Global Food Diversity Is Shrinking

Global Food Diversity Is Shrinking

In This Article

Diversity Of The World’s Diet Down 68% in Last 50 Years

The variety of foods that are eaten around the world is slowly shrinking… and the risks are real! In 1961, the world ate a vastly diverse diet that was highly cultural, seasonal, traditional and geographically matched.

Nearly 50 years later, the diversity of the world’s diet had shrunk by a whopping 68 percent. (1) Big businesses had spawned large-scale farming and staple foods like wheat, corn, dairy, soy, palm oil and sunflower oils for pennies on the dollar.

This was encouraged greatly when the Reagan administration subsidized the growth of wheat and corn in the 1980’s to help eradicate hunger. Researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture suggest that these mass-farmed foods have helped hunger around the world, but not without side effects.

Instead of eating local foods or cooking in a traditional fashion, like slow-cooking or steaming, foods are fried in mass-produced and highly processed oils like soy, sunflower and palm oil. Likely linked to this dietary shift, rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease are rising globally. These health issues used to be predominantly American problems, but today, due to the exponential growth of inexpensive processed foods, these health concerns are worldwide. (1)

A Fragile Food Supply Chain

While the foods are mass-produced for less cost, the rich diversity of nutrients, minerals, vitamins and the microbes that are normally found on plants is also shrinking. At the same time that we are watching our food supply chain of diverse foods shrink, we are also seeing a link between a less microbial-diverse gut and a host of health concerns – as I mentioned above – obesity, heart concerns and diabetes. (2)

We have globally traded in a very traditional, locally grown, seasonal diet rich in microbial diversity with a sterile, non-organic non-diverse diet, where people eat basically the same diet year-round.

Non-organic foods have been sprayed with pesticides that are toxic to the good microbes in the gut which, along with a non-diverse diet, are helping to strip away the beneficial and diverse microbes that support immunity, optimal health and longevity. (2)

Compounding the lack of microbial diversity from a diet of non-organic food is the 68 percent reduction of the diversity of the global diet, which also decreases the seasonal shift in gut microbes – putting us at even greater risk of health concerns.

On top of all this, the researchers of this study expressed concerns of such a fragile food chain. If one of these foods fails due to disease or drought, food prices could sky-rocket and food supplies around the globe could plummet.

Get Connected to the Earth Again

In addition to writing my 3-Season Diet bookI also publish a free monthly seasonal eating guide to help folks know exactly what to shop for and eat in each month of the year. I include seasonal tips and grocery lists, superfoods and recipes for each month of the year. Sign up for the free 3-Season Diet Challenge here!

The reason that I primarily use organic, whole plant herbs in my LifeSpa Organics formulations is two-fold:

  1. Organic herbs carry the beneficial microbes and support the microbial diversity we desperately lack.
  2. Herbal extracts, while in some cases more potent, have the majority of the beneficial microbes killed off from the alcohol during the herbal extraction process. Whole herbs carry the microbial intelligence into your gut. When whole herbs are fresh and combined correctly, they can be as or more potent than the herbal extracts found in most health food stores.



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Dr. John

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