selected case studies
of Reawakened crops
from across the globe.

How do you tell a global story to explain the benefits of agrobiodiversity? To date, the Lexicon’s team of researchers and storytellers have worked closely with NGOs on five continents to produce case studies on five Reawakened 25 crops, with more to come.

Case Study No. 21: Breadfruit in Costa Rica. Traveling through Costa Rica’s mountainous interior with Paul Zink, the intrepid Johnny Appleseed of Breadfruit.

Long considered “poor people’s food,” breadfruit has recently undergone a culinary renaissance, one that has turned the fruit into a new source of income for home farmers and a key ingredient in local kitchens. Written and photographed by Douglas Gayeton.

Case Study 03: Teff and Ancient Grains in Ethiopia. How one of the world’s richest centers of biodiversity responds to the climate crisis.

Seeds for Needs, an ambitious project created with joint support from Ethiopian farmers and researchers at Bioversity International, Mekelle University, and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa, began looking into Ethiopia’s past to rediscover ancient grains that might provide solutions to the country’s extreme vulnerability to drought, and to fight climate change by using seeds to increase the resilience of rural communities. Photography and video by Alberto Miti. Written by Carlo Fadda. Edited by Ann Thrupp.

Case Study No. 14: Small Millets in India. How one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world disappeared from fields across India, then made an unexpected comeback.

The country’s emerging “Millet Revolution” has led to sustainable intensification of a once forgotten crop, the introduction of value added products in rural communities, and a new source of nutritious food to support healthy diets. Photography and video by Alberto Miti. Written by Elena Valeriote, Joanna Kane-Potaka, and Dr. E.D. Israel Oliver King.

Case Study No. 09: Amaranth in Mexico. Oaxacans spend nearly 40% of their disposable income each month on food, most of which is ultra-processed. But that may be about to change.

Redirecting that spending towards healthier, local, and sustainably-grown foods is key to addressing Mexico’s nutrition challenges, as is the re-emergence of one particular ingredient native to the region that nearly vanished from local markets: amaranth. Written by Hope Bigda-Peyton and Douglas Gayeton. Photography and video by Douglas Gayeton.

Case Study No. 16: Tepary Beans in the United States. Does Arizona’s Sonoran Desert hold valuable secrets that can provide needed nourishment in this region while mitigating the impacts of climate change?

As climate change brings extreme heat and drought affects more areas of the world, teparies will likely become an increasingly important food resource, both culturally and nutritionally, for many indigenous groups in the region. Written by Gary Paul Nabhan, Colin Khoury, and Douglas Gayeton. Photography and video by Douglas Gayeton.

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