The importance of plants
On World Food Day, it is essential to remember the importance of plants, not only for people, but for the entire planet.
Virtually everything we eat comes directly or indirectly from the plant kingdom. Since the appearance of human beings on earth, it is estimated that approximately 7,000 species of plants have been used as food, although only 200 are regularly grown, and 6 of them are indispensable in our society: rice, potato, sugar cane, beans, corn, and wheat; since they feed 75% of the human population of the planet.
They are medicines
Did you know that a quarter of the medicines you consume come directly from plant derivatives? In addition, 4 out of every 5 people living on the planet use plants to cure themselves, and within those traditional uses, there are still many new and future discoveries of new medicines. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), about 53,000 flowering plants are used as medicine in the world.
Wood is perhaps the most used and versatile of all the materials used by human beings, it is used to make fire, musical instruments, furniture, boats, houses and much more. On the other hand, the fibers of many plants are used to make paper, clothes, ropes and ropes.
They are regulators
Plants are very important components in the water cycle, they contribute to its distribution and purification, moving the water from the soil to the atmosphere in the process called transpiration. In many places they can also prevent flooding by capturing and containing large volumes of water. For example, wetlands can store up to 17 million litres of storm water and help purify it.
The oxygen we breathe every day is a product of one of the most fascinating and mysterious biochemical processes that occur in nature, and is known as photosynthesis. In this process the leaves, with the help of their chloroplasts, capture the light, specifically the blue and red waves and reflect the green waves. That’s why we see plants of that color! Light is transformed by complex chemical processes into sugar, which is used as food and generates oxygen as waste. Many scientists believe that without the appearance of photosynthesis millions of years ago there would be no oxygen, and thus no life as we know it.
They are protective
The soil that is so important for agriculture was the product of the degradation of organic matter, which in its highest percentage comes from plants that die and then degrade, thus contributing to make it richer in nutrients. Also the plants with their roots hold the soil preventing it from being lost and ceasing to be productive or end up disappearing producing terrible mudslides (which are very common in rainy seasons and can be very dangerous), or in the worst case desertification, which occurs when the soil has been completely lost, and only rocks remain.
They are home
Although we humans are given many benefits, there is no doubt that the greatest benefit is that plants are homes to millions of organisms. For example, a few years ago a count was made on an oak tree, and it was discovered that 30 species of birds, 200 species of nocturnal butterflies, and thousands of insects all inhabited the tree.
Understanding the importance of plants will help us to be respectful of our environment, to survive as a species, to create a better world, and to succeed in creating a civilization that is fair and balanced. Plants are not simple, inanimate organisms, and inevitably our present and future existence is strongly linked to the existence of plant organisms.