Heirloom cultivars

The fact that the caterers didn’t recognise heirloom tomatoes when they saw them is evidence of inexperience in the industry, but more than that, it shows how industrial agriculture has limited our choices and created a world in which people are only familiar with a very narrow range of fruits and vegetables. Carrots are orange, beets are dark red/purple, lettuce comes in a handful of varieties, tomatoes are red… What happens when industrial crops sicken and die, start to become prone to diseases, and develop other problems? Ideally, you backbreed to heritage cultivars with robust genetics that have been thriving for decades and sometimes centuries. If you don’t have that stock available to backbreed to, you’re facing a situation where a common industrial crop could become unsustainable

– from Why We Preserve Heirloom Cultivars by s. e. smith