Most people, when they hear the term “national security” or similar, they’re thinking about a country’s ability to maintain its security of its nation. However, most people are not familiar with a similar term: food security. The idea behind food security is allowing all people in a region, nation, or the world to have enough food to cover their nutritional needs.(see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_security)
There are, however, some threats to food security on the planet right now. Some of the consequences can be seen all over the world. Thousands of people die each year because of starvation, in many cases due to overpopulation. However, some other causes must be taken into account as well.
One potential threat to the world’s food security is that of genetic erosion and shrinking biodiversity brought on by increased hybridization experiments. For years now, geneticists have been breeding new “high-yield” versions of plants, that produce more food per acre than natural strains of those plants. However, as more and more of these genetically engineered versions of these plants come into being, and shoehorn out the native breeds, there are consequences to be paid.
The overuse and constant continued experimenting with new, genetically engineered breeds of crops are forcing out, and even driving to extinction, other breeds of similar plants. This concept is referred to as “genetic erosion.” Put into layman’s terms, when more and more of the natural crops and other native plants are driven to endangerment and extinction, there is a smaller gene pool overall to select from. The fear is that if too much hybridization and other experiments continue, eventually there may be a tipping point when there are no more natural plants left, and the genetic pool is very, very small.
Overall, the production of hybrid, high yield plants has been a boon for the world, since more and more people have been able to be fed, but the continuing cost to genetic diversity thanks to genetic erosion has some people worried about the world’s food security. Will there be a time when all arable land is occupied by food crops, just to feed a growing population?
We’d like to thank Miss Sue Lang on this contribution to our web page.