In the 1970s, when we were in school, food allergies were rare. But Australian children now have the highest rate of food allergy in the world. Up to one in ten infants and two in ten school-aged children have a proven food allergy.
Thought for Food Blog
The Doomsday Seed Vaults
The idea of an impending Doomsday has existed in our collective conscious for centuries.
Whether approached from a religious or cultural bent (for example, 2012’s misunderstood Mayan calendar) or a more ‘worldly’ perspective (for instance, concerns over biotechnologies or nuclear warfare), the notion is by no means uncommon.
While the possibility of a global catastrophic event today appears distant, climate change and food insecurity – both imminent causes for concern – already have contingency plans in place. For over a decade, agricultural and food scientists worldwide have been establishing what many call the Doomsday Seed Vaults.
Gluten-free diets have long been recommended for those with coeliac disease, but why are so many other people avoiding gluten? Is it an affectation adopted by the middle class worried well consumer, or is there a scientific basis to gluten avoidance, even for people who are not suffering from coeliac disease?
Africa is home to many of the world's most hungry and impoverished citizens. Although the developed world speaks of the need for a 'second green revolution', it is widely recognised that the first green revolution of the 20th century bypassed Africa almost entirely.
The high-yielding varieties of wheat, maize, and rice of the green revolution were not successfully introduced to African agriculture, mainly because they require large inputs of fertiliser and pesticides to realise their high-yield potential, and most African nations have lacked the infrastructure necessary to grow these varieties on a large scale.
Cereals are grasses and members of the monocotyledon, or monocot, family – one of two major groups of angiosperms (flowering plants) that are traditionally recognised, the other being dicotyledons, or dicots.
They are cultivated for the edible components of their grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. Cereal grains are grown in greater quantities and arguably provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop; they are therefore vital staple produce. The chemical composition of the cereals varies widely and depends on the environmental conditions, soil, variety and fertiliser.