A farmers' market selling a variety of edible tropical fruits. Photo courtesy Naomi Woods.
|A high proportion of forest species, especially rainforest species, could be useful to humans, either for medicinal properties or food crops. This is yet one more reason to be concerned about the loss of biodiversity: since as many as one in six rainforest species could be directly "useful" to humans, what possibilities are we losing with each species that becomes extinct?|
|Almost half of today's main food crops were originally discovered in the rainforest. Plants that originated, or still live in the forests provide us with fruits, nuts, and grains -- bananas, oranges, pineapples, avocados, mangoes, papayas, tea, sugar, rice, maize, cashews, peanuts, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon. Coffee. Chocolate. Even our common domestic chicken originated in Indian forests.|
[tropical forests] [loss of biodiversity] [fruits & nuts]
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