We can’t tell you the exact number of different types of vegetables that exist in the world, but numbers are in the thousands. It is estimated that there are over 20,000 species of edible plants yet only 20 species represent 90% of our food. This has a big impact on agrobiodiversity but also on our diet, mainly due to distortion of the natural reality that has allowed us today to eat tomatoes, eggplants and watermelons all year round whenever we want… We understand that it is easier to eat the same things all the time, but it’s definitely not better for the environment or for you. So, if we want to eat better we need to start looking for different types of vegetables that we can produce locally.
The question of seasonality and local production
You can’t produce cucumbers in winter?! Who wants to eat cucumbers in winter? Isn’t it much better to eat a warm cabbage soup?
The impact on environment…
The lack of seasonality has driven us to less variety of vegetables on our plate with consequences on freshness and nutrition while also leading to much higher carbon emissions due to transportation.
…and your health
Eating local is the first step to diversity in our diet. Through local production we end up searching for the most adapted types of vegetables, discover different and ancient varieties, vary our diet and we’ll get the right nutrients at the right time of the year.
It is no coincidence that there is an abundance of watermelons in summer or that rich vitamin C fruits are ready during winter. Let’s just say that nature knows how to give us what we need – even when we don’t. We definitely don’t need tomatoes all year round, but we do need different types of vegetables all year round!
In 1903 it is believed that almost 500 varieties of lettuce were produced, but today only 36 can be found on supermarket shelves. Almost 300 varieties of cucumbers, but today we find only about 16 in our salads. This is the tendency for every single type of vegetable and it is up to us to start changing that, recovering ancient types of vegetables, caring for new seeds and eating in a more healthy and diverse manner. Let’s grow!