Agricultural scientist Bruce French has been cataloguing food plants for five decades. When agricultural scientist Bruce French was teaching agriculture in Papua New Guinea, his students had a strong message for him. They were sick of being taught about western plants and wanted to learn more about their native produce. "I knew nothing about those, so I had to learn them," Mr French said. "And I just kept going. What about the next country, and the next country?" In the five decades since, Mr French has created a database of more than 31,000 edible plants, which is almost every plant from every country on earth. His work is used to address malnutrition across the globe and in 2016, he was named an Officer of the Order of Australia. "I’m not trying to make fame or fortune. I’m interested in hungry kids not dying before they get to school," Mr French said. Bruce French’s life work of recorded edible plants is displayed in an old church in Burnie, Tasmania. His database focuses on five primary nutrients: protein, iron, vitamins A and C and zinc. They are often abundant in plants native to areas of the developing world where malnutrition is […]


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