Plants Are Vital But We Depend On a Handful Of Global Staple Crops. We Need Plants To Eat And Feed Our Animals. Plants Absorb CO2 and Provide Us With Oxygen. So Is Depending On a Few a Good Strategy?

40% of mankind’s daily calorie intake comes from just three crops. They are Rice, Wheat and Maize. So we depend on a handful of global staple crops to both feed us & our animals. Plants also absorb CO2 and provide us with oxygen. Is this a good survival strategy?

How Many Staple Food Crops Are There?

It’s not as if there aren’t alternatives. During our time on this planet our species has discovered around 30,000 edible plants. Some are better than others but between 6,00-7,000 have been cultivated for food.

Cassava Is a Global Staple Food Crop
Cassava Is a Global Staple Food Crop

Today globally we grow around 170 crops on a commercially significant scale. And we depend on around 30 of them to a large extent but with only a handful being grown on the scale needed to feed 6 billion people.

Some of the ones we regard in the UK as being major crops, eg potatoes, aren’t nearly as important as those we rarely consider as important. Eg Yam, Casaava (in image) , Sweet potato.

I’ve written elsewhere about the unusual veg crops we can grow in the UK, but this is all about common foods. that are far from unusual.

Future Articles On Staple Food Cropping

In a series of articles I intend to examine what is grown globally, what we could grow in out plots and how, as gardeners and allotment holders, we can be more food resilient.

Watch this space as we consider:-

What Are Staple Food Crops?

Why Staple Food Crops Are Important?

What Are The Most Common Staple Food Crops?

Which is the Staple Food Crop Of UK, USA, India, China, etc?

Staple Food Crops V Cash Crops

The Ten Most Important Food Crop Staples

Which staple food crops are grown in the UK?

Can I grow staple food crops in my garden?

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