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United Nations Plant Diversity

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One thought on “Two UN reports on food and wild edibles

  1. Carly said:

    It is definitely true that we need to temper the promotion of wild food resources with large amounts of education on identification (which inspires confidence and greater use of wild resources) and sustainability, which ensures that we will not cause scarcity in our wild resources once we realize how great they are (ex. ramps/wild leeks are currently at risk of overharvesting due to popular demand). At this time, many of us can forget that not all food grows in such abundance as industrial crops such as corn or wheat. We do ourselves a service by addressing issues of sustainable harvesting as well as whole plant use whenever we take it upon ourselves to educate others about the tasty and otherwise nutritional/medicinal benefits of wild edibles. It would be great to see agro-tourism manifest in a way that allows specific towns, states or regions to feature the special wild plants and products made from them which are unique to their area the way United Nations Plant Diversity suggests. One good example of this is the Vermont maple syrup industry!
    I have heard the question asked: “Why are some wild foods so glamorously popular (maple syrup, fiddleheads, ramps, truffles) and not others, containing even more nutritional value or flavor?” The answer I have heard more than once is, “It’s all about the marketing.” The potential of underutilized species to become commodity crops should definitely not be underestimated. We as consumers have the power to raise up new and different plants and products by voting with our dollars and supporting people who dedicate their lives to seeking the new, the interesting and the delicious. The wild food movement is deeply indebted to chefs and foodies who spend their time searching and revealing new and exciting flavors and plants.

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