Happiness Class: Native Food Nutrition

Posted by Laura Paulisich on

"Studies conducted on wild human food versus hybridized versions of the same food are now proving that the native foods have higher nutritional value. It's possible that this affects our pollinators as well, and that non-native, hybridized or genetically modified plants offer pollinators nutritionally inferior food. A number of studies underway are comparing the nutritional values of native and hybrid plants. I was particularly interested in a study happening at the University of Vermont that is looking at the ability of native flowers and 'nativars' (hybridized wildflowers) to not only attract pollinators but support them. More information on the subject can be found in the digital Bibliography and Resource Guide pages of www.tamingwildflowers.com. Anecdotal evidence is that 'nativars' tend to not be as robust as real wildflowers. My own experience is that they tend to be short-lived compared to their wild, non-hybridized cousins. But the jury is still out. 

My concern is that if wildflowers are overbred, pollinators will suffer. When many beautiful heirloom flowers are over-bred they lose their scent and often the pllen they produce becomes sterile, with decreased nutritional value for the precious pollinators." (TAMING WILDFLOWERS by Miriam Goldberger p 25)

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