Root Foods in Perspective Excerpt
There are approximately 96 vegetable crops that are grown world wide which fit under the catch all phrase of “roots and tubers.”1 Root and tuber vegetables are actually the underground food storage organs of various plants. These edible underground organs are classified into one of five categories: 1) roots, 2)tubers, 3) rhizomes, 4) corms, and 5) bulbs. Commonly consumed roots are carrots, parsnips, radishes, beets, Swedes (rutabagas), sweet potatoes, cassava and celeriac, whereas commonly consumed tubers include potatoes and yams. Examples of edible rhizomes are the arrowroot, ginger and turmeric. Corms include taros and Chinese water chestnuts whereas common edible bulbs take in onions and garlic. Crops with an enlarged stem (leek and kohl rabi), even when located underground, are generally not classified as roots and tubers.
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