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Orphan crops at the food for future conference

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In her 1929 essay A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Wolf famously wrote, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” While this popular quote is perhaps not the most inspiring, it is an elegant reminder that food and the cultural practices surrounding food are paramount for our wellbeing. However, in our quest to feed a growing global population, we have become focused on increasing the production of a few staple crops and overlooked hundreds or thousands of locally and regionally important crops that may represent the future of agriculture. The growing interest in identifying and developing promising new crops and novel food sources prompted the 1st Cologne Conference on Food for Future, which took place between the 5 and 7th of September 2018 at the Rautenstrauch-Joest museum in Cologne, Germany. It offered a unique platform for researchers, journalists, politicians, and entrepreneurs to present and discuss their views, visions, and concerns on the topics of Food Security. This interdisciplinary meeting acted as a stage to cover diverse aspects of crop science, food research, and food production in the context of global food and nutrition security. Three sessions accommodated scientific contributions on the topics of “Orphan Crops”, “Functional food”, and “Innovative food sources and production systems”, and two public events (a public lecture and a plenary discussion) engaged the citizens with informative discussions on relevant and mediatic topics. With delegates from Africa, Europe, and the United States of America, the conference aimed at building bridges between different communities through scientific exchange.

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Correspondence to Timothy O. Jobe.

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Succurro, A., Schuler-Bermann, M., Ivanov, R. et al. Orphan crops at the food for future conference. Planta 250, 1005–1010 (2019).

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