See: extended regulations on seed-swapping between private individuals, and the disappearing right to plant germplasm in the commons.
Most consumers seem to want superfoods like ‘Açaí from the Amazon,’ ‘Inca Berries from Peru,’ ‘Goji Berries from China’ and ‘Cloudberries from Finland’ because they want some sort of miracle silver bullet, harvested from deep in the jungle, or gathered from the top of the purest mountain. It’s fetishistic, in the anthropological sense of the word: you’re the Don Quixote of the health food store, searching for the right combination of exotic antioxidants, that will let you live forever.
Nobody seems to want to hear that red cabbage will accomplish almost all the same things these ‘magical’ berries will, for a fraction of the sugar, and 1/20th of the price. For some people, when superfoods are staring at them in the grocery store for $1.99, it seems too easy.
The power of marketing, as it applies to produce:
"Quinoa may deliver a complete protein—all of the amino acids you require—in a compact package, but rice and beans together actually do better. And like goji berries, blueberries and strawberries are packed with phytochemicals. The only problem is that lacking an exotic back story, food marketers can’t wring as exorbitant a markup from these staples: The domestic blueberry, for example, is periodically (and justifiably) marketed as a superfood, and in 2012, products featuring blueberries as a primary ingredient saw their sales nearly quadruple. But they only raked in $3.5 million—less than 2 percent of açaí-based product sales.”
-Tom Philpott, "Are Quinoa, Chia Seeds, and other ‘Superfoods’ a Scam?" (from Mother Jones)
An ode to nasturtiums…
Every part of this flower that grows above the ground is edible, and tastes like a sharp cress. The young flower buds can be pickled and used as capers, the flowers themselves make a colourful addition to salads, and the green seeds can be used to add a mustard-y punch to any dish. The leaves can also be eaten, and taste similar to arugula or mizuna.
Nasturtiums can be compact, enormous, rambling, or variegated, depending on the cultivar. Their blossoms are most often orange, red, and yellow, but come in an array of other possible colours.
They are an excellent companion plant to asparagus, lettuce, tomatoes, other brassicas (radish, cabbage, kale, broccoli, kohrabi, etc.), cucurbits (like cucumbers and pumpkins), and fruit trees: many harmful insects are repelled by their scent.
This year I grew “Ladybird,” “Variegated Alaska" and a "High-Climbing" variety. Lovers of cooler weather, nasturtiums can be planted in the early Spring: they self-seed prolifically during the warmest months of Summer, and sprout again on their own in the cool weather of Autumn.
While too tender to survive the winter here, nasturtiums can be invasive in warmer climes. Check to see if nasturtiums are disruptive to your biome before growing them.