New food fads and functions​

I don’t know about you, but I’ve eaten some pretty strange things in my time:

  • Australian animals and ferals – camel, crocodile, kangaroo – but then who hasn’t
  • Big game in East Africa – giraffe, zebra, gazelle, eland
  • Guinea Pigs in South America
  • The eggs of the horseshoe crab in Thailand
  • A range of fungus, lichen, moss, ferns and conifers in China
  • And even part of a human placenta – although I didn’t realise it at the time – during a tribal ritual in Tanzania

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Why do tropical plants have such big leaves?

Leaf size and shape is incredibly important to plants, as it helps them cope with the environments in which they live. We’ve long known that plants in the tropics have larger leaves than those in cooler climes (see image above of one of the world’s biggest leaves from tropical Borneo – the Giant elephant ear plant), but the reason for this has been hotly debated. We now think we know why…

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Food waste is a big global issue

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has estimated that a third of all food produced globally is wasted, that’s 1.3B tonnes.

To put that in context, the Great Pyramid at Giza weighs about 5 million tonnes. If that were food waste it would weigh about 1.4 million tonnes (because food is less dense than stone), so the amount of food waste produced globally is equivalent to just less than 1000 Great Pyramids of Giza.

That’s a lot of food.

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