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Non-commercial food plants

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Some food plants are well suited to agriculture while others are not - this is a theme explored in Guns, Germs, and SteelW by Jared Diamond.

For example, only one Australian plant (the macadamia) has become a successful commercial crop. Other Australian plants can be used as bush tucker (harvested, prepared and eaten) but have not prove practical in commerce.

Many plants can provide high-quality food, but are not suited for storage or transport - so they either don't appear in shops, or appear rarely and for a high price. Growing these in a private or public garden allows the benefits to be enjoyed without worrying about transport or storage - eating them straight off the plant, or picking and using immediately.

Examples are grouped by plant type, below.





Australia Aboriginal peoples developed practices to increase the number of food plants, without actually practicing "agriculture." This included letting seeds drop in areas that they frequented (was this a deliberate practice?[verification needed]), and replacing the tops of wild yams in the soil, so they could regrow.


Sometimes used commercially, but either expensive, or rare in fresh form due to handling challenges:

In the garden[edit]

These plants can provide frequent healthy snacks, and can help introduce children to the joys of healthy natural foods.

Becoming commercially viable[edit]

Some plants began in this category, but through selective breeding and new growing techniquesplease expand became commercial - for example the blueberry.[verification needed]