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Westernization of worldwide diets raises concerns over resilience of food supply

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The globalization of people’s diets has begun to raise concerns about the world’s food supply. According to data gathered by the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization, people are now depending on fewer crops, “leaving us vulnerable to the depreciations of disease, pests and climate change.”

“As the global population rises it creates more pressure on the food system, as well as our dependence on the production system of crops to feed us around the world,” noted Luigi Guarino of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, who added that “wheat is now a key food in more than 97% of countries, and that soybeans have grown from relative obscurity 50 years ago to become ‘significant’ in the diets of almost ¾ of nations.”

Demand for other crops such as rice, sugar, corn, potatoes has also risen while traditional staples such as yams, cassava, rye, and millet have decreased as everyday diets continue to become more “westernized.”
The change in eating habits is also seen as a major contributor to the worldwide rise in obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

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