It's estimated that over the last 100 years, more than 90 percent of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers' fields globally. The exact crops that have disappeared vary by region and are influenced by a number of factors, including changes in climate, economic pressures, and shifts in food preferences. Some of the crops that have been lost include:
Heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, such as heritage tomatoes, melons, and beans, which have been replaced by more widely cultivated varieties that are better suited to large-scale agriculture.
Ancient grains, such as einkorn and emmer wheat, which were widely cultivated before the advent of modern wheat varieties.
Root crops, such as yams and taro, which are still widely cultivated in some regions but have become less common in others.
Legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, which have been replaced by more widely cultivated varieties that are better suited to large-scale agriculture.
These lost crop varieties are important because they represent a critical component of the world's food security and biodiversity. By disappearing, they reduce the genetic diversity of crops, making it more difficult to adapt to changing environmental conditions, such as changes in temperature and rainfall patterns.
In recent years, there has been a growing movement to conserve and revive these lost crop varieties, through seed banks, community seed libraries, and other initiatives. These efforts aim to preserve these valuable genetic resources for future generations and to ensure that food systems are more resilient and adaptable to changing conditions.
Some of the crops that have been lost include:
1. Heirloom varieties of tomatoes
2. Ancient grains such as einkorn and emmer wheat
3. Root crops such as yams and taro
4. Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas
5. Heritage melons
6. Heirloom beans
7. Ancient corn varieties
8. Rare potatoes
9. Heritage carrots
10. Heirloom squash
11. Traditional rice varieties
12. Heritage apples
13. Rare berries
14. Ancient peas
15. Wild relatives of cultivated crops
16. Traditional wheat varieties
17. Rare cucumbers
18. Heirloom peppers
19. Traditional barley varieties
20. Heritage onions
21. Rare garlic varieties
22. Wild relatives of domesticated crops
23. Traditional oats varieties
24. Heritage radishes
25. Rare lettuce varieties
These are just a few examples of the many crops that have disappeared in the last 100 years. The exact crops that have been lost can vary by region and are influenced by a number of factors, including changes in climate, economic pressures, and shifts in food preferences.