Amazing Facts About Plants
The flora that exists on our planet is far more fascinating than people give it credit for. From roses to the vegetables we serve alongside our steaks or vegan nuggets, to herbs used as garnish or old medicine. Sure, we know they exist, what their names are, and what color they are. But is that really all there is to them?
Here are some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the plants, flowers, and crops that dot our Earthly landscape:
1. More Than 80,000 Edible Plants on Earth
Depending on the culture and the region of the world you are from, there is a bountiful group of plants and crops that’s part of your diet. No matter how many trips you’ve taken across the globe though, I can guarantee you haven’t close to even 3% of our planet’s delicious greens.
It’s hard to imagine but there are more than 80,000 species of edible flora that dot the surface of our world. That being said, most people only know of a handful of ‘edible plants.’
2. 90 Percent of The Foods Humans Eat Come from Just 30 Plants
The only thing more amazing than the amount of plants we CAN eat is the fact that we only eat from about 30 species. Before now, I had assumed the stuff lining the grocery store shelves was it.
Imagine how many more nutrients we’d be taking if we added more to our diet. What’s funny is how low in nutritional value most of our crops are.
3. Nutrition Doesn’t Factor into The Crops We Do Mass Produce
When it comes to what we already eat, the game is about quantity over quality. Most farmers don’t concern themselves with the nutritional content, but with how much of it they can produce in a short time.
This is part of the reason it isn’t common to have these little-known plants at any meal during the day. Heck, consider yourself lucky if you find something in one store that isn’t in any others.
We all know, of course, food isn’t plants’ primary use…
4. 70,000 Plant Species are Used for Medicine
Our race seems more apps at utilizing plants for medicine than food. We can thank traditional medicine from that number. Having realized the benefit of incorporating plants into medicine, modern medicine often comes with plant additives now.
Many of the drugs in the United States have plants to thank for certain effects they give.
5. Only 1 Percent of Rainforest Plants Have Been Studied for Medicinal Potential
Many believe that a treasure trove of cures for various ailments lies within rainforests. But only about 1 percent have ever been looked at for worthwhile potential. The mine of resources remains untapped, and many locations are in danger of being lost…
6. 80 Percent of The Earth’s Original Forests Have Been Cleared or Destroyed
Just shy of 10,000 years ago, our land masses were covered in massive expanses of forest. Due to our inability to develop sustainable building materials, nearly all of our forests and trees disappear in less than 300 years. That only adds to the possibility that we’ve likely wiped out plants that had immense potential medicine. It’s unfortunate, but the fact is…
7. Just 10 Percent of The World’s Plant-Rich Areas are Protected
It is hard to convince a governing body to deem a place “protected.” Different countries have varying laws on what is okay and what is not okay to do with a forest. In addition, to plants lost to the destruction, many animals lose their home.
8. More Than Half of Plant Species are Native to Just One Country
What makes conserving these medicinal roots and greens is how uncommon they are to other regions. Saffron, a cooking ingredient, for example, grows only in the Middle East where the climate is ‘just right.’
Any place destroyed by logging or the like will drive these botanical gold mines out of existence. As if that weren’t enough…
9. 68 Percent of Plants Are in Danger of Going Extinct
Researchers have been very limited in the opportunity to study the benefits of plants, and it may never happen because of how many plants may be wiped out of existence in the near-future.
Animals can at least run away from danger. Plants are unable to go anywhere.
10. Plant Species are Going Extinct – About 5kX faster than They Should
It is only natural that a few plants would simply go out of extinction. But the rate at which it happens is due to human interfering with nature in such ways as climate change and deforestation.
The ‘extinction rate’ may even increase to 10k if changes are not made soon.