The importance of diversity in Food Plants and Animals

Have you heard of the Lumper potato? Probably not, but it was the variety of potato, apparently the only variety (a prodigious one), grown in Ireland in the years immediately before the famine. If we then had more varieties, the famine may have been avoided or at least may not have been as serious.

"A crisis is looming: To feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production. Yet crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough, and climate change and new diseases threaten the limited varieties we’ve come to depend on for food. Luckily we still have the seeds and breeds to ensure our future food supply—but we must take steps to save them."
This paragraph is taken from National Geographic Magazine which has highlighted the looming problem in a brilliant article in its July Issue: How Heirloom Seeds Can Save the World. If you can't get your hands on the magazine, you can get some of the same info here. Lack of diversity in our "food" animals is also attracting the same kind of attention.