This morning as I was cutting up a persimmon, one of my workmates came over and, apologising for asking a stupid sounding question, asked what it was that I was cutting up. I don’t think it’s a stupid question at all – if you don’t know what something is, trying to find out is admirable. But it made me think about why someone wouldn’t recognise a persimmon (not just not know what it was called or where it came from, but have literally never seen one before).
There are so many domesticated plant and animal species which we use for food, and yet the average diet of the average person in an industrialised country is very limited. I’m unusual in the variety of foods I eat, and I don’t have access to even a quarter of the edible things I’ve read about.
tasty. Look at quinoa; eaten for centuries by the people of South and Central America, relegated to “poverty food” because of its association with the native culture after European colonisation, and now it’s a high value health food and increasingly looks like one of the best staple foods we have available to us, with more protein and minerals than rice or wheat.
How much would the world change if we made better use of our domesticated species? We domesticated them for a reason, after all.