Vegetables are an important part of world cuisine that enabled us to survive trough countless millennia, following us thought the age of early civilizations, rise and fall of many cultures over the last four thousand years, and finally reaching modern popularity that they have today.
No matter where you live, eating vegetables represents important part of your daily diet that provides our bodies with important nutrients. Because of their versatility in terms of cooking (we can eat them raw, boiled, cooked, and dried), wide array of cultivation techniques, untold ways they can help us in daily problems that don’t require us eating them, and high nutritional values, vegetables represented extremely important commodity for humankind. During some periods of our growth from early to modern civilization, certain types of vegetables were regarded as extremely important, often being valued more than money, gold or any other commodity that we owned.
During the last five hundred years, many vegetables that were confined to their ancient breeding grounds suddenly become trading commodities of ever-expanding European countries. During the “Age of Sail” that lasted between 1500s and 1800s, all modern vegetables were finally able to reach all four corners of the earth, providing better nutrition and medicinal help to everyone. However, not everybody accepted all vegetables on their dining table. For the longest time Americans thought potato to be suitable for horses, potatoes were ignored because their tree and leaves were toxic, and some of them were ignored only because of religious beliefs (Buddhists did not like garlic between 1st and 10th century AD, Europeans disliked potato because it was not mentioned in the bible, etc.).
During the journey of vegetables through the history, they managed to have many interesting interactions with our cuisine, medicine and science. Here you can learn some of the most interesting vegetable facts.
Very early in the history of modern humankind people found out that vegetables are not only good for nutrition, but also as powerful sources of health. Their medicinal properties increased their value thousand fold, ensuring their continuing growth and expansion across the entire world.
Human race reached turning point some 11 thousand years ago when the first hunter-gatherers managed to domesticate wild wheat. From that point, domestication of vegetables slowly started, enabling our ancestors to control their nutrition and health like never before. Here you can learn the story of how vegetables forged us in what we are today.