Today is a day of celebration. It’s Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD)!
The goal of FoPD is to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture and sustainable production of nutritious food and pretty much all aspects of our lives. Botanists organised hundreds of events for FoPD in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Whilst in-person events are still limited around the world, here at BotanyOne, we are celebrating with a series of infographics and sharing “happy plant” news.
This year’s infographics are highlighting fun facts about edible plants as the UN General Assembly designated 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV). The official slogan marking the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, “Fruits and vegetables, your dietary essentials”, highlights the importance of fresh produce in contributing to good health and nutrition. Ensuring that fruits and vegetables are accessible, affordable and available to everyone is crucial in achieving food security and combating malnutrition. The World Health Organization suggests that consuming 400 g of fruit and vegetables a day can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Let’s start the infographics with olives.
Last year you might have read on Botany One that cultivated olives are as diverse genetically as the wild species and that the trees also have climate change mitigation functions.
You might have been fascinated by blueberries after reading about a Canadian study that could have left you wondering if you have been eating different species of blueberries without realising.
Back in 2013, Nigel Chaffey wrote about a fascinating experiment where scientists used an electric current to increase the levels of “fascinating polyphenols” in sweet potato by 60%.
You might have also come across Nigel’s other article about the fascinating story of lotus silk but have you wondered about eating lotus plants?
Back in 2018, Alun Salt shared the fascinating (and entertaining) story of The Broccoli Tree, whilst in 2019, William Salter wrote about studying the fascinating wild relatives of cabbage and kale to learn about improving the salt tolerance in these lesser-appreciated vegetables.
Next up is a legume. A fascinating one.
Is it a fruit? A vegetable? A seed? Strawberries have become the most well-known examples of having a botanically incorrect name as they’re are not berries at all.
Bananas are “gold mines” for science communicators. There have been quite a few articles about them on Botany One. Everyone knows them, eats them and uses them as emojis.
The long list of wonderful fruits and vegetables would never end but today is your chance to have your say!
Would you like to see a fascinating fruit or vegetable featured here?
Do you have a favourite fun fact above?
Comment below or on Twitter and continue to celebrate your plants and food today!