Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Mar 18;111(11):4001-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1313490111. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

Increasing homogeneity in global food supplies and the implications for food security.

Author information

1
International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Apartado Aéreo 6713, Cali, Colombia.

Abstract

The narrowing of diversity in crop species contributing to the world's food supplies has been considered a potential threat to food security. However, changes in this diversity have not been quantified globally. We assess trends over the past 50 y in the richness, abundance, and composition of crop species in national food supplies worldwide. Over this period, national per capita food supplies expanded in total quantities of food calories, protein, fat, and weight, with increased proportions of those quantities sourcing from energy-dense foods. At the same time the number of measured crop commodities contributing to national food supplies increased, the relative contribution of these commodities within these supplies became more even, and the dominance of the most significant commodities decreased. As a consequence, national food supplies worldwide became more similar in composition, correlated particularly with an increased supply of a number of globally important cereal and oil crops, and a decline of other cereal, oil, and starchy root species. The increase in homogeneity worldwide portends the establishment of a global standard food supply, which is relatively species-rich in regard to measured crops at the national level, but species-poor globally. These changes in food supplies heighten interdependence among countries in regard to availability and access to these food sources and the genetic resources supporting their production, and give further urgency to nutrition development priorities aimed at bolstering food security.

KEYWORDS:

agricultural development; crop diversity; global analysis; plant genetic resources

PMID:
24591623
PMCID:
PMC3964121
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1313490111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center