Saving and using Mexico’s fantastic #tomato agricultural #biodiversity

Tomatoes have spread into cuisines around the world but most commercial varieties have a narrow genetic base and only grow well in optimum conditions often in greenhouses. As climate changes and interest in the fruit’s nutritional properties grows, drawing on the huge number of indigenous varieties in Mexico to meet these challenges is hugely important as they grow in a wide range of conditions and have different nutritional properties. That’s a central aim of a project I heard about at Lancaster Environment Centre* earlier this month from Jacob Phelps in a talk on “Charting a future for Mexico’s endemic tomatoes”.

In this interview, he explains more about the importance of Mexico’s significance for the future of tomatoes and the role of the indigenous people in breeding a huge range of varieties and why they need urgent work to ensure they are not lost.

You can read more about his work here and that of fellow Lancaster researcher Dr Gabriela Toledo-Ortiz here

*I’m an honorary teaching fellow at the centre

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About geofftansey

I curate the Food Systems Academy, a free, on-line, open education resource to transform our food systems. I am also a member of the Food Ethics Council and chaired the Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, which reported in 2015.
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