Diet

Increasingly Similar Global Food Supply Poses Risks, Study Says

Publication: NBC News   Date: March 3, 2014   View Article

The same crops that have fed a rapidly expanding global population over the last 50 years may pose problems for the global food chain as pests and limited diets spread, according to a new study.

Crops such as wheat, corn, potato, and soybean, as well as meat and dairy products make up a bulk of the world’s diet today. Meanwhile, once regionally important crops such as millet, sorghum and yams are losing ground, explained Colin Khoury, a visiting research scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia, and the study’s lead author.

“It is not all bad, but there are some very significant implications on both the agricultural side and on the nutritional side,” he told NBC News.

Cicadas as Food: Summer’s Low-Fat Snack?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 22, 2007   View Article

High-protein, low-carb dieters take note: The billions of cicadas emerging from the ground this month in the midwestern U.S. are a healthy alternative to that bacon double-cheeseburger without the bun.

“They’re high in protein, low in fat, no carbs,” said Gene Kritsky, a biologist and cicada expert at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, speaking to National Geographic News during the last major cicada outbreak, in 2004.

Birds Eat Birds as Fish Stocks Fall, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 18, 2004   View Article

Off the northeastern coast of Great Britain, fishing boats are swarmed by seabirds gorging on the undersized catch and fishy waste that is routinely discarded overboard. But as the number of discards are declining—partly due to measures to conserve fish stocks—some predatory birds have turned to eating their feathered fellows with more frequency, according to a new study.

As a consequence of this dietary shift, some defenseless bird communities face a threatening decline in their populations, said Stephen Votier, an ornithologist at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom.

Why Did Ancient Britons Stop Eating Fish

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 24, 2003   View Article

When cattle, sheep, pigs, and wheat arrived on the shores of Great Britain about 5,000 years ago, fish quickly fell off the Neolithic menu, according to an analysis of human bones scattered throughout the island.

The research helps resolve a debate over whether the adoption of domesticated plants and animals introduced to Great Britain from the European mainland was a gradual or rapid process, said Michael Richards, an archaeologist at the University of Bradford in England.

Deciphering the “Bugs” in Human Intestines

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 28, 2003   View Article

The human intestine is a swirling and churning environment that is host to microbial communities as diverse as those found in the Amazon rain forest. And like the regions beneath the soils that carpet the rain forest floor, much of what lies within the gut remains unexplored.

A series of papers in the March 28 issue of Science delves into this scientific frontier and begins to unravel the secrets of the complex and highly evolved microbial communities that teem throughout the length of our intestines.

Saving the Potato in its Andean Birthplace

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 10, 2002   View Article

The Spanish conquistadors toppled the Inca Empire in the 16th century in their quest for silver and gold. They returned to Europe with a different sort of earthly nugget dug from the elaborate terraces sculpted into the sides of the Andes—the potato.

Potatoes have since spread to nearly 150 countries around the world; hundreds of millions of tons are grown annually, and the potato has become a staple in the world’s diet.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach