world fed amid global disruption, scientists have identified potential alternate staples.
Original author and publication date: Vanessa Bates Ramirez – June 23, 2022
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Our diets will significantly change to adapt to a new future with almost 10 billion people on earth
From the article:
.With 90% of global calories consumed by humans coming from just 15 crops, is it time to rethink what we eat? Just three grains – rice, maize and wheat – supply two-thirds of calories and are staple foods for over four billion people.
So scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the UK, have come up with some more radical alternatives that might help feed our world in troubled times. Here are seven foods we might all be eating by 2050.
Like many of the foods in this list, the leaves and fruit of the pandanus tree, which grows around the Pacific Ocean, are already used by cooks across Southeast Asia. Its leaves are used in sweet and savoury dishes and its pineapple-like fruit can be eaten raw or cooked.
“It is a climate-resilient and nutritious food that is also delicious,” Dr Marybel Soto Gomez of Kew told the BBC. “It would be great to diversify our food portfolio to include food that is culturally appropriate, nutritious, and can be grown in challenging conditions all around the world,” she added.
There are nearly 23,000 species of beans listed on Kew’s verified global checklist of legumes. The list includes chickpeas, lentils, soya beans and peanuts but also some lesser-known ones like morama, which is capable of surviving droughts.
Also known as Marama, Camel’s foot and Gemsbuck in southern Africa, it’s a staple in parts of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Beans are boiled with maize meal or ground to make porridge or a cocoa-like drink. It is being grown commercially in Australia and the US.