Photograph by Jessica Quilter, National Geographic Your Shot
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The stunning elephant head amaranth can produce up to 60,000 seeds per plant.
Photograph by Jessica Quilter, National Geographic Your Shot
The Plate

7 Nutritious Plants Whose Days May Be Numbered

Many vitamin-rich crops that have fed us for centuries are in danger of extinction. Here are some of the at-risk plants and why they matter.

All over the world, native crops that have fed people for centuries are being replaced by less-healthy foods that are popular in the Western diet. The Food and Agriculture Organization reports that about 75 percent of the world’s plant genetic resources are extinct, and another third of plant biodiversity will disappear by 2050.

But some groups like the Vegetable Genetic Resource System are working to catalog these crops. Here are seven edible plants in danger of getting squeezed out, as photographed by members of National Geographic’s Your Shot community—and why you should care. (HT: Food Tank: 25 Indigenous Fruits and Vegetables Promoting Health All Over the World.)