When journalist and University of Melbourne professor Smran Sethi first leaned about the staggering loss of agricultural biodiversity we are facing, she quit her job to spend three years reporting on the subject. “While we debate GMOs and mertis of Paleo, while we count calories and queue for Cronuts, we´re losing the foundation of food” writes in her new book Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of the Foods we Love. In this book she has detailed exactly how that is happening and how we can all be involved in saving beloved foods.
Sethi spoke with more than 200 scientists — many of whom are working to make our food supply more secure — as well as farmers, bakers, brewers, coffee roasters, conservationists and religious leaders to get at the deep cultural stories about food. We can utilize those narratives to save foods on the edge of extinction, Sethi says. “The solutions are in … the Ethiopian coffee forest, the British yeast cultures lab, the vineyards of California, the cacao plantations of Ecuador, the brewery, the bakery and the temple,” writes Sethi. Her book is part travelogue, as she visits the places where the cacao or the grapes are grown, and meets the people who grow them.