50 Foods You Should Be Eating

Future 50 - Diversify your diet and save wildlife and the environment

The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and Knorr have team up to create a report on the food we should be eating which will help the environment by, among other things, promoting bio-diversity. They are calling it the Future 50.

Did you know that seventy-five percent of the global food supply comes from only 12 plant and five animal species? And that just 3 crops account for 60 percent of the calories from plants that people consume? Those three crops are rice, maize (corn) and wheat.

How did they choose the 50?

According to the report,

The Future 50 Foods have been selected based on their high nutritional value, relative environmental impact, flavour, accessibility, acceptability and affordability. This set of criteria is modelled after the Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO) definition of sustainable diets. Some of the Future 50 Foods have higher yields than similar crops, several are tolerant of challenging weather and environmental conditions, and many contain significant amounts of critical nutrients. (Page 5)

For example, beans and pulses were chosen because “they can convert nitrogen from the air and ‘fix’ it into a form that can be readily used by plants. More than environmental superheroes, beans offer us a rich source of fibre, protein and B vitamins. They are eaten in many dishes all over the world and have a mild flavour and meat-like texture, making them a sensible swap for meat in stews, soups and sauces.” (Page 11)

“Future 50 Foods is the beginning of a journey and a way for people to make a change, one delicious dish at a time.”

Did you know that walnuts are the oldest known tree food? Or that sprouting chickpeas and kidney beans make them MUCH more nutritious? Or that 30 grams of hemp seeds provides one gram of fibre, nine grams of protein, and a good source of iron? CLICK here to read the report and the reasons these foods were chosen. Some of it is fascinating.

Here are the Future 50 foods:


1) Laver Seaweed

2) Wakame Seaweed



4) Black Turtle Bean

5) Broad Beans (Fava)

6) Bambara Groundnuts

7) Cow Peas

8) Lentils

9) Maram Beans

10) Mung Beans

11) Soy


12) Nopales (Prickly Pear)


13) Amaranth

14) Buckwheat

15) Finger Millet

16) Fonio

17) Khorsan Wheat

18) Quinoa (with a focus on diversity as there are 3000 varieties but only a few being mass produced)

19) Spelt

20) Teff

21) Wild Rice

Fruit Vegetables

22) Pumpkin Flower

23) Okra

24) Orange Tomatoes

Leafy Greens

25) Beet Greens

26) Broccoli Rabe

27) Kale

28) Moringa

29) Bak-Choi or Bok Choy

30) Pumpkin Leaves

31) Red Cabbage

32) Spinach

33) Watercress


34) Enoki Mushroom

35) Maitake Mushroom

36) Saffron Milkcap Mushroom

Nuts and Seeds

37) Flax

38) Hemp

39) Sesame

40) Walnuts

Root Vegetables

41) Black Salsify ( from the sunflower family aka Oyster Plant)

42) Parsley Root aka Dutch Parsley

43) White Icicle Raddish aka Winter Raddish


44) Alfalfa

45) Sprouted Kidney Beans

46) Sprouted Chickpeas


47) Lotus Root

48) Ube (Purple Yam)

49) Yam Bean Root (Jicama)

50) Red Indonesian Sweet Potato


Image: Future 50 Foods report/ WWF/Knorr