Many of us would agree that Senator J. William Fulbright’s vision of “a world with a little more knowledge and a little less conflict” will feature healthy ecosystems, appreciation of cultural diversity, and of course, delicious food. However, the world has been moving in the wrong direction over the past century. Today, 75% of the world’s plant food is made up of only 12 species. As of 2010, three (rice, maize, and wheat) provided nearly 60 percent of the calories and proteins that humans derive from plants (F.A.O 2010, 1999) and this trend continues (Khoury et al. 2014). This dramatic impact on the world’s agro-biodiversity is accompanied by accelerating environmental degradation, the loss of diverse cultural understandings and appreciation of food, and an increasingly bland globalized menu – one that isn’t even very healthy.
This document was originally published in Research & Reflections by the Fulbright Taiwan Foundation of Scholarly Exchange. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Yu, Pei-Lin. (2017). "Wild, Tame, and In-Between: Traditional Agricultural Knowledge of Taiwan Indigenous People". Research & Reflections, .