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 Native American produce 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Native American produce
I was listening to a You Tube presentation by Winona LaDuke, a Native American activiist. She was talking about old corn seeds, squash seeds, and bean seeds. She said that when the University of Minnesota did a study on these varieties compared to market varieties, they had twice the antioxidants, and half the calories. They were smaller, so the yield wasn't as good, and they weren't as uniform, so not each one looked exactly the same.

It reminded me of a study done years ago in New Zealand, which showed which varieties of apples had more antioxidants and in general, the heirloom varieties had more than the modern, bred apples.
John S
PDX OR


Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:47 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Puyallup, WA
Post Re: Native American produce
The book, "Guns, Germs, and Steel", by Jared Diamond, has several chapters about how natural selection and human preference over thousands of years brought about the changes and domestication in plants and animals which have become part of our diet. The book explains how the original corn more resembled the "baby corns" in salads/chinese food than the large ears we are familiar with today. Bright red flavorful strawberries were preferred by birds over the green sour ones so seeds from the bright red flavorful strawberries were dispersed in the bird droppings to sprout new plants while the seeds on green berries were left behind to compete with established plants.


Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:45 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Native American produce
Guns Germs and Steel is a great book. Many people have observed that the species or heirloom varieties tend to be more disease resistant, at least in the area where they are traditionally grown, than hybrids and modern in bred cultivars. Otherwise, they wouldn't have lasted as long.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:09 pm
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