A recent study, looking at 40 years of data, claims that Western appetites for foods like avocados, coffee and citrus fruit are threatening global food security, The Independent reports.
Global diversity has declined as monocultures of crops including soybean, canola and palm take up more land than ever.
These crops only provide nutrition for pollinators during a very limited window when they are in bloom. This makes them an unstable source of food for insects, whose global numbers are already rapidly in decline. Heavy use of fertilisers has exacerbated this trend.
“Farmers are growing more crops that require pollination, such as fruits, nuts and oil seeds, because there’s an increasing demand for them and they have a higher market value,” said David Inouye at the University of Maryland and a co-author of the research paper.
“This study points out that these current trends are not great for pollinators, and countries that diversify their agricultural crops are going to benefit more than those that expand with only a limited subset of crops.”
Read the full article here.