Our diets often single out a specific breed as the producer for consumption, ultimately harming farm biodiversity. Consider that 99 percent of all turkey eaten in American comes from the Broad-Breasted White, just one breed of the many options. An article from Miller McCune’s online magazine discusses the merits of eating disappearing crops and livestock to create consumer demand for them, often saving them from extinction.
It seems far fetched at first, but consider the growing demand for unique foods and the rapidly plummeting biodiversity. Where there once was 15,000 varieties of apple, there are now 1,500 and who wouldn’t want to try an exotic new breed of pig? Consider the Mangalitsa pig of Hungary. With an increasing demand for succulent pork, they have been saved from extinction by the marketplace. Emily Badger discusses the problem in her article,
In an era when many problems — deforestation, climate change, water shortages — have been caused by human over-consumption, here is a problem of under-consumption. Biodiversity is disappearing precisely because people no longer consume it, and if we would just eat endangered crops and livestock now, restoring their role in the food supply, we could save them from extinction.
New York Times: “Eat it to Save it” – Images via Tamas Dezso for The New York Times
Originally written for and published on PSFK.