Adopt a veg
1st October, 2003
Have you ever heard of – let alone tasted – the Rats Tail radish, the Crookneck squash or the Prince of Prussia pea? We report on what’s being done to save Britain’s rich agricultural heritage.
Supermarkets would have us believe that we eat a huge variety of fruit and veg. In reality 90 per cent of the human population survives on only 30 crop varieties. In Britain alone we have lost 97 per cent of our fruit and veg varieties since 1900.
If any one of the remaining 3 per cent were to succumb to disease the consequences could be devastating.
Why does it matter
When people rely on just a few varieties of a single crop, disease can have disastrous effects.
From 1845 to 1846 Ireland's potato crop consisted of one or two closely related varieties. Both were wiped out by blight. In the ensuing famine, nearly a million people died and more than a million others were forced to emigrate. By 1851 Ireland’s population had diminished by 23 per cent. If... To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
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