The World Has Lost Most Of Its Crops Since 1900

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

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.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The Esopus Spitzenburg apple was one of Thomas Jefferson's favorite fruits. 00:16

  2. Humans mainly eat 4 of the 12 primary crops grown today: potatoes, rice, corn, and wheat. 00:49

  3. By storing seeds in seed banks and attending seed swaps, people hope to preserve the biodiversity of the world's plants. 02:04

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement