The World Has Lost Most Of Its Crops Since 1900

The World Has Lost Most Of Its Crops Since 1900

Humans eat about 150 plant species, and 12 of those are the primary crops that make up most of the world's food. The drastic decrease in crop diversity since 1900 is known as genetic erosion, and it means that people today won't be able to try hundreds of plant varieties that were enjoyed in the past. Thankfully, seed-swapping events, heirloom farmers, and seed banks are striving to preserve cultivars that might otherwise be lost to time.

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The Esopus Spitzenburg apple was one of Thomas Jefferson's favorite fruits. (0:16)

  • 2

    Humans mainly eat 4 of the 12 primary crops grown today: potatoes, rice, corn, and wheat. (0:49)

  • 3

    By storing seeds in seed banks and attending seed swaps, people hope to preserve the biodiversity of the world's plants. (2:04)

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