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Food Diversity Is Decreasing. Grow Something Rare!

Grocery stores today carry on average forty thousand items. This sounds like a big number, but when you look at groceries, it’s actually nothing compared to what nature has to offer. According Jennifer Cockrall-King, author of Food and The City, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization believes that over 75% of the world’s biodiversity of foods has vanished as a result of industrial agriculture. These days, despite economic and scientific expansion in the agricultural industry, we actually eat fewer diverse vegetables and fruit than our grandparents did!

Seasonality of fruit and vegetables is obscured within the walls of the grocery store. Often, while winds howl outside in February, we find the same exact vegetables in grocery stores as we do in the peak of summer. Imagine a time traveller arriving to the interior of a grocery store. The uniform temperature, humidity, and stocked shelves full of the same things all year would make it hard to guess what season it was outside!

We actually eat fewer diverse vegetables and fruit than our grandparents did! – Jennifer Cockrall-King

Often, too, grocery stores have the same things inside each one of them. Whether you go to one company or the other, very often you’ll be buying the same things. And beyond the diversity of actual foods available, according to food activists just a handful of corporations are behind 90% of the food supply in America.

All this to say that diversity is important. Diverse nutrients help our bodies grow and maintain health and wellness, and diverse fruit and vegetables help to maintain biodiversity and resilience in natural ecosystems. And rare varieties are nothing but interesting to grow.

What are your favorite veggies? Are you curious about rare heirloom varieties of broccoli? What about a digital museum dedicated to carrots? Whatever the garden good of your choice, it’s worth some quick research into resources on rare varieties. You never know what you might find on RareSeeds.com or the Smart Seed Store.

Where are your resources for rare seeds? Do you seed swap or head to the local nursery? Where do you get inspiration to grow diverse and interesting vegetables? Write in the comments or visit us on Instagram at @Growoya to let us know!