UK’s favourite vegetable revealed – and it’s a classic British mealtime staple

Zero waste and eco friendly shopping with vegetables and fruits in natural textile and paper bags top view. Plastic free and reuse concept.

MOVE over avocados, make way mushrooms – the humble spud has been voted Britain’s favourite vegetable.

A poll of 2,000 adults revealed the top 20 types of vegetation for the nation – and the potato took gold.

The humble spud has been voted Britain’s favourite vegetable

The list also includes broccoli, spinach and peppers – and even the controversial Brussel sprout.

And the likes of sweet potato, cabbage and peas made the cut, plus tomatoes – the fruit that often masquerades as a vegetable.

In fact, adults love their greens so much that four in 10 couldn’t imagine not being able to buy staple fruits and veggies in their local store.

However, 32 per cent have no idea plant diversity is in danger and that this might impact the future of their dinner plate.

The study, commissioned by Kimchi brand Jongga, also found 96 per cent are worried about the effects climate change will have on plant diversity.

Experts at UK organic growing charity, Garden Organic, estimate many hundreds of varieties of vegetables, once widely available as seed and produce, have disappeared.

And if this pattern continues, consumers could face a future lacking in plant biodiversity, putting some of the vegetables eaten today at risk of dying out.

Jongga has worked with the green-fingered charity to create a video highlighting the importance of preserving endangered plants people rely on every day to make meals.

Catrina Fenton, Head of Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library, which saves and re-introduces rare seeds, said: “Plants have a simple way of adapting to different challenges: genetic diversity.

“The more diversity we can find and reintroduce into our food systems, including what we grow at home, the greater our resilience to future pressures in a changing environment.

“Loss of diversity in our plant food systems decreases the choices available to develop better adapted plant populations.

“Lack of biodiversity can leave food production much more vulnerable to stress events, such as outbreaks of disease, pests and climate change, which ultimately could impact the fruits and vegetables available to future generations.”

The study also found Brits are increasingly going green with their eating habits, with 58 per cent eating more of their ‘five-a-day’ now than they did five years ago.

A quarter of these respondents said they were doing so because it’s better for the planet, while 51 per cent want to do more for their health.

Out of the 16 per cent who aren’t as green minded and eating fewer veggies, 37 per cent said this is due to the lack of variety they see stocked on the shelves.

The research also found, of the meat and fish eaters of the country, six in 10 already are, or plan on, adopting a more plant-based diet.

And 55 per cent of those polled via OnePoll will incorporate fruits and vegetables into their meals at least nine times a week.

Brits aren’t just upping their intake of greens because of the positive nutritional benefits though, as 95 per cent enjoy eating fruits and vegetables – meaning it could be even more of a shock when certain kinds start to disappear from tables.

Catrina Fenton said: “The risk of more vegetables disappearing continues year on year, yet the Heritage Seed Library has managed to conserve varieties which used to be commercially available but now are no longer on the market.”

Jennifer Lee, on behalf of Jongga, added: “As our intake of fruit and vegetables continues to rise, it’s paramount we begin raising awareness of the latest sustainability crisis.

“Many see the food in their fridges as a never-ending resource, but sadly this is not the case.

“Shockingly, over the last century 75 per cent of plant diversity has been lost, with 95 per cent of cabbage varieties disappearing from our plates.

“Fermentation and preservation go hand-in-hand. It’s a technique that has been utilised by civilizations for centuries to preserve ingredients we rely on to make meals for our families, friends and communities.

“Kimchi is a traditional, Korean fermented food, made from vegetables such as cabbage, onion, garlic, leek, all of which are found in Britain’s top 20 favourite vegetables.”

To celebrate the variety of plant-based foods people can enjoy within their diets, and ensure they remain on the dinner table for centuries to come, Jongga will be hosting a special supper club – (P)reserve a Table – at conscious dining venue, Apricity, in London’s Mayfair through September and October.

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