Learn more about all Future 50 ingredients
American consumption of this bittersweet, leafy vegetable jumped by a third during the 1930s.
According to Assyrian legend, when the gods met to create the world, they drank wine made from sesame seeds.
Amongst the vast range of sweet potatoes in the world, one of the most sought after is the Cilembu sweet potato, a variety native to Indonesia.
Possibly the oldest tree food known to humans, records report walnut consumption dating back 10,000 years.
Known as winter mushrooms or golden needles, these long, thin, delicate mushrooms grow all year round in wild clusters.
This hefty, layered fungi can grow to more than 45 kilograms (99 pounds) giving them the title ‘the king of mushrooms’.
In Siberia, saffron milk caps are used for treating a wide variety of conditions, such as asthma, jaundice and food poisoning.
These powerhouses of the legume family are regularly listed as ‘superfoods’ due to their high protein and fibre content.
When in bloom, the sweet-scented flowers of the broad bean plant call to honeybees – the vital pollinators responsible for one in three mouthfuls of food.
There are many types of cowpeas; some are more commonly eaten than others.
Originally from North Africa and Asia, this cousin of the pea was one of the world’s first cultivated crops.
Soy (soya) is a pivotal part of the world’s food system.
Amaranth is grown for both its seeds and leaves.
Buckwheat is one of the healthiest, nuttiest and most versatile grains.
Finger millet is a cereal that has been cultivated for thousands of years.
Quinoa has long been a staple food in South America but has been gaining popularity in Europe and the US since the early 2000s
An ancient form of wheat, spelt is a hybrid of emmer wheat and goat grass.
This so-called ‘rice’ isn’t a rice at all.
Well suited to resist changes in climate, okra is among the most heat- and drought-resistant vegetables in the world.
Like all tomatoes, this small orange variety can be traced back to the tiny, perfectly round berries that grow wild in coastal Peru and the Galapagos Islands.
Kale is a brassica and belongs to the cabbage family.
Pak-choi (or bok-choy) is crisp with a mild, cabbagelike flavour.
It may be called red cabbage, but this brassica has a chameleon-like quality, changing colour based on the pHvalue of the soil in which it is grown.
Found across Europe, the United States, South America and Asia, but best grown in cooler climates with some sunlight, flax seeds have a multitude of uses.
Hemp is fast-growing, thrives in a variety of soils and doesn’t require fertilisers or pesticides.